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Multiple South Walton Artificial Reef Deployments Commence June 5, 2017

June 5, 2017 by SoWal Staff

The installation of artificial reefs has gotten off to a great start in South Walton, and there the vessel Maranatha is currently offshore at Miramar Beach continuing deployments of twelve new reefs in coming days. Keep an eye out for the ship off the beach as 2017 continues a burst 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.

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.

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SoWal Staff

Offering news, features, insider tips & info, photos and video all across the South Walton area.

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