The McKibbon Memorial reef off the coast of Mexico Beach is about to have a larger cousin.
"Tennessee" Chuck McKibbon last week presented the Mexico Beach Artificial Reef Association (MBARA) with a $50,000 donation which, at his request, will be used to expand an existing reef into the largest reef off Mexico Beach.
Having already sponsored the "Tennessee Chuck McKibbon" reef, the donation will help create what he wanted named, "Tennessee Chuck McKibbonville."
The location will be 6.7 nautical miles WSW of the Mexico Beach Canal in 65 feet of water.
McKibbon said he wanted the reef accessible to small boats, fishermen and divers to enjoy year-round.
The project is scheduled to be completed late summer to fall.
The reef site, named "MB 255 Unnamed Reef" already consists of three 15-foot super reefs and nine 8-foot pyramids.
McKibbon’s contribution will add 27 pyramids for a total of 39 structures.
Work should begin later this summer.
The reef was formerly named "MB 255 Unnamed Reef". When Chuck was asked what he wanted the new name to be, out came his sense of humor which many have enjoyed. The new reef name is "Tennessee Chuck McKibbonville".
McKibbon is an avid fisherman.
He is often seen sitting on the banks of the Mexico Beach Canal with fishing pole in hand, and when he’s lucky, catching a ride on a boat.
Chuck said he wanted to give back to a wonderful community he’s appreciated for over 21 years.
He said the fishermen have been very kind to him over the years, and this is his way of thanking them.
McKibbon sponsored the "Tennessee Chuck McKibbon" reef in 2011.
McKibbon began planning the new reef in 2018 but Hurricane Michael intervened.
McKibbon felt he needed to help his community in the aftermath, providing funds to feed emergency responders.
Now, that the community getting back on its feet, Chuck felt it was time to build his reef for everyone to enjoy.
MBARA is grateful to philanthropists like "Tennessee" Chuck McKibbon for making Mexico Beach’s artificial reef program one of the best in the state.
From the smallest to largest donations, it all comes together for greater success! If you would like to support future reef building, please go to www.MBARA.org to donate or purchase items from our online store.
You can also contact MBARA at MexicoBeachReefs@gmail.com.