MBARA to deploy large reefs to create complex ecosystems

MBARA

The Mexico Beach Artificial Reef Association plans to deploy six new ‘super reefs’ at four sites in the Gulf.

Special to The Star
Published: Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 09:28 AM.

What does the Mexico Beach Artificial Reef Association do once it has deployed artificial reefs at more than 150 locations in the Gulf creating hundreds of viable fishing locations?

The organization creates super reefs, of course.

MBARA President Bob Cox recently applied for a supplemental grant from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission for $95,000 that would allow the volunteer organization to deploy six new super reefs. 

Cox asked for $75,000 from FWC with $20,000 from MBARA in matching funds.

“This experimental project will be the first of its kind in Florida,” said Cox. “It’s expected to add habitat complexity and diversity for species that prefer habitats higher in the water column.”

The planned super reefs, constructed by Walter Marine in Orange Beach, AL, are 17-25 feet tall and weigh 16-18 tons each.

Each reef will be constructed from one cubic yard of concrete and covered in Florida limestone. The coarse, porous surface is made of shell fragments and makes it easy for marine animals to attach.



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