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March 2015    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 30, No. 3   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Want to Put Your Name on a Reef? Got $100,000?

from the March, 2015 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Martin Wasmer is well known in money management circles, but now his name will be associated with scuba diving, too. The CEO of Wasmer, Schroeder & Co., a portfolio management company for high-net-worth individuals, was the first to contribute $100,000 to a new artificial reef project off Florida's Gulf coast, near Naples. Now, Wasmer Reef will be reported on all future nautical charts in perpetuity, 10 miles west of Gordon Pass and 12 miles from Marco Pass.

Using $1.3 million from the BP oil spill, a loosely knit group of Collier County volunteers called the Economic Recovery Task Force has launched an ambitious plan to deliver tons of concrete beams, pipes and other construction debris on six reef areas, each containing six football-field-sized locations. They say their artificial-reef program is the largest in the western hemisphere. Reef construction started in December, and organizers expect marine life to proliferate where there was only sandy bottom before in 30 to 60 feet depths.

As of press time, there were only five $100,000 reefs left. The task force is accepting the money through the Collier County Community Foundation so that the donations can be tax deductible. Organizers hope to eventually raise another $1.7 million in total from private sources to complete the $3 million project. If you're interested in having your name live forever on nautical charts, contact the foundation at www.cfcollier.org/artificial-reef-fund with your $100,000 check. However, a $2,500 donation will go toward an artificial reef module made of limestone rock -- maybe you can try requesting an engraving on it before it goes under.

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