The Memorial Reef™ is the only artificial reef in the world required to conduct phase one studies, engineer the Reef to withstand the strongest storm in 100 years, and engineer the Reef to encourage an entire ecosystem. In this last regard, the Memorial Reef™ has exceeded all goals and hopes, accomplishing in its first six years what was expected to take at least ten.
The Memorial Reef™ is now the most prolific artificial or natural reef in south Florida. The reef can even be classified as a coral reef now that 14 species of reef-building coral have joined the ecosystem. Some of the Reef's ecological successes have been a surprise, like the identified sea urchin previously thought to be extinct in the Caribbean.