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New artificial reefs on the horizon

Bob Cox President
Mexico Beach Artificial Reef Association Special to The Star
The Star

The City of Mexico Beach and Mexico Artificial Beach Artificial Reef Association (MBARA) just awarded a $92,309 artificial reef construction project contract off Bay and Gulf Counties to Walter Marine.

The purchase will place six Super Reef, three Ecosystem, and 17 Florida Limestone Artificial Reef structures in the Crooked Island and Sherman Sites creating two new large patch reefs.

This project is sponsored by the city of Mexico Beach, MBARA, and the State of Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission using Deepwater Horizon oil spill funds from the Natural Resource Damage Assessment Phase III Early Restoration Plan, Florida Artificial Reef Creation and Restoration plan. Several new memorial reefs will also be built during the project.

Artificial reefs are important to conservation of marine resources and our local economy. With natural reefs in jeopardy from environmental changes and physical damage, artificial reefs play a mitigating role to preserve our ocean ecosystems for future generations.

Additionally, economic studies show that every dollar invested into artificial reef construction provides an annual return of over $131 to our economy that’s heavily dependent tourism, recreation, and seafood industry.

MBARA needs more donors, members, sponsors, and volunteers to make our program even better. For more information about MBARA and its Memorial Reef program, please visit WWW.MBARA.org