Coastal Conservation Association Florida today shared details regarding the upcoming deployment of the Voici Bernadette, creating the newest artificial reef in St. Lucie County. The CCA Curtis Bostick Reef, consisting of the 180-foot steel vessel seized by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, will be deployed on Saturday, June 23, (weather dependent) 12 nautical miles southeast of the Ft. Pierce Inlet at approximately 27° 23.485’N, 80° 02.124’W. The public is invited to attend the offshore deployment in private vessels.
“This reef adds a vital structure that will become a thriving asset for marine life and anglers for generations to come,” said Patrick Murray, president of CCA. “It is a fitting tribute to Curtis Bostick, who was truly a legend in marine conservation. Curtis brought an amazing set of business skills in finding pragmatic solutions for the challenges facing our nation’s coastal waters and was an effective and passionate advocate for the role of anglers as stewards of our marine resources. We are proud to honor his life and conservation legacy with this reef.”
Bostick was a devoted angler and conservationist. In addition to his many years of direct involvement in the federal fisheries management process, he was founding member of CCA Florida and took key leadership roles in both the state and national organizations. He was a founding member of the board of the Bonefish & Tarpon Trust and most recently served as treasurer of the Center for SportfishingPolicy.
The steel ship will serve as the primary reef structure, with high profile sides that will mimic the pinnacles of the Oculina Banks deepwater coral reefs unique to the Treasure and Space Coasts. In addition, the ship will contain over 200 tons of concrete, donated by Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC), which will help to stabilize the vessel in an upright position in approximately 100-feet of water.
“We understand the many benefits of artificial reefs, to our fisheries, our economies and our members,” said Brian Gorski, CCA Florida Executive Director. “With our partners, we’ve deployed three artificial reefs similar to this structure in the state since last year and we’re looking forward to more.”
The total project cost of approximately $125,000 is being supported by partnerships, including CCA Florida, CCA’s Building Conservation Trust – the national habitat program of CCA, 5Fin Clothing, the CCA Music City chapter, St. Lucie County and MMPS Environmental, Inc.