An edition of: WaterAtlas.orgPresented By: Sarasota County, USF Water Institute

Water-Related News

Siesta pilot mini-reef program looks for grant funds

Now that the mini reef program has about 60 participants, Siesta Key Association members are beginning to monitor the water levels.

Around 880 homes along Siesta Key’s Grand Canal have docks, and thanks to a grassroots effort, about 60 of them now have mechanisms to help clean the murky canal water.

In December 2020, members of the Siesta Key Association began a pilot program asking homeowners along the canal to install passive devices called mini reefs under their docks to attract marine species that naturally improve water quality.

Jean Cannon, who has helped lead the effort, said when she started asking homeowners to participate, she expected about 10 participants. However, after the first week, she had 23 interested homeowners.

“The interest was just incredible,” Cannon said. “I wasn’t expecting that many.”

And it hasn’t slowed down. After a planned installation in February, around 80 homes will have the devices tethered to their docks. The reefs are 3 feet wide, 2 feet deep and 2 feet tall with four levels to attract sea life.

Once established, each reef can host enough life to filter 30,000 gallons of water daily.