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News in Concrete - Concrete Breathes New Life into Artificial Reef


 Concrete Breathes New Life into Artificial Reef 


A tank once used for the ASCE Concrete Canoe Competition, sponsored by the NPCA Foundation, has found new life. Florida marine life will benefit for decades to come thanks to its final resting place.


A precast concrete tank designed for swamp testing the canoes was used during the 2019 competition held at Florida Tech. Participants were fascinated by the tank, and it became the backdrop for official team photos.


With its purpose served, the tank recently was deployed as part of an artificial reef for the Volusia County Artificial Reef Program.


 Photos courtesy of Charles Piwowarski

A precast concrete tank used during the 2019 ASCE Concrete Canoe Competition is being used for an artificial reef.


During the planning for the ASCE competition iwi Concrete Equipment Group’s Richard Isaacson, a former NPCA Foundation chair, called Forterra’s Charles Piwowarski. The two discussed plans for the tank after the competition, and Piwowarski knew exactly what to do. He facilitated recycling the tank through the reef program thanks to an existing relationship with the Volusia County Artificial Reef Program.

Piwowarski noted Volusia County has very little natural reef, and concrete is helping create more marine habitat there.



 Photo courtesy of Charles Piwowarski

The tank was recently deployed off the coast of Florida

“Concrete is made from natural materials so it’s closer to the natural materials you’d find in the sea,” he explained. “In places where there’s not a reef, an artificial one becomes an oasis for fish. They migrate to it, colonize it and spawn on it so it really helps bring in wildlife.”

The endeavor was fueled by NPCA and NPCA Foundation connections from the start. Delta Engineers’ Daryl Burns designed the tank, and fellow NPCA Board member Megan Kitchner’s company, Atlantic TNG, manufactured and donated it to the competition. Isaacson worked with Bold South Transportation to donate the trucking needed to deliver the tank to the competition, and Piwowarski coordinated a forklift rental from Sunbelt Rentals to handle the tank’s delivery to the site.



 Photo courtesy of Charles Piwowarski


“This was a fantastic display of teamwork, and as an NPCA member, and now as a Board member, it just really shows what the NPCA is for its membership,” Piwowarski said. “It was all teamwork, and the teamwork and resources are all there for NPCA members. And this is going to be something that supports marine life and is also a benefit to the local boating and marine industry.”



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