FORT MYERS, Fla. — Old hockey sticks are making homes for oysters. Florida Gulf Coast University’s Rink2Reef project uses donated hockey sticks to create oyster habitats. The goal was to eliminate sending hockey sticks to the landfill and cleaning up the water.
“One of these habitats with 400 oysters can filter over 20,000 gallons of water,” said Bob Wasno, resource coordinator at Florida Gulf Coast University’s Vester Marine Lab.
Since the project began a few years ago, they’ve installed 35 Rink2Reefs in Bonita Springs and Fort Myers Beach. Now, Fort Myers wants to get on board. Fort Myers City Councilman for Ward 5 Fred Burson is proposing to add 40 oyster habitats to Centennial Park in downtown Fort Myers.
Eventually, Burson hopes to propose for the city to pay 50% of the cost for private homeowners to install the devices on their own personal docks.
“If we can get everybody on the river to put these small reefs underneath their docks, just think of collectively how many hundreds of thousands of gallons of water we can clean,” Burson said.
Burson plans to propose the city council to vote on this plan at the meeting on Monday.