In 2000, MACNA was held in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area. What only a few remember though, was that at that particular MACNA, Gary Meadows (husband to Joy Meadows and father to Jeremy Meadows) passed away unexpectedly.
At the time, Gary and Joy Meadows operated Harbor Aquatics, a greenhouse based live rock, coral, and fish vendor in Valparaiso, Indiana. More recently, many would recognize Joy from her work with PFO Lighting and now Reef Brite. Joy has been a fixture in this hobby/industry for many, many years appearing at shows and events all across the US.
At the MACNA 2012 banquet in Dallas-Fort Worth, Steven Pro, then President of MASNA, announced the creation of MASNA’s Gary Meadows Reef in conjunction with the Coral Restoration Foundation (CRF) in Gary’s memory, and presented a check for $2,500 to Ken Nedimyer, President of CRF.
MASNA’s goal was to raise at least an additional $2,500 during the course of the 2012.
With the return of MACNA to South Florida in 2013, at the MACNA 2013 banquet, MASNA presented another $2,500 towards the Gary Meadows Reef, as well as received private and corporate donations.
Then again, in 2014, MASNA presented its latest $2,500 donation to the fund and called for additional private and corporate donations.
MASNA has now collected donations of $9,500 with a new goal of reaching $15,000.
The Current Effort
To help continue to grow the Gary Meadows Reef, MASNA is currently collecting donations.
From June 2015 – MACNA 2015, $5 of each new and renewed MASNA membership will go towards the Gary Meadows Reef Fund.
If you would like to contribute additional funds, please type in the amount in the donate field and click the ‘donate now’ button.
MASNA is thrilled to continue to contribute to the Reef in honor of Gary’s memory.
The Gary Meadows Reef site is a small reef outcrop found just north of Pickles Reef off Key Largo. The reef itself is locally called either “Pinnacles” or North Pickles, but it has no formal name on the charts, so we’re going to be calling it “Gary Meadows Reef”.
The reef itself is located along the edge of the outer Florida Reef tract, and at one time it had a shallow fore reef zone dominated by staghorn and elkhorn coral. The reef today is dominated by sea fans, soft corals, and blade fire coral, but conditions are still favorable for staghorn and elkhorn coral growth. One of the distinctive attractions of the reef is the presence of a large colony of Pillar coral on the ocean side of the reef in about 25’ of water.
Over the next few years CRF intends to plant multiple genotypes of staghorn and elkhorn coral on the site and try to restore it into a beautiful, lush, live coral reef. The site has two mooring balls installed by the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, and is a site regularly visited by recreational dive boats.
Update July 2015
The Coral Restoration Foundation has been busy over the summer ‘planting’ on the Gary Meadows Reef site.
Here are some new photos.