Southeast
1000 Mermaids Event

1000 Mermaids Project Adds to Palm Beach County's Cache of Artificial Reefs with Deployment of 18 Sculptures

The 1000 Mermaids Artificial Reef Project is a public eco-art installation created in partnership with Reef Cells that serves as an underwater eco-friendly destination for eco-tourism and coral growth.

The 1000 Mermaids Artificial Reef Project is proud to have deployed the first 18 of their artistically crafted artificial reef modules into the ocean in Palm Beach County, two and a half years after the project was originally conceived. The 1000 Mermaids Project & Gallery of 1000 Mermaids is a monumental Public Eco-Art project in the form of an artificial reef installation that also serves as an underwater eco-friendly destination for coral restoration, eco-tourism & research. These artificial Reef Sculptures, outfitted with the newly developed patented "Coral Lok" system were built by Boynton Beach-based artist and Reef Cells founder Chris O'Hare and designed in collaboration with the artist duo behind the 1000 Mermaids Project - Ernest Vasquez and Sierra Rasberry.

Reef Cells are a new and unique solution to bio-marine enhancement, that provides many interconnected cavities and internal surfaces exposed to sunlight and water current in addition to being outfitted with "Coral Lok" Coral Frag Plugs - a coral fastener that can immediately attach a living coral to an artificial coral reef with a simple twist. Coral Lok's allow for more coral fragments - one of the most encouraging developments in the race to save the worlds coral reefs, to be deployed back into the ocean faster and easier with safer materials than ever before. This revolutionary reef design with embedded coral fastener receiver plugs for the Coral Lok's to be applied to is the first of its kind to be deployed in the world and are placed a mile southeast of the Lake Worth Inlet, in the area of artificial reefs created from the former Riviera Beach Marina and the old Flagler Bridge.

"The donation of 18 modules by Reef Cells for the 1000 Mermaids Artificial Reef Project to Palm Beach County is beneficial to the nearshore reef ecosystem, great for the dive community and is the start of a great partnership with the County,"said Jena McNeal, artificial reef coordinator with the Palm Beach County Environmental Resources Management Department. "These artificial reef modules have been well thought out and constructed to entice reef fish and benthic organisms to utilize them while at the same time being beautiful pieces of art that divers are going to want to come and see and be photographed with. The County looks forward to continue working with this group over the next few years."

The 1000 Mermaids Artificial Reef Project aims to bring awareness to the growing problems affecting our natural reefs by taking the first step for helping the environment by continually educating the general public on issues they may not be aware of on the surface but are happening underneath the water through various initiatives. Partnering with Reef Cells who has successfully deployed hundreds of artificial reefs in South Florida is a tremendous step for this revolutionary project, fusing art with marine biology as Reef Cells develops artificial reef sculptures that actually look and function like real natural reefs through various designs.

Reef Cells are built with eco-friendly materials including limestone concrete & calcium carbonate that encourage corals and other sea creatures to attach themselves to the reef with reef shapes that are strategically designed to provide a home to thousands of fish and invertebrate. Reef Cells are a proven solution for building new reef communities while providing destinations for divers to experience the thrill of exploring these unique underwater sculpture gardens.

"It has been a beautiful dream in the making to help bring this revolutionary project to life as a solution to help save our vital reef systems, it will be an incredible accomplishment when these artificial reefs start enhancing our reef systems and. We're extremely excited to be providing opportunities for our local communities including citizen science opportunities enabling anyone from a middle school student to a veteran to help us out-plant coral fragments while diving the reef," says Evan Snow, Project Manager & Executive Director of the 1000 Mermaids Project.

In addition, Reef Cells is continually working on developing custom artificial reef solutions for public/private businesses and government entities in areas affected by Hurricanes from the Bahamas to Long Island. Reef Cells has been researching & developing the benefits that coral reef structures bring to shorelines by providing a buffer against waves, storms, and floods, and utilizing this information in their revolutionary designs - helping to contribute against future loss of life, property damage, and erosion through the use of these immense 3,500lbs structures. According to NOAA, when reefs are damaged or destroyed, the absence of this natural barrier can increase the damage to coastal communities from normal wave action and violent storms. These solutions are being researched and developed in South Florida, and able to be shipped via shipping container to any effected region and deployed on site with oversight and guidance from the Reef Cells team.

It is estimated that coral reefs provide $375 billion per year around the world in goods and services with NOAA suggesting that in South Florida alone our reefs have an asset value of $8.5 billion generating $4.4 billion in local sales & $2 billion in local income supporting over 70,000 jobs. With current coral disease & bleaching events disrupting our Florida Reef Tract and destroying up to 50% of our natural reefs, Reef Cells developments come at an invaluable time as a promising innovation to saving our reefs at a nominal cost compared to the real world value of our coral reef eco-systems.

Mermaids have long been a symbol of humans’ connection to the Ocean, and this artificial reef project is being created by body casting and 3D scanning real people in the form of mermaids onto artistically crafted artificial reef modules that will allow their likeness and legacy to live forever on the sea floor. The 1000 Mermaids Artificial Reef Project is a pending 501 (c)3 Florida Not For Profit Corporation, and the Gallery of 1000 Mermaids initiative - an underwater eco-art gallery planned for Fort Lauderdale is seeking funding to help build this new coral restoration & ecotourism attraction that will also double as a buffer against waves, storms, and floods. Donations can be made on their website at www.1000mermaids.com or questions can be emailed to them at info@1000mermaids.com to arrange for your own casting and module.

About the 1000 Mermaids
The 1000 Mermaids Artificial Reef Project & Gallery of 1000 Mermaids is a monumental public EcoArt project in the form of an artificial reef installation that will also serve as an underwater eco-friendly destination for coral restoration, tourism & research. Its mission is to enhance marine habitats and expand fishery populations while providing enhanced creative, economic and educational opportunities for the benefit, education and enjoyment of residents, students and visitors alike. For more information, the public can visit 1000mermaids.com, “Like” us on Facebook at facebook.com/1000mermaids, follow us on Instagram @1000mermaids or call (954) 361-4998.