NewsSarasota, Manatee County


Mini reefs being installed around Anna Maria Island to keep water clean and healthy

Posted at 7:45 PM, Dec 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-30 19:45:36-05

BRADENTON BEACH, Fla. -- The Center of Anna Maria Island is working to keep the island's coastal water clean and healthy by adding mini reefs.

"Mini reefs are essentially little nurseries," said Jim McDaniel, director of development for The Center of Anna Maria Island.

McDaniel says the center is working with Ocean Habitats Inc. to install mini reefs under boat docks around the island.

"They house young fish. They help hatch fish," said McDaniel.

The reefs take 6 to 10 months to mature.

Ocean Habitats says after maturity, one small reef filters 30,000 gallons of water every day. Helping to filter out the harmful bacteria.

"It cuts down on the chance of having algae blooms," said McDaniel.

McDaniel says one mini reef will filter nearly 11 million gallons of water each year.

By mid-January, McDaniel says they will have nearly 60 reefs installed around the island. Possibly cutting down on the chance of red tide.

"If you’re well-rested and eat well, you’re less likely to get sick. It's the same thing here with these reefs. The reefs are going to make the water cleaner and stronger," said McDaniel.

Some of the reefs have already been installed on the docks at Bridge Tender Inn.

The center says their overall goal is to educate people about conservation

"The bigger picture is single-use plastics, composting, and any educational program we can have," said Christopher Culhane, executive director, The Center of Anna Maria Island.

People and businesses can purchase a reef for $350. For more information visit