By: Mitch Jaugstetter
The South Walton Artificial Reef Association (SWARA) will deploy a total of 15 new reef sites this summer. Ships in the Gulf of Mexico are already deploying new reefs between three-quarters of a mile and eight miles from the shore:
SWARA will sink nine near-shore reefs for fishing and diving, and three offshore fish havens. Three reefs for snorkeling will be finished late summer. Each reef site will sit on a one-acre patch with approximately 30 structures each, including snapper pyramids and hybrid grouper boxes.
The South Walton Artificial Reef Association developed the project and has plans for completing a total of 19 artificial reefs. South Walton’s first artificial reef was placed off the shore of Grayton Beach State Park in 2015: