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A new artificial reef is coming to Manatee County

Thanks to a $60,000 grant from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, coupled with $120,000 from the county, the Borden Reef, which will be located about 6.5 miles offshore almost due west out of Longboat Pass, will be completed by June.

“The site is existing,” said Alan Lai Hipp, the county’s environmental program manager. “It is permitted but it is waiting for materials. It’s a brand new site, so there is nothing out there right now.”

Approximately a quarter-mile by a quarter-mile, the Borden Reef will consist of large, limestone rock, according to Lai Hipp.

“It’s the most natural,” he said of the limestone. “Basically with this reef, we are going to stick with mimicking what’s naturally out there.”

The county currently has 15 reefs, which includes a couple of new permitted ones, but officials plan to continue adding reefs in the future, Lai Hipp said. The other permitted but not yet constructed reef is the Bridge Reef, which is five miles off the north end of Anna Maria Island.