Escambia County Marine Resources is pleased to announce that 12 new SuperReef modules were deployed earlier this week as part of the Escambia County Artificial Reef Construction Project. The first 36 reefs were deployed earlier this year, and an additional 34 artificial reefs will be deployed in the coming weeks. Their locations will be available here on MyEscambia.com.
This recent deployment is part of the third phase of artificial reef construction funded by a $1.5 million Natural Resources Damages Assessment allocation from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. This third phase will create 70 new artificial reefs in the Eilene Beard Artificial Reef Site, located in the Gulf of Mexico, approximately 10 nautical miles southeast of Pensacola Pass. Water depths in the nine-square-mile artificial reef site range from 80-100 feet. Six total deployments are required to deploy the 70 reefs.
The 70 new artificial reefs will provide essential habitat for marine life and fishing and diving opportunities for visitors and residents of northwest Florida. Walter Marine in Orange Beach, Ala., constructed the reef modules.
“Fishing and diving on our county reefs play a large part in our local economy, bringing in millions of dollars and supporting thousands of jobs,” said Marine Resources Division Manager Robert Turpin. “We’re thrilled to deploy these reefs and provide another recreational outlet for the public.”