AARA Buddy Ward Artificial Reef Deployment
Thursday June 24th was an exciting day for St George Island. The Franklin County Commission, in coordination with the Apalachicola Artificial Reef Association (the "AARA") created the area's first new artificial reef since the old SGI bridge spans were dumped in 2004! The site, made up of 35 8 ft tall concrete pyramid reefs with 10 ft bases, is in State waters roughly 8 miles south of Bob Sikes Cut at a depth of 40'. These structures will attract snapper, grouper, flounder, king and Spanish mackerels, cobia, etc. The exact coordinates for each pyramid are available via the links below. This has been a 5 year project finally coming to fruition!
This inaugural deployment took place pursuant to a grant awarded by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission ("FWC") to the Franklin County Commission. The 6,000lb artificial reef modules were deployed by Walter Marine located in Orange Beach, Alabama in the Buddy Ward permit site in 5 patch reefs consisting of seven (7) reef units per patch. The total weight of the modules is estimated at 105 tons.This initial or inaugural artificial reef deployment into the Buddy Ward permit site is just the beginning of the ongoing efforts of the Franklin County, Florida Commission and the AARA to expand artificial reef structures off the coast of St George Island, in order to an ecologically stable marine environment resulting in increased conservation, recreation, research and education opportunities.
Please browse the other pages of this AARA website (https:/www.apalachicolareef.org
), the FWC website (https://myfwc.com/fishing/saltwater/artificial-reefs
), the Apalachicola Bay Chamber of Commerce website (https://apalachicolabay.org
) and Walter Marine (https://reefmaker.com
) for more information.