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Coastal Conservation Association Florida and Duke Energy Deploy Artificial Reef Off Mexico Beach

Nearly 175,000 pounds of high-quality concrete were deployed to create the Duke Energy/CCA Florida Reef

Orlando, Fla. – May 3, 2022 – On Monday, Coastal Conservation Association Florida (CCA Florida), the state’s leading organization dedicated to marine fisheries conservation, education and advocacy, joined Duke Energy, in partnership with the Mexico Beach Artificial Reef Association (MBARA), to deploy four 38,000-pound and four 5,000-pound reef modules off Mexico Beach to create “The Duke Energy/CCA Florida Reef.”  

The eight reef modules were deployed by Walter Marine at the pre-permitted Sherman Site, an area known for attracting red and gray snappers, amberjack, king mackerel, Spanish mackerel, gag grouper, and cobia. These specific reef structures, ranging in height from 8 to 25 feet, provide greater habit diversity while attracting vast species of fish and appealing more to recreational anglers. The reef site is located offshore 11 miles west of Mexico Beach at approximately 29º 55.384, -85º 40.765.

Photo Courtesy of Carol Cox

“Improving and creating sustainable fisheries, coastal habitats and waterways is CCA Florida’s purpose,” CCA Florida Executive Director Brian Gorski said. “Today’s reef deployment is an extension of that commitment and also of our partnership with Duke Energy – signifying our mutual dedication to protecting Florida’s marine habitat for today and generations to come.”

Artificial reefs initiate the development of natural, thriving habitats for various species of fish, invertebrates, and other marine life, such as smaller organisms that are vital food sources for other marine species, with the overall goal to create an ever-evolving ecosystem while enhancing fisheries and improving water quality. 

“Duke Energy Florida recognizes the importance of environmental stewardship and the economic benefit it provides to the communities we serve,” Melissa Seixas, Duke Energy Florida state president said. “We are proud to invest in CCA Florida’s work with the Mexico Beach Artificial Reef Association to bring this new artificial reef to Mexico Beach, a win for marine life, local anglers and outdoor enthusiasts along Florida’s West Coast.”

Photo Courtesy of Carol Cox

Since 2018, CCA Florida and Duke Energy have released more than 110,000 redfish along Florida’s Gulf Coast in effort to relieve the declining population. The Duke Energy/CCA Florida Reef deployment is an expansion of its collaboration and symbolizes its continued dedication to enhancing Florida’s marine habitat and expanding fishing opportunities for local anglers.

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