Effort to save rare reefs galvanizes environmentalists

Concerns over possible environmental damage by sand burying rare near-shore reefs in Brevard County’s Mid-reach (Satellite Beach, Indian Harbour Beach, Indialantic) has prompted an organized “Save The Mid-reach” effort culminating with its first event “Hands Across the Reef” Saturday at Pelican Beach Park.
Officials plan to put up to 573,000 cubic yards of sand on 10 locations along 7.8 miles of beach, from just south of Patrick Air Force Base south to Flug Avenue. That would widen the beach by 10 to 20 feet.
Patterned off the successful “Hands Across the Sand” event in Cocoa Beach in response to the BP oil spill, “Hands Across the Reef” aims at not only stopping the current beach re-nourishment project, but also changing the philosophy behind sand renourishment as it relates to the Mid-reach reefs, said organizer Matt Fleming.
Fleming said he is not opposed to the concrete mats currently being installed to create sea turtle habitat to make up for the up to 4.8 acres of rock that would be buried by the sand.
He questions the science and intent of the overall Mid-reach re-nourishment effort.
Hosted by Save The Mid-Reach and Surfrider Foundation-Sebastian Inlet Chapter, the event starts with music and refreshments at 10 a.m. followed by speakers with information about the project and efforts to try to block it during the upcoming funding process. Finally there will be the sharing of personal stories about the reefs that have been the heart of the Brevard community for more than 60 years.
A human chain along the shore will be held at 11:34 a.m. to coincide with low tide when reefs are most visible.

Leave a Comment