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More than 275 artificial reefs recently deployed off of Destin-Fort Walton Beach

In an effort to enhance marine habitats, Okaloosa County’s Tourism Development Department has successfully deployed more than 275 artificial reef structures off the coast of Destin-Fort Walton Beach. The project, […]

Okaloosa County Public Information Office

In an effort to enhance marine habitats, Okaloosa County’s Tourism Development Department has successfully deployed more than 275 artificial reef structures off the coast of Destin-Fort Walton Beach.

  • The $1.26 million project, funded by the Natural Resource Damage Assessment Fund, aims to create additional underwater habitats for marine life in the Gulf of Mexico.

The project, managed by the Coastal Resources Team of Destin-Fort Walton Beach, involved the deployment of 279 reef structures across 133 different sites.

  • The reefs range in size from 6 to 25 feet and were placed at depths varying from 65 to 292 feet, making them some of the deepest modules ever deployed by the county.
Okaloosa Public Information Office

Destin-Fort Walton Beach Coastal Resources Manager Alex Fogg expressed pride in the completion of this extensive project, stating, “Our area of the Gulf of Mexico is lacking in natural reef structures for marine life to thrive which is something we are working to change. Not only do artificial reefs create essential habitat for native species here in the Gulf, but they also provide ideal locations for fishermen and divers to visit.”

The project also featured the deployment of innovative 3D-printed modules in late February, which are the first of their kind in the Gulf of Mexico.

  • The construction and deployment work was carried out by contractors Walter Marine and 1Print over six deployment days from February to early May.
Okaloosa County Public Information Office

“This is a great example of how we continue to work to be good stewards of the environment that we depend on for our fishing and tourism industries,” said Okaloosa County Board Chairman Paul Mixon, commending the impressive effort to enhance marine life habitats.

The project was fully funded by a grant from the Natural Resource Damage Assessment Fund, administered by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Coordinates for these and other reefs off Destin-Fort Walton Beach can be found on the county’s official website.

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