Fish Reef Project in Malibu Surf Side News


The Fish Reef Project is proud to announce the deployment of its first two test reef balls off Santa Barbara. In the water for just five weeks, the small reefs are already covered with young life, including starfish, barnacles, green algae, dozens of crabs and best of all, the reefs are already home to rockfish and the small halibut who love to nestle right up to the reef’s edge. We invite all of Malibu to check out the monthly video logs of the reefs’ progress on The future Malibu reef will be for the entire local community benefit from, learn from and enjoy.

This is a ground breaking, cutting edge ocean enhancement project that requires broad-based support and interest from all sides. As such, I have reached across to people who may not share my strong feelings that man has the right to harvest his protein sustainably from mother ocean. I have met with the Environmental Defense Center, folks related to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and soon I will speak in front the Santa Barbara Surfrider Foundation, all where there is some common ground.

Despite the vitriolic MPA process, we all agree that the ocean and society will be healthier if we find projects to cooperate on and creation of new fish reefs is stage center. We have also spoken in front of the Channel Islands Sanctuary Board where all the government and agency heads had a chance to vet any concerns. Everyone was there, the DFG, NOAA, State Parks, Coast Guard, Chumash, public at large, business, Environmental Defense Center, Channel Keepers, State Lands and the Coastal Commission, etc. Most everyone showed at least tacit support. The only concerns raised were a desire by the Chumash for us to respect any archeological artifacts, and the Environmental Defense Center did ask questions to be sure we did not cause harm to existing reefs. In both cases, we were able to show that we would meet their needs, including offering a ceremonial Chumash name for the first reef.

Dedicated volunteers and I have spent thousands of unpaid hours to make the reefs a reality. Generous supporters, such as Kelly Meyer, Ricky Schroder, a well known yet anonymous local film producer, Santa Monica Seafood, Fish Wise and Cathy Lee Needleman of the LA Rod and Reel Club have helped us get this far, but we need to go for broke here. The five-acre reefs cost $700,000 to make and permit and an additional $300,000 to monitor and pay for staff along the way. The FRP volunteers and I have day jobs and we can’t hold on much longer without a significant donation to see us through the creation of the first reef.

So I hope Malibu will listen to our offer: For the first donor to step up and donate $1 million—we will name the reef after them, give them a seat on the advisory board and ask their input on location. Their name will appear on charts, bluff-side signs, in dive travel books, on Google earth and much more. They will be creating a permanent legacy that will bear their name for 100 generations to come and ensure that all who come after them will know that they did good with their money, helped make the ocean strong, and offset human impacts such as runoff, fishing, acidification and climate change. Even after we are all gone, the reefs will still be there giving life.

My motivation remains strong. The ocean and the love of it has given me everything I have in this world. The ocean has made me who I am and opened up every door I have ever walked through in this life, and I want only to make sure that young people can continue to walk through those same doors, build strong connections with mother ocean and become brave souls full of wonder and appreciation of the miracle that is the sea. Interested donors can contact us at, or call 831-274-2302.

Long live a healthy ocean.

Chris Goldblatt

Fish Reef Project California Reef Update Videos

In June 2012 the Fish Reef Project provided two reef balls to an Aquaculture operation who deployed them off Santa Barbara.  Watch videos to see progress.

Progress video #1 –July 22, 2012. Hendry’s Reef Monitoring. East ball.

Progress video #2 — July 22, 2012. Hendry’s Pilot reef monitoring. West drop.

Progress video #3 — November, 2012.

Progress video #4 — April, 2013.


The Reef Ball Foundation is a separate entity that offers advice
and support to the Fish Reef Project.

Watch the video to learn more.

FRP gets a mention in the Malibu Surfside News

Malibu Surf Side News
by Frank Lamonea

MARINE DREAM — Tyler Van Der Lip distributes information on a plan to create a manmade reef at Paradise Cove. The small igloo-like object Van Der Lip is holding is a scale model of one of the reef balls that would be placed on the ocean floor to create the reef. The balls are hollow to provide habitat for marine organisms and flat on the bottom to maintain anchorage.

The project is the brainchild of fishing activist Chris Goldblatt, who grew up in Paradise Cove. The reef balls, which can weigh up to 1000 pounds are made of concrete, sand and silt dredged from harbors, and ground oyster shells. Placed on reef-less expanses of mud and sand, they would provice anchorage for kelp forests, habitat for a wide range of marine life, according to Goldblatt. “It’s like planting trees in the Amazon,” Goldblatt told The Malibu Surfside News during an interview last year. Goldblatt says that the reef would become an underwater oasis in a desert of mud where no reefs currently exist.