Andy McAlexander from the CCA Florida South Walton Chapter set up a non-profit association to build reefs and oyster habitat restoration projects along the gulf shores of Walton County in the Panhandle. On July 10, 2015 the South Walton Artificial Reef Association (SWARA) deployed the first half of 58 artificial reef structures off of Grayton Beach State Park. This is the first of several snorkel and fishing reefs planned that will span across south Walton County. The completion of this reef is set for the end of September or early October 2015. An additional 684 structures will also be deployed sometime in 2016.
SWARA has plans for multiple oyster habitat projects and near shore snorkeling and fishing reefs. The long term goal of SWARA is to improve the water quality, increase tourism and enhance the lifestyle of the local residents and visitors. SWARA is working on some local funding to get the projects off the ground with the majority of the funds coming from BP monies set aside from the Deepwater Horizon disaster. SWARA has ambitious plans for the area and will be a huge asset for CCA in the Panhandle for years to come.
Building Conservation Trust is a proud funding partner of this project.