Local couple honored by Field and Stream Magazine

Published: Thursday, July 25, 2013 at 09:40 AM.

The Coxes spend time diving around the reefs tracking their progress, growth and fish that they bring into the area.

They regularly create reports on their findings that are shared in a database and accessible by engineers, the United States Coast Guard, Tyndall Air Force Base and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

“The information is available to anyone doing research,” said Bob. “It’s great information to have, especially in case of a future oil spill.”

Their current project is to discover the cause of lionfish in local waters. These invasive fish reproduce quickly and feed on other sea life vital to the local economy.

The MBARA is currently researching methods for controlling the population, but currently, it’s a mystery as to why their numbers have increased dramatically over the last few years.

Bob said, “You don’t have to have a degree to get involved.”

The Coxes reported that their efforts and the impact have caught the attention of surrounding counties and Bob had been contacted by representatives in Bay, South Walton, Hernando and Taylor Counties seeking advice on how to create similar non-profits that may have an equally positive impact on their local marine life.

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