Florida >> Martin County >> Martin County Artifical Reefs

Martin County Artifical Reefs

Martin County and the City of Stuart are known for excellent fishing but many residents and visitors don’ know that some of the best fishing is on four (4) artificial reefs that sit between Jensen Beach and Stuart.

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Martin County Artificial Reefs

The locations of the Martin County FL artificial reefs

The artificial reefs in Martin County are in four areas named Nearshore, Donaldson, Sirotkin, and Ernst.

These reefs range from very shallow areas about 8 feet deep very close to shore at just 900 feet from the shoreline to offshore reefs in 75 feet of water that are 4.7 nautical miles from the St Lucie Inlet.

The reefs are made of a variety of different materials from old barges and concrete to man made pyramid modules called Reefmakers designed specifically for reef construction.

Nearshore Reef Sites

There are three Nearshore Reef sites that are in about 16 to 22 feet of water and are about 1000 feet from the shoreline.  These sites are the best for snorkeling because they are in shallow water.

The near shore reefs are popular for both fishing and snorkeling and have an abundance of fish including Goliath Grouper, Stingrays, Snook, and bait fish.

Nearshore Reef A is 900 feet from shore just south of the public beach in Jensen Beach. 

Nearshore Reef A is located at:  Latitude N 27° 14.412’  Longitude W 80° 11.098

Nearshore Reef B is 1000 feet east of the Tiger Shores beach access area.
Nearshore Reef B is located at: Latitude N 27° 13.533’  Longitude W 80° 11.098 80° 10.647’

Nearshore Reef C is just south of Nearshore Reef B. It is the largest of the three Nearshore Reefs and has the most marine life of the three near shore reefs.

Goliath Grouper Martin County Reefs

A Goliath Grouper on the Martin County Artificial Reef

Donaldson Reef Sites

The 12 Donaldson Reef sites are located almost directly east of the St Lucie Inlet.  These reef sites range from 2.9 to 4.2 nautical miles from the Inlet. The depths of the Donaldson Reef Sites range from 50 to 67 feet deep.

The Donaldson Reef sites are teeming with fishing including Cobia, Kingfish, Pompano, Snook, Barracuda, Goliath Group, and even schools of Tarpon.  Some of the older reef sites like the Cement Barge (deployed in 1984) are heavily encrusted with

Following are the locations of the Donaldson Reef Sites and their distance from the St Lucie Inlet.

Reef NameLatitude NLongitude W
Cement Barge27° 12.639’80° 06.598’
Clifton Perry Memorial Reef27° 13.352’‘80° 06.131’
Donaldson Triangle - Reefmaker27° 11.695’80° 05.716’
Guardian Reef27° 12.913’80° 06.750’
Inlet Barge27° 12.019’80° 05.687’
LC-627° 12.959’80° 06.803’
PCL Shallow (Lyons Bridge)27° 13.045’80° 05.743’
Pipe Barge27° 13.364’80° 06.959’
The Owl27° 12.745’80° 06.546’
The Texas Reef27° 11.522’80° 06.489’
Traffic Barge27° 12.907’80° 06.800’
Upside-Down Barge27° 13.948’80° 06.715’

Turtle on Martin County Reef

A turtle on the Martin County Artificial Reef

Sirotkin Reef Sites

The Sirotkin Reef sites are almost directly east of the Donaldson sites and are directly east of the St Lucie Inlet. These reefs range in depth from 80 feet to 190 feet. Like most of the artificial reefs the Sirotkin reefs are good examples of recycling. Old concrete railroad ties, a tugboat, a barge, and 168 foot freighter are the materials used to create the Sirotkin artifical reefs.

The locations of the Sirotkin Reef Sites and their distance from the St Lucie Inlet can be found on the Martin County Reefs website.

Ernst Reefs

The Ernst Reef sites are the furthest south of the Martin County Artificial reefs. There are four sites in 61 to 75 feet of water. The Ernst Reefs are between 4 and 4.8 miles from the St Lucie Inlet.

Corner Barge

The Corner Barge sits in 70 Feet of Water and is a steel barge.  The location of the Corner Barge is Lat N27 09.399’ , Longitude W80 03.256’

Evans Crary

The Evans Crary reef was created with concrete and deck span pieces from the old Evans Crary Bridge. This reef has a huge amount of marine life and is in 75 feet of water.

The Location of the Evans Crary Reef is Lat N27 09.360’ , Lon W80 03.355’

North Barge

The North Barge is the Northernmost Barge in the Ernst Triangle and sits in 70 feet of water.  The North Barge is located at Lat N27 09.395’ , Lon W80 03.312’ .

South Barge

The South Barge is in the southernmost corner of the Ernst Triangle and sits in 70 feet of water. This reef site has extensive marine life and is located at N27 09.312’ , Lon W80 03.200’.

Comments about: Martin County Artifical Reefs

why were artificial reefs created? is this for recreation or preservation?

By diane on 10-10-2009

The artificial reefs create a marine habitat - a place where coral can grow, and fish and other animals can thrive. The reefs are for fishing, diving, and research.

By Inside Florida on 10-12-2009

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