Dive Photos Courtesy of MBARA | The Mexico Beach Artificial Reef Association | www.mbara.org

Reef Economics

Sources & Citations

Studies by University of Florida and Florida Sea Grant clearly document the benefits of artificial reefs. The economic return on investment is significant. The study by University of Florida found the cost-to-benefit ratio of dollars spent on artificial reefs in NW Florida's Panhandle to be 131x. As Walton County is last in the state in terms of artificial reef deployment, we all clearly have our work cut out for us.

Artificial reefs create fish and oyster habitat. In an area where the Gulf bed is 95% barren sand flats, the reefs will also create near shore, family-oriented, recreational activities including human propelled fishing (kayaks and standup paddleboards), skin-diving and snorkeling adventures, and undersea photo safaris. The attractions will serve to promote awareness and understanding for people who may not otherwise have the opportunity to see some of the amazing marine creatures that live and thrive around reefs in the Gulf of Mexico.