The Mexico Beach Artificial Reef Association (MBARA) has many groups
calling them, “The most active and aggressive volunteer artificial reef
association in the entire state.” In June, the group assisted the City of
Mexico Beach in deployment of 90 Reef Balls funded by a grant from
Florida’s FWCC. The operation benefited from beautiful weather and the
crew was able to make a pinpoint drop. This site will prove excellent, as
many of the Reef Balls are touching each other.
“This may well be the
best reef ball site we have ever built, and will provide excellent fish
habitat,” said Ron Childs, MBARA president.
Paul Sabiston, Mexico
Beach’s new city manager added, “We are proud of the excellent community
involvement and really appreciate the FWCC not only helping to fund this
project, but also having personnel on site for the deployment.”
contractor for the project was Coastal Reef Builders of Pensacola, FL. The
deployment was made at the “Car Body Site”; specific coordinates are 29
53.805 and 85 31.995, and water depth is 60 feet.
Later that same
month, MBARA vice president Bob Cox supervised the deployment of an
additional 50 Reef Balls. This deployment included memorial reefs and was
placed in five different locations. The four memorial sites and their
Beanie and Hosehead Reef
DGPS 29 53.835 85
Brian Moeller Reef
DGPS 29 53.948 85 28.269
DGPS 29 54.155 85 28.440
Charles F. House Reef DGPS 29 53.150
The memorial reefs consisted of 10 Reef Balls each and were
paid for by family and friends in memory of their loved ones. The
remaining 10 Reef Balls were placed on the Mexico Beach Barge, a 200-foot
long hopper barge that was put in place by the Association last summer.
This barge is the largest single item deployed by the MBARA, and the added
structure will make it an even better habitat. In addition to the benefits
to the marine creatures, the added habitat enhances local coastal
A study done by Dr. Fredrick Bell and two other
economists established a net worth on the artificial reefs of Northwest
Florida, and also concluded that every dollar spent is worth over $300,
based on the impact to the local economy.
For more information on the
artificial reefs of Mexico Beach or for details on how to contribute to an
excellent community organization, visit the website: www.mbara.org or call
the Mexico Beach Tourist Development Council.
Panama City Beach