NewsRegion South PinellasMadeira Beach


USF alum's man-made reefs help local homeowners get cool fish while cleaning bay waters

Mini Reefs attach under boat docks
Posted at 3:32 AM, Jun 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-14 06:32:26-04

MADEIRA BEACH, Fla. -- David Wolff hears the same lament from Tampa Bay area homeowners before he swims under another boat dock to attach one of his Mini Reefs.

“If they’ve lived in Florida for awhile, all they talk about is how clear the water used to be, and how green it is now,” says Woof, who studied marine biology at the University of South Florida.

Wolff’s clients want cleaner water, more fish, more crabs and critters and bivalves. Pollution and construction across the Tampa Bay area is decimating natural habitats like mangroves.

For a donation of around $250 to his non-profit Ocean Habitats, Wolff delivers and installs an eco-friendly Mini Reef. Hiss passion project he calls “scaffolding for life to grow” is made of recyclable materials.

The installation process takes only about five minutes.

After just a few months, the life gathering in each Mini Reef can filter as much as 30,000 gallons of water a day. It also helps protect hundreds of fish and saltwater creatures.

After graduating from USF, Wolff left the marine life for real estate. The money was good, but he wanted his four children to see him do something helpful for the environment.

So far he has installed about 700 Mini Reefs across Florida the state, with about 20 of them placed in the Tampa Bay area.

For more information on the Mini Reef, visit