The Artificial Reefs of Volusia County, Florida
Home History of the Artificial Reefs GPS Locations of the Artificial Reefs
Reef Notes Reef Map Surveys Needed
Survey Forms and Instructions Reef Fish Photos Invertebrate Photos
John LaneOther Reef-Related Web Pages   Contact Us!




A Brief History of Ponce de Leon Inlet
and the Artificial Reefs of Volusia County

John Lane  9/22/16
1513 Ponce de Leon identified the local inlet as Rio de la Cruz (River of the Cross).
1851 First recorded U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) survey of the inlet was made.
1884 Mosquito County was renamed Volusia County.
1887 The present inlet lighthouse was built.
1897 The SS Commodore, described in Stephen Crane's short story "The Open Boat," sank off shore near Daytona Beach.
1938 USCG Station Ponce De Leon Inlet is opened.
1941 The Ponce de Leon Inlet and Port District was formed.
1968 After a bond issue was approved, a tax assessment was approved for the Ponce de Leon Inlet and Port District.
1969 The north and south jetties at the inlet were completed.
1977 Dr. Hayward Mathews, a marine biologist at St. Petersburg College, prepared a report describing possible artificial reef sites offshore of Volusia County. The report was based upon several underwater surveys by Dr. Mathews, Don Serbousek of the Ormond Anchor Chasers, and Joe Halusky, a Florida Sea Grant Agent. The report recommended the current Sites 1, 2, 3, and 4.
1979 The artificial reef program began in the late 1970s when local fishermen approached the Volusia County Commission with a request for the county to obtain permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE) to construct artificial reefs. Through the efforts of Peter Heebner of the Halifax Sport Fishing Club and Halifax Reef, Inc., a permit was issued to the county by the Department of Army Corps of Engineers for the first four artificial reefs.
1980 The first Florida Sea Grant artificial reef diver training program was held in Daytona Beach by Joe Halusky and Don Serbousek to train divers and members of the Ormond Anchor Chasers to scientifically monitor reefs.
1980 The USS Mindanao (ARG-3) was sunk on Site 3, as an artificial reef.
1981 The first artificial reef culverts were deposited on Site 2, Cracker Ridge.
1988 A permit was issued by the Corps of Engineers for an additional five artificial reef sites, named Sites 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9.
1991 The Ormond Anchor Chasers, who had been monitoring the artificial and natural reefs since 1980, became the Volusia County Reef Research Dive Team ("The Reef Team") on the recommendation of Dan O'Brien, the manager of the Port Authority at that time.
1993 John Lane of the Reef Team began to document and map the location of all the artificial reefs, deposits and surveys using the Andren-LORAN software program. This has proven to be a valuable aid to indentify the deposits on each site. The information is also used to select where new deposits may be made within the sites.
1995 With a new COE permit, Sites 10, 11, 12, and 13 were added.
1998 With the cooperation of Joe Nolin, the manager of the Ponce de Leon Inlet and Port District, John Lane of the Reef Team began to publish the location of all of the artificial reef sites deposits on the Reef Team web site at www.VolusiaReefs.org. This gives the public easy access to current information about the location of the sites and the deposits on the sites.
2000 With the deactivation of the selective availability on the GPS signals, the accuracy of the GPS for civilian users was greatly improved. All the old LORAN C data was converted to GPS latitude and longitude using Additional Secondary Factor (ASF) data obtained by surveys made by the Reef Team and using the Andren software.
2008 With the improved accuracy of the GPS, the 2008 COE permit enlarged the permitted sites to 5000 ft. x 5000 ft., to include some older deposits made using less accurate LORAN navigation.
2010 All local LORAN C signals were deactivated on August 11, 2010.
2011 The current COE permit was renewed. Sites 8 and 13 were deactivated but will be monitored by the Reef Team. Twenty barge loads of clean culverts were deposited on new locations locations within the active sites.
2012 16 barge loads of clean culverts were deposited on new locations within the active sites.
2013 29 barge loads of clean culverts and concrete structures were  deposited on new locations within the active sites.
2014 14 barge loads of clean culverts and concrete structures were deposited on new locations within the active sites.
2015 13 barge loads of clean culverts and concrete structures were  deposited on two new  inshore reef sites offshore of the  Sunglow Pier and offshore  Flagler Avenue in New Smynra Beach .
2016 7  barge loads of clean culverts and concrete structures were  deposited on two new  inshore reef sites offshore of the  Sunglow Pier and offshore  Flagler Avenue in New Smynra Beach .