Artificial Reefs Delivered to Captain Anderson’s Marina

fishing reef
fishing reef(WJHG)
Published: Mar. 16, 2023 at 10:56 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - New artificial reefs will soon become a habitat for fish in the Gulf.

“The Gulf is really in need of some new reefs it has been a few years since we’ve had a large amount of reefs put out, especially since Hurricane Michael,” said B.J. Burkett, a member of the Bay County Reef Building Association.

Thanks to Eastern Shipbuilding, local students are now helping to replace the reefs that were lost.

“We are wanting to get some kids involved in welding. So they got together with the local schools and colleges,” said Burkett.

Besides these students helping the ecosystem by building the reefs, another goal of the project is to get them interested in welding.

“We’re glad to see students getting involved in building reefs that’s why we didn’t give them guidelines because they might make the new greatest reefs that the species really love,” said Burkett.

These are the four artificial reefs that will be used to create a habitat for sea creatures.

“These are built pretty heavy duty so they will be there for many many years,” said Burkett.

The Bay County Reef Building Association says the reefs will help grow the fish population by providing new habitats.

Now the next step is putting them in the water.

“We will load these onto a barge and then one of the boats will drag the barge offshore and then we will hook to them get them off the barge and get them deployed in the designated areas we are permitted,” said Burkett.

Experts say it will take time before different species of fish and plants decide to call these new artificial reefs home.

All the schools that participated were Chipola College Tom P. Haney Technical College Port St. Joe Junior-Senior High Wewahitchka High School and Wakulla High School.