Florida Sea Grant Extension in Collier County

Welcome to the Collier County Sea Grant Extension Blog

This blog is an opportunity for me to share with you my extension outreach efforts and useful information to make you a more informed coastal citizen. If you have any questions about what you see, feel free to contact me at fluech@ufl.edu.

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Monday, August 16, 2010

Santa Lucia Reef Clean Up

Boats from the Sheriff's Office, EMS, Solo
 Lobo Charters and Grand Slam Charters
 particpated in today's clean up event
Today my colleagues and I did a clean up on the Santa Lucia Reef, one of the most heavily fished artificial reefs in Naples. The reef sits in about 28 feet of water north of Gordans Pass and is made up of a 46-foot long concrete Cuban turtle boat surrounded by concrete pilings. As a result of its popularity, the reef accumulates large amounts of fishing gear including cast nets, lines, lures, and anchors. Besides the threats the abandoned gear has on marine life, it also acts as a hazard to anglers who commonly get their equipment caught up on the site.
This is the 3rd year we've done the clean up and as always, its a multi-partner effort. Divers from Rookery Bay, City of Naples, the County's Environmental Services and Coastal Zone Management Departments and the Collier County Sheriff's Department participated in the clean up.

A few of many cast nets
 retreived from today's
clean up
We also had the help of  Captains Eric Alexander and Brandown Lawson of Solo Lobo Charters and Captain Will Geraghy of Grand Slam Charters. They have always been more than generous with the use of their boats and time, and their volunteerism is greatly appreciated.

For safety purposes, medical staff from the County's Emergency Management Services were also present topside in case something was to happen. Fortunately, it did not, but I wanted to thank them for coming.

The visibility wasn't great, and removing nets from the wreck made it even worse, but overall it was a successful event. We removed about a dozen cast nets, three anchors, several beer bottles, and lots of fishing line and lures. In all we removed several hundred pounds of debris from the site. Not a bad way to start off the week. Thanks everyone for their hard work!!!

From Left to Right: Chris Darco, Pam Keyes, Me, Monique Banhart, Katie Laakkonen,
Carly Points, Captain Brandon Lawson, and Captain Eric Alexander

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