It’s O-FISH-IAL, The Village Shops has Created an Artificial Reef!

The Village Shops family and visitors have a mutual love for the beautiful Venetian Bay. While shopping and dining, guests gravitate to the waterfront walkways to take in the sights in hopes of seeing the, now even more present, aquatic life. That’s right…we are here to tell you that the Bay just got even better (and more eco-friendly)!

Whether you have visited or boated by The Village recently, you may have noticed an increase in activity under the water. That is because the Village Shops has installed 215 concrete reef balls and over 4,300 cubic yards of riprap around the perimeter of the seawall to serve as an artificial reef.

 

22/215 concrete reef balls installed around The Village Shops

Underwater activity as a result of the reef balls

Riprap stretching from Patchington to M Waterfront Grille

A Village visitor observing the activity around the reef balls

 

Diving deeper, riprap and reef balls increase habitats for marine life, protect from erosion, and create cleaner water. The reef balls, porous in appearance, have many positive features that promote marine life, such as holes for water flow and rough surfaces for attachment of algae, oysters, barnacles, coral, and other sea life.

 

A porous, concrete reef ball

Reef balls, standing 3′ tall, are ready to be installed

Artificial Reef progress picture during construction on the north side of The Village

 

As a result of the reef balls paired with the riprap, which uses rocks to build a barrier wall around The Village Shops preventing erosion and facilitating the growth of plants and crustaceans, the fish are flocking to and flowing through these areas.

 

Riprap wrapping around Fish Restaurant

Schools of fish gravitating to the reef balls and riprap

A close up of the riprap

A layer of riprap and reef balls peeking out of the Bay

 

Now that this project is complete, come see the immense underwater improvements for yourself. The Venetian Bay fish and friends are now easily spotted both during the day and at night due to dozens of underwater lights installed around The Village. Unbeatable Venetian Bay views, cleaner water, and more marine life… that ROCKS!

 

Underwater lights illuminating the path for nighttime boaters

T-Michaels Steak & Lobster House night light views

Fish lights behind M Waterfront Grille

A school of fish circling the underwater light

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The Village Shops on Venetian Bay is located at 4200 Gulf Shore Blvd North Naples, Florida 34103. The Village Shops can be reached by calling 239-261-6100. To stay up-to-date on the latest happenings, visit The Village Shops website at https://www.venetianvillage.com, Facebook/Instagram/TikTok pages @VenetianVillage and Twitter @venetiannaples.