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SBEP plans $20,000 reef expansion

Habitat reef balls are lowered into Sarasota Bay. Islander Photo: SBEP

A donation from a sporting group will help build up an artificial reef program in Sarasota Bay.

The Sarasota Sportsmen’s Association recently donated $5,000 to the Sarasota Bay Estuary Program for a reef program. The SSA is a nonprofit outdoors organization. The SBEP was founded to protect the Sarasota Bay estuary and partners with local, state and federal governments.

The SSA’s total contribution to SBEP since 2003 is $42,500.

And SBEP’s investment in artificial reefs has resulted in the placement of nearly 3,000 habitat modules on nine new reefs since 2000.

In the next year, SBEP plans to invest $20,000 to build and deploy 100 habitat modules at three reefs in the region. Modules, depending on size, range in price from $50 to $300.

The organization has a new, larger module that can provide deep cover to juvenile gag groupers.

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