The annual Mexico Beach Artificial Reef Association Kingfish Tournament took place last weekend and to kick off the event, a Captain’s Party was held on Friday night at the Veteran’s Memorial Park in Beacon Hill.
In addition to gathering locals together for some pre-tournament food and drink, Mexico Beach Marina owners Nate Odom and Bill Mulligan dedicated an artificial reef to U.S. Representative Steve Southerland and his family.
Southerland represents Florida’s District 2 and has been an active advocate for local fishermen.
Each year, the Mexico Beach Marina dedicates a reef to someone in the fishing community.
“Steven Southerland has done a tremendous job for our district,” said Odom. “He’s done a lot for local fishermen and we’re dedicating this reef to his family.”
Southerland accepted the dedication to thunderous applause and thanked Odom and Mulligan for the privilege to name the reef after his family.
“I could not ask for better support,” said Southerland. “I’m part of a family that fishes and I will continue to fight for all seafood”
After accepting the award, Southerland told the crowd that he hoped his family’s reef produced a lot of “good days” for area fishermen.
Since 2011 Southerland has served on House committees for natural resources and transportation and infrastructure. He currently serves on subcommittee for fisheries, wildlife, oceans, and insular affairs along with Coast Guard and maritime transportation.
Money raised from the Kingfish Tournament goes toward funding various MBARA reef building and research projects.