On April 28, the Air Force Research Laboratory and Eglin Air Force Base’s Integrated Test Team demonstrated a new low-cost, air-delivered capability for defeating maritime threats, that successfully destroyed a full-scale surface vessel in the Gulf of Mexico. The vessel was the COURAGEOUS and our Coastal Resource Team was on hand to assist with the mapping data. The plans are to add these coordinates to our artificial reef system demonstrating how the results of Eglin’s testing can benefit our coastal environment. In addition to providing new places to dive, the artificial reefs allow for a healthy ecosystem. The QUICKSINK program, a Navy partnership, aims to provide options to “neutralize surface maritime threats.” Check out an amazing 3D interactive model of the COURAGEOUS on the web page about Artificial Reefs, courtesy of ReefSmartGuides.com.
Destin-Fort Walton Beach Tourism’s Coastal Resource Team is in the process of acquiring several new vessels for deployment. Dates and locations TBD.
• CORDONAZO Sailboat within 45 days (67 feet)
• MISS NELLIE tugboat within 60 days (62.5 feet)
• RV Dolphin (178 feet) + Manta (180 feet) before October 1, 2022
• Atlantis (125 feet) + Cyclops (110 feet) before October 1, 2022
• AJ’s Blackbeard Sailboat within 120 days (64 feet)
• Deployment of secondary use material
• FAD redeployment in the next 120 days
Artificial Reef directional signs were installed on Okaloosa Island beach access 2, 4, 6 and Beasley Park. These reefs are swimmable from the shore and allow for easy access for snorkeling the reefs.