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Artificial "mini-reefs" being used to help clean canals

Posted: 6:29 PM, Jun 04, 2018
Updated: 2018-06-04 18:42:25-04

A new concept for cleaning canals is gaining popularity in some Florida cities. Many people living along canals in Marco Island are having artificial "mini-reefs" installed under their docks to attract crabs and other animals that naturally filter the water.

"Oysters, mussels, sea squirts...they grow up on (the artificial reefs,)" said David Wolff of Ocean Habitats, Inc., a nonprofit company that builds and installs the mini-reefs.

"They're removing all the algae and plankton in the water, then they expel clean water," he said. "(Then they attract) bigger fish, so you get a whole food web going on in the area."

Wolff said that the animals on just one 24" by 36" mini-reef can filter tens of thousands of gallons of water every day. He said there are currently over 400 of the artificial reefs installed under docks in Marco Island.

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