Derek Beckel Reef Collection
Derek Beckel was an avid boater, fisherman, diver and conservationist. Sadly, we lost Derek on December 8th after a courageous battle with Glioblastoma, a rare and aggressive form of brain cancer. He was just 29 years old.
Derek loved Jupiter, Florida and the ocean so much that his family decided to dedicate an artificial reef to memorialize him. To accomplish this goal, the family has partnered with the Andrew “Red” Harris Foundation (ARHF) to continue Derek’s legacy of conservation and marine habitat protection offshore of Jupiter. The Foundation is in its 9th year of artificial reef building in partnership with the offshore deployment site permit holder, Palm Beach County and has raised and spent over $2 million while building 2 miles of artificial reefs offshore of Jupiter and Juno. You can read this Guy Harvey article for more details about their past work. (Pages 62-69)
More project updates can be found at the bottom of this page.
Reef Project Updates
Working ARHF founder, Scott Harris and Palm Beach County Environmental Resource Management (ERM), we have selected a general area for deployment of Derek’s reef just south of the Juno pier and adjacent to the previous ARHF deployment site which can be identified on the PBC ERM map (https://discover.pbcgov.org/erm/Pages/Reefs.aspx). Surveys are underway to define the optimal site of underlying hard bottom covered with a thin layer of sand. After significant research, limestone boulders mined from nearby Lake Okeechobee quarry will be utilized in the construction of the reef. This natural stone solution has been shown to provide excellent habitat for the local marine life and will remain a permanent structure for eternity. We are targeting deployment of 500 tons of boulders with construction to occur this summer of 2023 – potentially as early as June. Final approvals are contingent on completion of surveys and issuance of the permit. The cost for this project is approximately $80,000 including the materials, trucking to the barge and the barge deployment effort itself. Thus far we have raised $31,000 through generous contributions from family and friends. We hope to continue to gather funds and will supplement with support from ARHF and our personal contributions.
For those wishing to donate, we have two options:
- If you would like a tax-deductible donation and to avoid processing fees, our preference is to please mail a check payable to the “Andrew Red Harris Foundation” to us with a reference to Derek’s reef in the memo. 18166 Perigon Way, Jupiter, FL 33458.
- You can also donate to the GoFundMe
Be sure to check with your employer as many companies offer matching funds. We will continue to keep all donors apprised of the funds raised and the project’s progress.
THANK YOU to everyone who has reached out in support of our family. Derek touched so many lives in his 29 years. Feel free to share this post. We also appreciate any photos and memories you would like to add.
And Thank You to all who attended Derek’s celebration of life on February 12, at Jupiter beach! It was a true recognition of Derek’s life with approximately 250 in attendance.