Tom Maher Reef
4 Reefmaker "Florida Special" pyramid modules. Deployed 01/11/2005. This reef was commisioned as memorial and tribute to Tom Maher. Tom was an Environmental Specialist with the Department of Environmental Protection’s (later the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission's) State Artificial Reef Program for nine years (from 1992 to 2001). Tom was a member of the state’s artificial reef dive assessment team, managed state and federal contracts for artificial reef development and monitoring, provided technical assistance to stakeholders and helped develop policies and rules to improve artificial reef management in Florida. Tom was an active participant in the activities of both the Gulf and Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Artificial Reef Sub-Committees. After his retirement from FWC Tom remained active in artificial reef management, construction, monitoring and research. Tom served as a board member of the Reef Ball Foundation, and was an active member of the Florida chapter of the American Fisheries Society. Tom presented papers at two international conferences on artificial reefs and artificial reef habitats (CARAH) that included the 6th CARAH in San Remo, Italy; and 8th CARAH in Biloxi, MS. Tom was a co-editor for the 2005 8th CARAH proceedings. Tom was a tireless advocate of responsible reef development and was always ready to share his experience and expertise with others. During the severe hurricane seasons of 2004 and 2005 Tom used his considerable administrative and organizational skills to support the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in contract management activities during hurricane recovery efforts. A big joy in Tom's life was being a great Dad to his two sons, Daniel and Douglas. He took great pride in both boys and always put them first in his life. They were diving on artificial reefs, fishing and getting exposure to the marine environment at an early age. Tom supported both the athletic and academic achievements of his sons, now both teenagers. Tom was energetic, creative and outspoken. He was a tenacious “force of nature” as one colleague described him. We have lost both a colleague and friend with Tom's passing. Reef position verified by MBARA divers Bob and Carol Cox on 10 Jun 2011.