You”re heading out to the dive spot and the wind is blowing, and you can feel the mist hitting you on the face. You can smell that sweet scent of the saltwater. The boat slows down and drops anchor. The dive master tells everyone to get their gear together and get ready to hit the water. You put on your flippers, and spit in your goggles to prevent fog, and then you put them on. As you waddle to the rear of the boat, you see how calm and peaceful the ocean is. Your oxygen tank is turned on then and SPLASH as you fall in the water backwards. You begin to kick and go deeper into the cold water. As the further down you go the more of an abundance of fish you see. You reach the sea floor and quickly realize that something is different; on the floor is a sunken ship and marine plant life is living all over it. What you have just swam into, is an artificial reef, one of 2000+ along the coast of Florida.
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Many different things can make up an artificial reef, for example sunken ships, tires, concrete rubble, or other junk. A more exact definition is one or more objects of natural or human origin deployed purposefully on the seafloor to influence physical, biological, or socioeconomic processes related to living marine resources. Like I mentioned before there are more than 2000 artificial reefs along Florida. One near Fort Lauderdale is made up of 2 million tires. Some other areas that have a large concentration are Duval county (Jacksonville area), Dade county (Miami area), and Broward county. .
Artificial reefs can be both good and bad. First I”ll start with the good. They are a huge attraction for fish, and other marine life. Also they provide a new area for marine plants to grow on. The plants will cover these artificial reefs trying find the best spot for them to catch flowing plankton. With these junk there are a lot of holes, which create hiding spots for the fish. Many different fish live in these areas, such as wahoo, kingfish, snapper, grouper, cobia, permits, and African pompano.