Back in the early 80′s press boxes from Jacksonville’s old Gator Bowl were transported offshore and deployed in 80 feet of water. This was an intentional project in order to create marine habitat. The press boxes were ideal reef material having been constructed of heavy steal. Since then the location has become a popular fishing and scuba diving location off the coast of Jacksonville Florida. It is currently referred to as Press Box Reef.
Below are pictures from TISIRI’s reef investigation. The visibility was far from ideal when these pictures were captured but the photos demonstrate the current condition of the reef fairly well.
The thinner siding pieces of the press boxes have deteriorated or fallen off the framing over the years but the metal beam framing is still largely intact. The metal framing is completely encrusted with invertebrate life forms such as coral, sponge, and algae. Due to the lack of visibility it was hard to record an accurate representation of fish species present but the usual Jacksonville reef subjects were present. Fish observed included Sea bass, tomtates, belted sandfish, soapfish, blue angelfish, and more. After almost 30 years of service underwater as a reef the press boxes are still serving as the base for productive marine habitat.