Chapter: South Palm Beach
Contact: J.D. Dickenson
The Goggle Eye Reef was once a productive reef that was completely smothered by sand 10 to 15 years ago. On September 15, 2015, about 700 tons of limestone boulders and scrap concrete were dumped into the ocean about a half-mile northeast of the Boynton Beach Inlet in an effort to rebuild the natural reef that had been degraded by years storms and shifting sand. Workers on a tugboat and a 200-foot barge spent most of the day at the reef site. J.D. Dickenson of the South Palm Beach chapter of the CCA Florida, which spearheaded the project, and Palm Beach County Environmental Resources Management engineers monitored the reef construction. CCA Florida raised $85,000 in grants and donations to build the reef, which will provide ideal habitats for fish on the natural limestone Goggle Eye Reef, which was covered by sand.
Most of the money for the project came from the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties, which contributed $55,000, and Impact 100, which awarded grants totalling $17,000. The project also received funding from CCA’s Building Conservation Trust Fund, the Merrill G. and Emita E. Hastings Foundation, and many individual contributors. Eventually the reef will recruit sea fans and live corals and is expected to attract as many as 60 species of fish. Near shore artificial reefs are badly needed in South Palm Beach County as many natural reefs have been eroded and covered by sand. There are more inlets in the southern part of the county coastline and more beach renourishment projects, both of which contribute to natural reef systems being buried by shifting sands.