Here fishy, fishy: Navarre Beach gets new reef

Navarre Beach is just weeks away from having a brand-new scuba diving reef, and our diving community is so excited.

The team at Walter Marine has already begun the process of placing humongous reef modules to create an artificial habitat for the marine creatures that call our area home.

The reef is 2 miles wide and located a mile from shore near the end of the Navarre Beach Fishing Pier.

This giant artificial reef will include a variety of manmade structures designed to create new habitat and support aquatic plant growth. Navarre Beach Marine Park guru and avid local diver Mike Sandler said the modules that make up this reef are massive.

And he isn’t joking.

Unlike the existing snorkel reef, with its man-sized reef modules, this new reef will be composed of structures larger than an automobile and nearly 15 feet tall. They are called tetrahedrons, three-sided pyramids with hollow centers and holes on all sides. The structures allow fish to easily maneuver in and out, creating habitat.

“Some of these things are going to be really huge. We are talking like 10 or 15 tons. Some of the others will be three or five tons. By comparison the ones we have for the snorkel reef are about 1.5 tons,” Mike said. “These are going to be some beefy structures that are not going to really move once they are deployed.”

Using GPS tracking and a massive crane the deployment boat has been slowly working its way along the reef area, placing the reefs in a specific grid pattern.

Once the reefs become established and plant growth spreads, it will attract a variety of marine life including sea turtles, sharks, octopus, a wide array of fish species, crustaceans and more.

And divers will be able to sneak a peek at all of them.

The reef also means a higher likelihood of catching some prize fish along the Navarre Beach Fishing Pier located less than a mile from the northern edge of the reef structure. Placement of the massive reef modules should be completed by December.

If you want to come dive the reef or cast a line for the critters it attracts, make your reservation with us today at navarrelistings.com.

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