MBARA expands its artificial reefs

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Over the past two months, the Mexico Beach Artificial Reef Association has been busy building more artificial reefs.

On Feb. 24, MBARA added 27 Florida limestone artificial reef structures to the Tennessee Chuck McKibbonville Reef in the Crooked Island site. Also, another seven grouper reef structures were added to the Courtney Knight Gaines Memorial Reef in the bridge span site.

These additions were made possible by generous donations from Tennessee Chuck McKibbon and the Courtney Knight Gaines Foundation, which have a great interest in the Mexico Beach community.

On March 13, MBARA had a $120,000 project funded by the US Fish & Wildlife Sport Fish Restoration Program (SFRP), Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), and MBARA. The association built another large reef in the Crooked Island site at a depth of approximately 62 feet. This reef consists of nine super reef structures, 13 Florida limestone artificial reef structures, and two grouper reef structures.

MBARA President Bob Cox said these projects are all made possible by MBARA fundraising with its annual Kingfish Tournament, merchandise sales, and annual membership dues from loyal supporters, and additional large contributions from sponsors, donors, FWC and SFRP.

“We also thank the city of Mexico Beach for their support with permitting and grant contracting,” he said. “The growth and health of the artificial reef program depends on continued contributions of our members, supporters, and donors. If you’re not a member, please join at www.MBARA.org and continue supporting our community program with annual membership dues.”

This article originally appeared on The Apalachicola Times: MBARA expands its artificial reefs

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