The Mexico Beach Artificial Reef Association and Bay County recently successfully completed another artificial reef deployment project costing $131,250.
Bay County contributed $120,000 plus $11,250 from the Courtney Knight Gaines Foundation and a private donor.
Bay County allocated $120,000 from early restoration funds from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill under the Natural Resources Damage Assessment (NRDA) Phase III program. The deployment consisted of nine Super Reefs, 15 Florida Limestone Artificial Reef (FLAR) structures, and one Grouper Reef. This created four new patch reefs of various sizes and complexity at depths of 77-80 feet in the Sherman Site. The Sherman Site was selected because it’s centered between St Andrews Pass and Mexico Beach Canal averaging 12-13 nautical miles from each inlet benefiting all of Bay County and Gulf County.
Bob Cox, MBARA President, said projects like this involving partnership between Bay County and the City of Mexico Beach are a win-win situation using the available resources of both municipalities to successfully execute artificial reef construction projects.
The $11,250 donation from the Courtney Knight Gaines Foundation and a private donor made it possible to increase the size of the Courtney Knight Gaines Memorial Reef in the Bridge Span Site by 5 FLARs added to 3 Super Reefs placed in Apr 2018. And, the Jay Frost Memorial Reef was established by placing 1 FLAR in the Crooked Island Site.
Descriptions and locations of the reefs are posted on MBARA’s website for enjoyment by the public.