By Stan Karpf, GSAC Board Member
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The Village Shops on Venetian Bay recently completed the installation of an eco-friendly artificial reef around the Village.

According to Candice Lopez, Director of Marketing for the Village, the project is the brainchild of Village Shops’ owner Jeff Tayon. It took over two years to build at a cost to Tayon of more than $2.5m.

As The Village is part of the bay, Lopez says they are sensitive to being good stewards of the environment. “Our location gives us the opportunity to contribute to improving our aquatic neighborhood and giving back to the GSAC community.”

It took 4300 cubic yards of riprap to create the reef. In addition, 215 reef balls were dropped into the bay along the perimeter of the seawall which wraps around the Village Shops. Riprap prevents erosion and facilitates the growth of plants and crustaceans. The reef balls are porous in appearance and promote marine life. Water flows through the holes and algae, oysters, barnacles, and coral attach to the rough surfaces.

As Lopez explained, the reef provides the beginning of the circle of sea life. The riprap and reef balls provide a surface for algae to attach and grow; the algae serves as food for the crustaceans and small fish; the small fish attract larger fish and the larger fish attract dolphins.

Dozens of underwater lights have also been installed around the village. They provide terrific night-time viewing of the many fish swimming in our beautiful bay – a particularly entertaining dining experience for children and grandchildren.

We would like to give a huge thank you to Jeff Tayon for caring for the water quality and overall environment of our neighborhood.