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Continued conservation efforts are made in Destin-Fort Walton Beach, Florida

Continued conservation efforts are made in Destin-Fort Walton Beach, Florida

These initiatives, which are being overseen by the integrated Coastal Resources team of the Okaloosa County Tourism Development Department (TDD), are committed to preserving Northwest Florida’s natural splendour, safeguarding local species, and creating famous coastal tourism experiences.

Please find additional details about the area’s Artificial Reef Programme, its yearly Emerald Coast Open Lionfish Tournament, and its initiatives to enlighten the public about sea turtle protection through the Gulfarium C.A.R.E. Centre below:


The artificial reef programme in Destin-Fort Walton Beach is a part of a broader five-year effort to improve the local marine ecosystems and pique interest in nearby water sports. The artificial reefs, which can be anything from concrete pilings to specially designed modules and even substantial shipwrecks, provide habitat for more than 150 different fish and invertebrate species that are both recreationally and commercially significant. As a result, they make excellent locations for fishing, diving, and snorkelling.

The artificial reef programme claims several ecological advantages, including the increase in the possibility that juvenile fish, who depend on reef structure for sections of their development, would survive. This is in addition to lowering adverse effects on naturally-occurring reefs by spreading out diving and fishing trips. It should come as no surprise that artificial reefs increase fish breeding potential, support the local fishing economy, and guard against overfishing.

Each new reef is overseen from procurement to deployment by coastal resource manager Alex Fogg, who also manages a maritime contracting team that transports and meticulously cleans each vessel to prevent any negative environmental repercussions. Since 2019, around 1,500 concrete structures and 10 vessels have been installed at Destin-Fort Walton Beach. Recent vessel deployments include the R/V Manta (180′ x 38′ steel hulled research vessel), R/V Dolphin (192′ x 39.9′ steel hulled, bottom cable research vessel), and the RMS Cyclops (105′ x 24′ steel hulled, offshore supply vessel). These deployments were done in collaboration with Starborough Wines, Destin High School, Emerald Coast Reef Association, and Saltwater Restaurant Group. The RMS Atlantis and The Deep Stem are the next in line for this summer and the beginning of the autumn.

Source: traveldailymedia

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