Guice Offshore’s GO America Transports Second Deployment of “1000 Mermaids” for New Environmentally Beneficial Artificial Reef Site In Hollywood, Florida
With offshore transportation from Guice Offshore’s GO America on October 31, 2022, 20 “mermaids”–specially crafted ocean-friendly artificial reef modules made to look like mermaids and other creations–were deployed to help construct an artificial reef of the coast of Hollywood, Florida as part of the highly publicized local “1000 Mermaids” project.
It was the second deployment for the Ocean Rescue Alliance (ORA) in partnership with the City of Hollywood’s Community Redevelopment Agency for the 1000 Mermaids Artificial Reef Project and the first in Broward County. The Oct. 31 Hollywood site deployment brought the total number of artificial reef structures deployed in the ocean off South Florida’s coast to 100 since the project was originally launched five years ago.
With her broad deck space and heavy equipment, including a crane and winch, the GO America activated her dynamic positioning system to assist in carefully placing the Mermaids at their officially designated coordinates in the ocean.
1000 Mermaids Project 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 and research.The
The artificial reef sculptures, weighing between 2,200-3,300 lbs. each, are outfitted with the patented “Coral Lok” system that enables coral to be out-planted directly to them. These revolutionary reef sculptures were placed just a few miles southeast of the Port Everglades Inlet in an area where thousands of corals are required to be transplanted as part of ongoing port expansion projects.
Watch the video here:
Thanks to ORA’s contributions to initiatives accelerating coral restoration efforts in Southeast Florida, this site is designed to become a recipient area for transplanted corals, thus providing a variety of community-based, citizen science and educational opportunities. Of the 20 artificial reef Mermaid structures that were deployed by the GO America, five featured artistic sculptures such as mermaids, among which some had a swim-up selfie mermaid tail, and an industrial diver suit. The remaining 15 structures, built by Reef Cells in Boynton Beach, have biological bases specifically engineered to support fish habitat and provide coral restoration opportunities. “The Hollywood 1000 Mermaids Artificial Reef Project site will enhance the nearshore reef ecosystem and serve as a real attraction for the dive community,” said Hollywood Mayor Josh Levy. “These artificial reef modules will entice reef fish and support coral restoration, while at the same time being beautiful pieces of art that divers will want to come and see and be photographed with. The City is excited to work with Ocean Rescue Alliance to continue to expand this project and offer additional underwater sites that beachgoers can swim to from the shore. “ The Ocean Rescue Alliance’s 1000 Mermaids Artificial Reef Project works to bring awareness to the growing problems affecting our natural reefs by educating the general public on issues they may not be aware of on the surface, but that are happening underneath the water. Partnering with Reef Cells, an organization that has successfully deployed hundreds of artificial reefs in South Florida, is a tremendous step for the 1000 Mermaids project by fusing art and science to develop artistic reef sculptures that look and function like natural reefs. “The Ocean Rescue Alliance is looking forward to deploying this artificial reef in partnership with the City of Hollywood to make a reef site that truly connects the community back to the marine environment,” said Shelby Thomas, Co-Founder and CEO of Ocean Rescue Alliance. “More importantly, this reef site will continuously host and protect marine life while facilitating unique opportunities that will serve the community for generations to come. We could not be more excited to announce more of our education and outreach programs that will be implemented at this site and throughout the community with partners such as The South Florida Association of Environmental Professionals, The Reef Discovery Center, Nova Southeastern University and many more.” Reef Cells uses eco-friendly materials, including limestone concrete and calcium carbonate that encourages corals and other sea creatures to attach themselves to the reef by incorporating reef shapes that are strategically designed to provide a home to thousands of fish and invertebrates. 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.
Mermaids have long been a symbol of humans’ connection to the ocean. Sculptures for this installation were created by using 3D scans of real people to create the mermaids that are artistically crafted onto the modules. “It has been a beautiful dream five years in the making to help bring this revolutionary project to life in our backyard as a solution to hopefully help save our vital reef systems before it’s too late. 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,” said Evan Snow, Co-Founder & COO of the Ocean Rescue Alliance and 1000 Mermaids Project. It is estimated that coral reefs provide an economic impact of $375 billion per year worldwide in goods and services, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). In South Florida, alone reefs have an asset value of $8.5 billion, generating $4.4 billion in local sales and $2 billion in local income supporting over 70,000 jobs. With current coral disease and bleaching events disrupting the Florida Reef Tract, ORA and Reef Cells developments come at a critical time, providing a promising innovation for saving South Florida’s reefs at a nominal cost compared with the real world value of our coral reef eco-systems. The Ocean Rescue Alliance and its 1000 Mermaids Artificial Reef Project is an established 501 (c)3 Florida Not For Profit Corporation. Support for the project can be provided through donations, merchandise and plaque purchases, and opportunities to “adopt-a-coral.” For more information go to www.1000mermaids.com or www.oceanrescuealliance.org.
Watch news coverage of the October 31 deployment on WPLG Channel 10, the South Florida ABC News affiliate here:
Mermaids ProjectAbout The Ocean Rescue Alliance and 1,000
Ocean Rescue Alliance (ORA) is a marine conservation and restoration non-profit organization that implements innovative technologies to restore our marine environments. Through the creation of artificial reefs designed to incorporate art, innovative designs, and environmentally safe materials, ORA will enhance marine habitats and provide unique diving locations worldwide. Our artificial reefs serve as a targeted solution in the face of pressing marine habitat challenges, to increase coastal resiliency, expand ecosystem services and create lasting habitat for biodiverse marine organisms.
The 1,000 Mermaids Artificial Reef Project and Gallery of 1,000 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 and 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. “Like” them on Facebook at facebook.com/1000mermaids and follow them on Instagram @1000mermaids.