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Multiple Artificial Reef Deployments Planned For SoWal In 2017

March 6, 2017 by SoWal Staff

The installation of artificial reefs has gotten off to a great start in South Walton, and 2017 promises a flurry of activity by South Walton Artificial Reef Association (SWARA).

Walton County’s reefs will be beach accessible for snorkeling, diving, kayaking, paddle boarding, and swimming…without the need for boat and motor. The artificial reefs are constructed of concrete and Florida limestone and provide a natural habitat environment for multiple species of fish. A bare sand bottom will not support the growth of coral and only a few species of fish linger there.

SWARA Update - 2017 Artificial Reef Deployments Planned:
At last what we've all been waiting for! Seven long years after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, NRDA (Natural Resources Damage Assessment) artificial reef deployment funding has
been allocated, contracts awarded and slated to splash off Walton County this year! 2017 will see hundreds of artificial reef deployments in our waters. Exact timing is contingent upon windows of favorable weather & sea conditions.

1 patch reef within each of the 9 near-shore and 3 off-shore reef sites will be deployed as follows:
185 snapper pyramids (8’ tall) - approx. 12 reef modules per site.
170 hybrid grouper boxes w/ 3 disk ecosystem towers (6’ tall) - approx. 14 reef modules per site.
12 super pyramids (18' tall) - 1 per site.

The remaining 3 snorkel reefs will be fully deployed as follows:
Miramar (Dolphin Design)
Topsail (Seahorse Design)
Inlet Beach (Cobia Design)

Reef sites can be found on the reef site map located at www.waltonreefs.org.

SWARA is so very thankful for all our sponsors, supporters and reef enthusiasts. If not for the significant contributions made by our Founding Sponsors (listed below), which allowed us to permit these sites, our
county would not be receiving anywhere near the $1.7mil allocated to Walton County. Way to go!

Stay tuned for ongoing updates as we progress through these deployments.

Founding Sponsors:
CCA Florida www.ccaflorida.org
The Alys Foundation www.thealysfoundation.com
Howard Group www.howardgrp.com
Stinky's Fish Camp www.stinkysfishcamp.com
Walton County Tourist Development Council www.visitsouthwalton.com
Walton County Board of County Commissioners www.co.walton.fl.us
St. Joe Community Foundation www.stjcf.com

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