The Mexico Beach Artificial Reef Association (MBARA) partnered with YETI in distribution of 64 ice chests to storm victims in the heavily devastated City of Mexico Beach and surrounding areas.

We also loaned our large smoker/grill to Camp Happy Tummies, orchestrated and ran by Michael Scoggins of Killer Seafood. Camp Happy Tummies began feeding residents, first responders, and volunteers in Mexico Beach when no other food services were available.

Due to a continuing need, they have kept up this tremendous volunteer effort.

Shortly after the hurricane, MBARA began posting hurricane updates on their Facebook page, passing on vital information. One of the most popular posts was an album of 150-plus aerial photos taken the day after the storm by David Walter of Walter Marine (prominent reef builder for Mexico Beach). For many, these photos were the first look at the devastation, settling some of the anxious uncertainty of home and business owners in our area.

Now, the MBARA has added a new mission to raise funds for disaster aid.

At a request from the City of Mexico Beach, the MBARA Board amended the Bylaws to assist with recovery after disasters. The City has been approached by donors, but they did not have a venue to receive donations. MBARA needs to help our area recover in order to continue with our missions to build artificial reefs, and provide reef education and research.

As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity organization, we will begin taking donations to be used by the City of Mexico Beach for recovery projects such as dune walkovers, Parks and Recreation (parks, restrooms, etc), Mexico Beach Fire Department, Pier, streets, Fish Cleaning Station/Cooler, landscaping, canal pavilion/canal, and arts and culture programs.

The City can apply for grants from organizations such as FEMA and the State, but have to provide matching funds in addition to the grants. One hundred percent of the contributions received by MBARA will be disbursed as grants to the City. You can be assured the donations will be disbursed as desired. MBARA is a transparent organization and we post our tax documents (IRS Form 990) on our website and on Guidestar for anyone to view.

Donors can mail checks to MBARA, P.O. Box 13006, Mexico Beach, FL 32410. You may also donate online at www.MBARA.org by clicking on the yellow “Donate” button. Be sure to add a memo to your donation telling us how you want your contribution to be used. If unspecified, the money will be used at City leadership discretion. Remember, MBARA is nonprofit and your contributions may be eligible for a tax deduction.