Reef Recreation: Designing with Nature to Redevelop an Ecological Catastrophe in the Atlantic Ocean into a Flourishing Aquatic Habitat and Coastal Protection Site (2015)

Client Organization: 
Osborne Reef
Project Location : 
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Summary of Project Idea: 

In the early 1970s a failed effort at creating Osborne Reef, an artificial fishery resulted in the release of two million tires into the Atlantic Ocean outside Fort Lauderdale, Florida, further endangering already threatened coral reef habitat. The tires blanket habitat areas and travel with ocean and storm currents, impacting into delicate coral structures along the way.  Efforts to remove the tires have proven inadequate at addressing this ecological threat. Through interviews and academic research we have studied the history and practice of artificial reef construction in general and Osborne Reef in particular.  We are proposing a series of interventions that will respond to varied conditions created by the tires at the seafloor that will neutralize the detrimental effects of the tires.  These interventions will both carry cultural value, and will help support the growth of new coral habitat where appropriate, mitigating habitat lost to the Osborne Reef tires.

SEAS Program Areas: 
Landscape Architecture
SEAS Faculty Advisor: 
Bob Grese and Kathy Velikov
Master Students Involved in Project: 
  • Robert Cabral, MUP/MLA Landscape Architecture
  • Robert Primeau, MLA Landscape Architecture 
Project Status: 
Past Project