South Florida is a diving magnet with luscious reefs with natural and fabricated beauty under the surface. Did you happen to know that over the past 20 years, Broward County’s Artificial Reef Program has situated over seventy-five synthetic reefs on the ocean floor? One mile off the coast of Deerfield Beach is a reef known as Rapa Nui Reef. It weighs about three hundred tons and is half the length of a football field. The Rapa Nui Reef distinguishes the city in the way 887 similar monuments did Easter Island in the remote South Pacific.
The reef is the combination of a public art project of the “Moai” figures that were created in Stuart along with fabricated reef materials. The reef is called Rapa Nui, the Polynesian translation of “Easter Island.” This subaquatic and submerged structure of the iconic stone figures that are found on the island served as an honor and tribute. The fourteen figures of “Moai” will be placed on concrete designed to facilitate the growth of marine life and the structures will be from 6 to 22 feet tall rising from the ocean floor.
Marine biologists were consulted about the size of the nooks and crannies in the sculpture to best attract flora and fauna to attract marine life. The reef is an awe-inspiring environment for divers to explore the underwater beauty into seventy-five feet of water, between the second and third reef, directly off the Deerfield Beach International Fishing Pier.