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Hernando County's reef ball project helps protect marine life

Hernando County reef ball
Posted at 4:49 AM, Apr 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-22 07:58:32-04

The Hernando County Reef Ball project is an effort to protect marine life off the coast.

Big barrels of concrete that officials drop far out in the waters help provide a refuge for things like grouper and baitfish.

"They spawn around these reef balls, like the adult grouper will lay their eggs around these during this fall in the wintertime and also this springtime. So it's just a great structure for them to utilize for either feeding on fish or their spawning and protection of the small grouper," Keith Kolasa, Hernando County Aquatics and Waterways Project Manager said.

Hernando County officials also look for recycled materials to create these reef balls, too.

It helps keep large concrete objects from taking up space in our landfills and, in turn, help our environment.

"Well, a lot of the reef balls we purchased them from a contractor and they manufacture hundreds and thousands of these. But we also have molds. So we'll invite volunteers in on different groups like Boy Scouts, or Girl Scouts, and different youth will come up to volunteer and build these. So that's a lot of fun because they get to see they're building something that's going to help the environment and benefit our local marine system," said Kolasa.