Save the Reef (Satellite Beach)

by PureOceanTV.com

The reef along central Florida’s coast is an exceptional ecosystem that many species depend on and hundreds of thousands of people enjoy each year. Growing up along this shoreline our lives have revolved around this unique ecosystem and the many activities it provides to us. Some of the best fishing and surfing in all of Florida coast is produced from the reef’s definitive structure and habitat it creates. This ecosystem is very unique and is named federally protected fish habitat under the Magnuson Stevens Act. It is a “full living reef” that is created by worm reef attaching and growing over the large coquina reef and provides a complete habitat for many species of turtles, fish, birds and other creatures that thrive off the food and shelter the reef provides. The reef attracts many visitors that are intrigued by its beauty and the abundance of life it provides. This creates a perfect environment for kids to experience a hand’s on learning adventure that is fun!  Kids enjoy playing in the rocks and finding different crabs and other creatures that they have never seen before.

Just recently, the Army Corp of Engineers released a ‘’final plan’’ for the mid reach Segment of Brevard County, from south end of PAFB to north Indialantic). The ACE has formulated a plan ‘’they say’’ that will only bury a few acres of reef but we all know how accurate the ACE is at predicting the outcome of their projects. After the dumping that occurred last time, we saw an immediate effect of dirtier water. It had a silty-Mississippi-river-color to it that fogged the water as it settled over the live reef.  We began to see the aftermath of the bad experiment from hundreds if not thousands of dead stone crab floating onto the shore.  The live worm reef became bridal, weak and broke free from the coquina reef which we had never seen happen before.

This took a tremendous toll on the reef, which was crumpling into pieces and dying on the shoreline. As the dirt suffocated the reef the waves changed making it so shallow the whole wave would break at once, forming one big close-out. Surfing became more dangerous and unpredictable. It pushed us to surf other places further away from our local breaks thus depleting the surf community.

With the dirty water it made it hard to fish. Snook,  flounder, and pompano love clear, clean water.  For years after they dumped the dirt, the fishing in Satellite Beach was not worth the effort so we would fish other places like the inlet or in the lagoon. The effect from the last dirt dumping is still noticeable. After a few days of windy conditions, the Mississippi river mud returns.

As the dump trucks come back, our natural beach and live reef will go away.  All the plants and animals that grow up in this precious ecosystem will leave or die. It’s time for us to start embracing what we are fortunate to still have; and save one of the most unique habitats and places along America’s coastline. Please help us stop using our taxpayer’s money to dump dirt on our special and irreplaceable reef. Write to the newspaper and also the elected officials who make the decisions on how our federal, state, and local taxes are spent. Please join the Sebastian inlet Surfrider chapter, get involved and make a difference. Please send your comments by April 14th to: Irene.sadowski@usace.army.mil

10 Comments

  1. brian hackney
    12 April 12, 8:45pm

    save satellite beach!

  2. Kyle Ebner
    12 April 12, 10:17pm

    I have been surfing and fishing the indian harbour bch and satellite bchs for decades. It is so upsetting to me that they want to ruin such a beautiful habitat just to put some sand on the beaches. What right do they think they have to ruin what mother nature created. Its not gonna change anything for the better. Its gonna ruin the surf and beaches that so many of us love cherish and for what so that a couple hurricanes can come and wash it all away. If they were smart they would be promoting building and adding on the reef which wont wash away. Why would you spend so much money on something that is just gonna wash away and forever ruin something they should have never messed with in the first place. I know for me as a kid it was alot more fun running around in the tide pools and checking out all the cool sea life in the rocks and reef than playing around in some stupid sand!

  3. 13 April 12, 2:27am

    Yet another Army Corps of Engineers debacle, this time burying the reefs I grew up fishing and surfing on in Satellite Beach. Outrageous…

  4. 13 April 12, 4:02pm

    I'm still of the school that "Mother Nature" can take care of herself. Albeit one of her years is about 1,000 of ours.Where are the local surfers to protest?

  5. 17 April 12, 12:31pm

    We have protested to our city and elected officials in Satellite Beach Florida and they are starting to side with the reef!! We gave them the facts and hopefully they won't send a letter of support to the ACE!!

  6. Jenny
    21 April 12, 2:56am

    Its not our place to alter what mother nature and mother ocean create- we need to seriously take a look at the long term effects & ramifications of our actions on more than the surface level. Destruction of a whole little ecosystem is a wicked thing I wouldn’t want on my conscience. I want my kids to enjoy this coast and it’s treasures some day. Wake up!

  7. dale
    21 May 12, 5:09pm

    Keep me in the loop please James of any new developments, so I can respond accordingly. I have written emails to all the offending parties but know that it is going to take much more to turn the tide (pun intended).

    • pureoceantv
      22 May 12, 11:51am

      Forsure, We will be finding out more info shortly and we will post an update on the site. Thank you for your great effort! It will take a bunch of us like you to stop this travesty from happening. THanks again.

  8. Monica Oropeza-Fossati Coles
    19 July 12, 12:53am

    I live in Satellite Beach area and LOVE our beautiful beach and what reef we have – PLEASE LET US KEEP THE REEF AND OCEAN PURE AND NOT DUMP IN IT!

  9. 04 December 12, 1:57am

    Thanks for your efforts!

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