I had learned a great deal while going through the permitting process for Atlantis, and one thing was for
sure – it would be a waste to not the knowledge I had obtained to good use.
Over dinner with friends one evening, while we were talking about 2008 being the “Year of the Reef”, I had
a new idea. A meeting with the Department of Environmental Resource Management was set and
attended the following week where it was agreed that this new reef project should be created. The location
for the placement of man-made reefs was also pinpointed. The words “SAVE THE REEFS” would be
constructed with 200-foot letters made up of reef material along a 3,000-foot stretch of sandy bottom 35
feet underwater off the shore of Key Biscayne, Florida.
This new endeavor will be known as The Miami Reef Project.
This new project made one thing clear. We would become Reef Builders USA, not just for Atlantis, but for
reefs anywhere they were needed.
Reef Builders USA was formed, and The Miami Reef Project was well on its way to becoming a reality. Once
again, the story was happening all over again. Ideas needed to be communicated, websites needed to be
arranged, permitting needed to be obtained, funding had to be found and so on.
Reef Builders USA found the perfect materials for The Miami Reef Project in an alliance with REEFMAKERS
and their owner David Walters, who invented and patented the most innovative reef product on the
Our next challenge was finding a way to build these man-made reefs without the assistance of government
funding, such funding being very scarce for reef building. We agreed that The Miami Reef Project needed a concept
in order to make the building happen. “Living Circles” was the answer. The man-made reef will be created with stacks of living circles of
limestone and cement, each circle having five to eight circles weighing in at over 600 pounds per circle. As
the ecosystems develop underwater, we expect Living Circles to become very well known.
So what’s the message of the Miami Reef Project? For me, it is proof that you can build a thriving marine
environment with human hands and common material.
We have a chance to show the world that we can make a monumental difference and “Save the Reefs”. I
like to think of it as a global wake up call.