HILLSBORO INLET ARTIFICIAL REEF
Great Lakes Dock & Dredge
(for Hillsboro Inlet District
Town of Hillsboro Beach, Florida
Engineer of Record
Coastal Systems International
Date of Completion
In 2002, the widening and deepening of the Hillsboro Inlet channel, required the removal of hard bottom from the northern tip of an adjacent natural reef. As part of the permit conditions authorizing this activity, The Hillsboro Inlet District was required to create an artificial reef consisting of 8,000 tons of 3 to 5 foot diameter limestone boulders deployed over a 1.65 acre area.
In conjunction with the coastal engineer, Shoreline Foundation meticulously placed each of the approximately 2,200 boulders in 7 to 12 feet of water on the designated site located just to the west of the natural hard bottom area and 400 feet east of shore. The boulders, which were hand selected at a quarry in Miami-Dade County, were trucked to an upland staging area and transferred to a dedicated materials transfer barge. The materials barge was towed into location in ocean waters just outside of, and to the south of, the Hillsboro Inlet. Waiting in position on the reef site, a second Shoreline Foundation barge, equipped with a tug, crane and crew, lifted each individual boulder and lowered it to the bottom under the direction of a team of divers. The position of each boulder was recorded utilizing Global Positioning System at the time of placement. At a production rate of 50 to 70 boulders per day, the entire operation required about 9 months to complete.
Shoreline Foundation took great pride in the construction of this artificial reef, which over time will serve as the foundation for a natural reef system. The reef will mature and become more biologically complex every day and serve as habitat for spiny lobster, a variety of crab, and a diverse community of fish including, but not limited to: snapper, grouper, barracuda, sharks, and tarpon. It will also serve as a recreational resource for generations of divers and fishermen.