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New Reef for Snorkelers in Florida

A new artificial snorkeling reef is set for installation at Casino Beach, in Pensacola. The developers said the project should get underway in late summer [2020].

This article is a review of how the new artificial reef might look for snorkelers in Florida once completed and safe to snorkel around.

Fish Life at the New Snorkeling Reef

The new announcement follows a $59,500 grant awarded to Escambia County.

We understand that most of the money came from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

They have yet to determine the total footprint (size) of the new snorkel reef in Florida.

But, the organisers said it will depend on the total amount of bid prices (due to end on the 1st August).

Nonetheless, local snorkeling enthusiasts, and novice scuba divers, can expect it to be thirty (30) feet wide and up to two hundred (200) feet in length.

The man-made snorkeling reef formation will create a natural habitat for a plethora of underwater organisms and ocean creatures, including:

Furthermore, the manager at Escambia County Marine Resources Division said the new imitation reef will attract similar species like those at two other nearby premier snorkeling destinations, being:

Several other snorkeling reefs in the area also attract various octopus species and shellfish. They live in the small spaces and crevices within the coral reef formations.

Note: It is not uncommon to find large barnacles (a type of arthropod) developing in this type of 'human-made' habitat.

The New Artificial Snorkeling Reef at Casino Beach, Pensacola, Florida.Why is that important?

Well, when barnacles die, they create new homes for other fish families that are small enough to live in them (e.g. blennies and gobies).

So, what exactly was the rationale for building a new artificial snorkeling reef at the Casino Beach location in Florida?

It appears that greater public access was an important factor. Furthermore, it should not create any extra traffic congestion at J. Earle Bowden Way.

Modular Structure of the New Snorkeling Reef

One important factor in the construction of most artificial reefs is separating the modules some distance apart. Doing so minimises any natural movement of the sand.

Hence, it allows the fish and marine life to utilise the modular structures and its features to set up a long lasting habitat.

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