South Walton Beach sees its first artificial reef being placed off Grayton Beach State Park
Groundbreaking news in the world of outdoor activities in South Walton Beach. It seems as if everyone is not only pleased but ecstatic about the first artificial reef being dropped off the beach of Grayton Beach on July 10, 2015. The conditions were ideal for the areas Emerald colored waters showing off in all their glory.
This is the first of many artificial reefs to be dropped throughout South Walton Beach. Headed up by South Walton Artificial Reef Association(SWARA) this is just the beginning of many projects. This project gives all of the 30a neighborhoods and community access to a beautiful underwater world that is typically only available to scuba divers.
Grayton Beach is located in between Blue Mountain Beach and Watercolor. Traveling from either of these communities along 30a you will come to a stop sign at Highway 283 and head south toward the beach. There is parking when you get to the end of the road at the beach. Parking can be difficult in Grayton Beach so be patient.
What will the Grayton Beach artificial reefs be good for?
The artificial reefs have been strategically placed just over 100 yards off the beach. This is going to allow beachgoers to swim out and snorkel the inshore reefs. The many standup paddleboarders in the area will easily stroke out to view the reefs from above on their boards. Scuba diving will be a piece of cake from a boat or the beach. As the reefs age, they will begin to attract fish small and big. There will be fishing allowed from boats, kayaks, standup paddleboards and any other way you could think of getting out there.
What do the artificial reefs in Grayton Beach look like?
First of all, one of the coolest things is that from above the artificial reefs are in the shape of a sea turtle. Each one of the structures placed in the water is constructed with limestone rocks. At the bottom of each structure, a 10-inch diameter fiberglass piling is embedded to keep them from moving during storms. The deepest water is approximately 10 feet. It was required for there to be at least 6 feet of water above the structures at the mean low water (MLW). The dimension of this first great and reef is 200′ wide x 800 long. It has been placed in a fashion from north to south.