Sunday, September 27, 2020

First Art Reef Design Honors the Sea Turtle


Art Reef modules on the barge: 34 modules in all will create the sea turtle design. Photos by Jodi Pree

Art Reef modules on the barge: 34 modules in all will create the sea turtle design. Photos by Jodi Pree

n Monday, June 26, 2017, final preparations for the Art Reef installation were being made as the McCulley barge was docked just north of the Jolley Bridge. Worldrenowned designer, Vito Di

Coordinates of the sea turtle Art Reef.

Coordinates of the sea turtle Art Reef.

Bari, was selected to design the centerpiece of the Paradise Coast Artificial Reef Project honoring a local endangered species. The underwater habitat will become a destination for scuba divers and charter
Boo McCulley (left) and Vito Di Bari

Boo McCulley (left) and Vito Di Bari

fishing.

“This project is making living sculptures of our endangered species and will serve as a reminder for our future generations. The City of Naples selected their beloved, endangered sea turtle to

Captain Frank Masters

Captain Frank Masters

honor,” explained Vito Di Bari. “This is the first project of its kind to combine an artificial reef and a work of art. A second one will be installed in three
Each module weighs 6,000 pounds, has a height of 8 feet and a footprint of 10 feet.

Each module weighs 6,000 pounds, has a height of 8 feet and a footprint of 10 feet.

months in the British Virgin Islands for Sir Richard Branson. His mother, Eve Branson, has been like a guardian angel for the Art Reef project. I consider Diane Flagg to be
Diane Flagg, Chair of the Economic Recovery Task Force (ERFT)

Diane Flagg, Chair of the Economic Recovery Task Force (ERFT)

the mother of this project. She really made it happen.”

Deployment of the Sea Turtle design commenced on Tuesday morning. The Art Reef is nestled in the middle of four existing reefs,

Captain Frank Masters points out the coordinates and describes the detailed implementation task ahead.

Captain Frank Masters points out the coordinates and describes the detailed implementation task ahead.

located just 17 miles from Gordon Pass.

“Within 8 hours, my 12-member crew, including a six-man dive team, will have all 34 modules placed upright and on the nose,” explained Boo Mc-

Boo McCulley and Corinne Frederick

Boo McCulley and Corinne Frederick

Culley owner of McCulley Marine. “We have 30 years of experience in artificial reef building. This installation is precise with GPS coordinates to ensure that each module is angled and fits
The Di Bari family, from left: Michele, Vito, Alessio, and Martina.

The Di Bari family, from left: Michele, Vito, Alessio, and Martina.

together just right for the design.”

For more information about the Paradise Coast Artificial Reef Project contact Economic Recovery Task Force (ERTF) Chair, Diane Flagg at diane.flagg@att.net or 239-784-5580.

For more information about Vito Di Bari’s designs go to: www.dibari-id.com.

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