3 It's arguably our city's most well-known and important features -- the Saint Johns River. Problems have been plaguing it for years -- from trash in the river to too much algae. But there may be something that can help -- a first for Northeast Florida. It's an artificial reef INSHORE -- set to be built over this winter. Channel 4's Erica Rakow joins us live this morning.. and Erica, a celebrity is involved in making this project happen.. 3 3 COUNTRY MUSIC STAR KENNY CHESNEY DONATED 30-THOUSAND DOLLARS TO THE COASTAL CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION FOR THIS PROJECT. THE ASSOCIATION PLEDGED TO MATCH WHATEVER DONATIONS WERE GIVEN SO THE COST OF THE PROJECT IS NOW COVERED. FROM THE "GREEN MONSTER" TO SEALIFE.. THE RIVER HAS SOME PROBLEMS AND THIS REEF IS SUPPOSED TO HELP. 3 :00-:07:10-:20PKG: :18 I care about the river a lot CHARLES HOLT IS A JACKSONVILLE NATIVE.. BORN AND RAISED ON THE ST. JOHNS RIVER.. HE GREW UP FISHING, SAILING, WATER SKIING AND SWIMMING IN THE RIVER. CHARLES HOLT/MEMBER OF COASTAL CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION 1:26 the river here in Jacksonville when I was a youngster had a lot of eel grass growing along the shoreline. The eel grass was the habitat at that time the river was a lot fresher. Well today, with the salt water intrusion as we use more and more of the water, the river is not flowing as much as it was and this part of the river has a lot more salinity, it's a lot saltier 1:48 BECAUSE OF THAT.. THE EEL GRASS HAS DIED AND ANY TYPE OF HABITAT IS GONE.. THE BOTTOM OF THE RIVER IS BAREN.. AND IN AN EFFORT TO RESTORE IT.. THE LOCAL CHAPTER OF THE COASTAL CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION HAS WORKED HARD FOR YEARS..GETTING PROPER PERMITS AND PERMISSION TO CONSTRUCT AN ARTIFICIAL REEF. 2:26 we're going to have two locations where we put broken concrete the concrete will be about 3 or 4 feet in diameter so its not real large and they'll be scattered in two areas each area will be 200 feet by 200 feet and what that will do is give a break in the flow of the current and a place for the oysters and the barnacles and the growth to get established and start to provide a beginning of something real nice.THE APPROVED LOCATIONS ARE NEAR DOWNTOWN..JUST SOUTH OF THE FULLER WARREN BRIDGE AND EAST OF THE CHANNEL.. OFF OF SAN MARCO. IT WILL BE FAR FROM THE SHORELINE AND AWAY FROM THE CHANNEL WHERE IT'S SAFE. GENERATING A HABITAT IS THE BIG PART.. BUT THERE WILL BE A BIT OF A CLEANING EFFECT, TOO. 2:03 as the oysters grow on the reef, they filter the water it will take an awful lot of oysters to filter all the nutrients out there we got in the st johns but everything helps.USING LARGE CRANES LIKE THIS, THE PLAN IS TO PUT THE PLACEMENTSOUT IN FEBRUARY.. WHEN THE MANATEES ARE GONE. 3 FISHERMEN ARE VERY EXCITED ABOUT THIS TOO BECAUSE IT WILL ATTRACT FISH OF ALL TYPES. J-U IS ALSO GOING TO BE DOING A RESEARCH STUDY ON THE REEF FOR THE NEXT COUPLE OF YEARS.WE HAVE OFFSHORE REEFS IN JACKSONVILLE BUT NOTHING LIKE THIS INSHORE.. IT'S BEEN DONE ELSEWHERE THOUGH AND WAS VERY SUCCESSFUL IN PLACES LIKE THE CHESAPEAKE BAY.