Siesta Key Grand Canal Regeneration (SK GCR) Project

Purpose

The Grand Canal is 89 acres and nine (9) miles long. A mile longer than Phillippi Creek. The Siesta Key Grand Canal Regeneration (SK GCR) Project aims to regenerate the Grand Canal, improve water quality, and re-establish the canal as a juvenile fish nursery and a sea life habitat, one section at a time, through the installation of Mini Reefs.

This project will regenerate the depleted fishery with thousands of juvenile crabs and fish every year.  Creating a wildlife aquaculture habitat instead of a monoculture fish farm. This balanced ecological environment will be more than just mini reefs as we move forward.

Mini Reef, pictured below, is estimated to last for 500 years while filtering 30,000 gallons of water per day. Once fully established, the Mini Reef will support 300 fish and 200 crabs per year.

The result of the installation includes: improving water quality by providing dissolved oxygen (this will expand as the mini reef mature), reducing turbidity and clarity to improve grass habitat growth, and adding filtering for nutrients creating a nursery environment for sea life.

The Mini Reef brochure describes the mini reef features, its initial appearance before it goes into the water, and what it looks like after nine (9) weeks in the water. The mini reef is connected under the dock with ropes tied to the pilings. It needs 24″ of water depth but should be a little deeper so it can float up and down, allowing fish to swim below. A mini reef can be tied to a seawall just like a boat, and it floats up and down.

Pilot Phase

This project will be executed in Phases.

Once one phase is completed, planning for the next phase will begin with the SKA Board approval. The first phase of the project is a Pilot. SKA’s Board approved the Pilot in the November 5 membership meeting. The Pilot project area, shown on the map in gray, will be located at the entrance and exit to the Grand Canal. (We discovered two residents on the Grand Canal have already installed mini reefs.)

The Pilot project will cover approximately 80 locations (as shown as stars on the map.) The plan is to install Mini Reefs under a homeowner’s dock. Click here to see a larger map of the Pilot area.

Each mini reef will cost $300. To start the Pilot, we need the commitment from ten (10) dock owners to purchase and install the Mini Reefs. We plan to use the SKA Member list to contact Members in the Pilot area to discuss the project and ways to engage the neighborhoods to purchase mini reefs for the Pilot. Below is the Pilot project schedule.

Questions on the project can be directed to Phil Chiocchio and Jean Cannon via email at siestakeyassoc1947@gmail.com

SK GCR Pilot Next Steps

November 2020

  • SKA Board Approved Pilot for the SK Grand Canal Regeneration Project (completed)
  • Add SK GCR Project to SKA website (in-process)
  • Contact Dock Homeowners in the Pilot area to ask for their participation and obtain agreement from at least ten (10) Dock Homeowners to install (in-process)

December 2020

  • Report the SK GCR Project progress in December 3rd SKA membership meeting
  • Identify additional Funds opportunities; donors getting naming rights for the Mini Reef (great birthday or Christmas present)
  • Complete Ordering and Authorization forms for Dock Homeowners and place orders for mini reefs.

January 2021

  • Report the SK GCR Pilot Project in January 7th SKA membership meeting.
  • Contacts for Grants, Foundations, Home Owners Associations, or Donation (donors getting naming rights for the mini reef (great birthday present), etc.
  • Recommendations for the next section for the SK GCR Project.