Bay County Deploying Artificial Reef

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The RESTORE Artificial Reef Grant Project continues to progress in its efforts to bolster marine biodiversity and support the recreation, tourism, fishing, and diving industries in state waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

On Wednesday and Thursday, April 24 and 25, the Bay County Board of County Commissioners, in partnership with Inland Construction and Engineering, Inc., deployed new patch reefs about six nautical miles south-southwest of the St. Andrew Bay Pass.

“This site significantly extends our capacity to enhance local marine habitats, offering prime access to the Gulf’s rich biodiversity,” Bay County Commission Chairman Tommy Hamm said. “This highlights our dedication to environmental stewardship and the revitalization of local industries.”

Roughly 120 tons of concrete materials will be deployed each day within the SAARS M permitted area. These efforts are part of a broader project that continues through early summer, with a goal of deploying around 1,000 tons of material, total.

Funding for this project is provided by a RESTORE grant, related to penalties paid due to environmental damages from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, and the allocation highlights the commitment of the commission and the U.S. Treasury to invest in projects that repair and enhance impacted areas of Bay County.

Deployment details and post-deployment coordinates will be available on Bay County’s updated Bay County Artificial Reef page at https://bit.ly/baycoreefs. The page offers information about Bay County’s 800 artificial reefs and provides downloads of reef coordinates in various formats including GPX, PDF, KML, and Excel. An online ArcGIS Map is also available to help plan a next visit into the Gulf.