Bay and Okaloosa counties partner for artificial reef monitoring program

Bay County

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Bay County will soon be partnering with Okaloosa County to help with the area’s artificial reef program.

Multiple new artificial reefs were deployed last year off the coast of Bay County in order to help grow the reef system offshore. Now, the county is getting help from Okaloosa County in monitoring the reef sites and carrying out the research and data collection to ensure proper placement of the structures. 

“It’s a collaborative effort from everyone on the coast to work together so we can grow our fisheries and help our environment out,” explained Bay County Commissioner, Bill Dozier, on Tuesday. 

He said that the partnership is working to ensure the reef system is as healthy as possible.

“There’s a small amount of natural reefs but what we do is we add to it by adding artificial reefs to it,” he said. “It helps enhance the fisheries so it’s very important to have that atmosphere for the fish to grow out there and continue to thrive in our area.”

In exchange for Okaloosa County performing the reef monitoring services, Bay County will be paying the cost for travel and transportation fees.

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