Inspired by Ecology: WGI Donates Structural Design Services to Latest Artificial Reef Project by the Andrew Red Harris Foundation (August 2016) | WGI

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August 2016

As ardent supporters of the communities in which we operate, WGI proudly donated its time and services to The Andrew “Red” Harris Foundation’s artificial reef deployment on Monday, August 8, 2016; 1 ½ miles offshore of the Jupiter inlet in 50 feet of water – which took approximately eight hours to place close to 200 reef modules.

reef-1.jpgDedicated to building artificial reefs to enhance and save the marine environment in northern Palm Beach County, the Foundation is named for Andrew “Red” Harris, a lifelong diver and fisherman from Jupiter who was struck and killed by a boat in 2014. The Foundation his family started in his honor specifically raises funds to build what are known as “reef cells” that are then donated to the Palm Beach County Artificial Reef Department for deployment on sites that are already permitted for artificial reef construction by the Army Corps of Engineers.

WGI’s Brian Rheault, Structures Project Principal, brought WGI the idea of donating his Structures Systems Division’s time and effort to the Foundation’s summer reef deployment. WGI staff provided engineering analysis and production drawings that allowed the Foundation to gain approval from the County. The modules will support coral growth, provide habitat for fish and provide a base for sustainable marine growth and new life.

“The Foundation needed sound structural engineering advice,” said Rheault.  “The reef cell modules that best suit our oceanic environment do not meet conventional design criteria.  Our group has a reputation for providing services on projects nobody else will touch, and when we learned about the Foundation’s needs, I believed WGI and my staff needed to be a part of the solution to help support this great cause and have a positive impact on the environment utilizing our knowledge and skills.”

To that end, WGI Structures division staff donated a significant amount of time and expertise.

reef-2.jpgABOUT THE FOUNDATION: Andrew “Red” Harris Foundation exists to honor his memory and assure he is not forgotten by helping to insure the long-term health and vibrancy of the eastern coastal Atlantic Ocean by building artificial reefs in the waters where he loved to dive and fish. Artificial reefs provide habitat for many species and supplement the function of our natural reefs that are increasingly pressured as the boating population in Northern Palm Beach County continues to expand. We can’t expect our static natural reefs to be able to support this relentless increase in pressure; at the same time that our growing population causes our natural reefs to decline, millions and millions of spawned reef fish eggs float away in the current to perish for lack of habitat to grow and mature in. We need more marine habitat.

ABOUT WGI: As a multidisciplinary consulting firm, WGI has eight offices throughout Florida and specializes in the following disciplines: Land Development/Municipal Engineering, Transportation Engineering, Surveying and Mapping, Subsurface Utility Engineering, Structures, Water Resources, Landscape Architecture, Environmental Sciences, Land Planning and Creative Services. The Zweig Group ranked WGI #5 on its 2016 Hot Firms list (up from #39 in 2015) and ranked WGI #19 on the Best Firms to Work For list (up from #42 in 2015). WGI ranked #60 in 2016’s Top 100 Fastest-Growing Companies by the South Florida Business Journal, ranked #10 on its 2016 Top Engineering Firms, while in August 2015, it ranked #12 in the $25M and over category as a 2015 “Fast 50” Honoree from the same publication. WGI also rose to #3425 on the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing private companies in America. In 2016, WGI ranked #253 (up from #338 the previous year) on the ENR’s list of the Top 500 Design Firms and ranked #14 in ENR’s Top Southeast Design Firms of 2015. WGI is one of the biggest and best geospatial firms in the nation, ranking #23 in Point of Beginning Magazine’s list of “Top 100 Firm Awards 2015 for Surveying, Mapping and Geospatial Revenue”.  For more information, please go to

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