Guy Harvey Magazine

WIN-SPR 2018

Guy Harvey Magazine is focused on fishing, boating, scuba diving, and marine conservation. Portfolios from the world's best fishing photographers, articles on gear, travel, tournaments, apparel, lifestyle, seafood recipes, sustainable fisheries.

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Page 22 of 83 | 23 of reasons. As it turns out, the Neptune Memorial Reef is one of the most popular dive sites in Miami. Not just from families of the gone-but-not-forgotten, but with the general diving public as well. It's only 40 feet to the sandy bottom, and the sweeping concrete arches rise up to a depth of 25, so it's a stunning place to blow bubbles and enjoy the benefits of weightlessness for an hour or so. In fact, the divers help in other ways, too. "Some of the dive clubs come out and clean the plaques," Jim said. " They'll bring wire brushes and scrub them off. We use copper to resist invertebrate growth, and the engraving is deep and wide enough so that it creates a place for white coralline algae. The copper turns a beautiful green patina. It's a nice contrast to the white lettering." So sure, the uniqueness of the burial site is undeniable, but just how beneficial is this reef for the ocean environment, really? As with many artificial reefs, it is good. Neptune Reef is located in a marine protected area so there's no fishing or spearfishing allowed. There's only sightseeing and the sealife is prolific. As part of the permitting process, they were required to design it to accommodate small fish and invertebrates, as well as large animals. "Our last survey results showed more than 80 species," Hutslar said. "And we're even starting to see sharks there on a regular basis." Local marine biologists are now using the reef as a home base to study myriad aspects of how artificial reefs work. They even found one species of sea urchin they thought was extinct. So, as they say, from death comes life. Top right: An exclusive placement, the centerpiece is surrounded by the welcome feature columns and canopy. Middle right: A memorial copper plaque with the name of the deceased and life dates is placed on the reef feature. Bottom right: A certified scuba diver visits the reef during deployment.

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