Taylor County Reef Research Team

The Taylor County Reef Research Team resumed regular monthly meetings in February 2011. Meetings are held the second Tuesday of the month at 7PM, located in the Taylor County Extension office in Forest Capital Hall, Perry. We are developing short tem goals, including identifying what directions to take for getting monthly input from stakeholders, coordinating with other reef teams in Florida, and ultimately developing a renewed reef monitoring program off Taylor County. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers renewed the permit for the Buckeye artificial reef site in January 2011. We will developed a reef plan and strategy for future expansion of the reef complex, and are identifying secondary-use materials that may be made available from both Buckeye Technologies Inc. and the Florida Department of Transportation. In addition, The University of Florida has approached Taylor County staff on the future development of the diver trail for the Steinhatchee Fisheries Management Area. The area proposed for the trail includes sites with Reef Balls ® deployed in 2006. This trail will be used to guide reef visitors between areas of deployed reef materials, and will also be used to train University of Florida scientific divers.

A grant proposal for reef construction was funded by the FWC-Division of Marine Fisheries and focuses on enhancing the public fishing zone of the Steinhatchee Fisheries Management Area. Artificial reefs materials (reef cubes) were deployed in four locations for fishing reefs in July 2007. Under this contract , seven sites received additional materials in July 2012. The FWC contracted Taylor County to manage this enhancement process in January 2012, in cooperation with the University of Florida Program of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences.

A new proposal to FWC for enhancing the Buckeye Reef site just received funding for 2012-2013. This will place pre-fabricated concrete fish tetrahedrons 8 feet tall in many locations within the Buckeye "fish haven". We are looking to use concrete structures with a natural limestone veneer like ones produced by Walter Marine. The City of Mexico Beach recently deployed these types of modules and are pleased with the results. We will go through a competitive bid process for this project.

Atlantic spadefish on the Buckeye reef (above).


Team Dive Dates-

Contact Geoff Wallat, Taylor County Marine Agent, at (850) 838-3508 or gwallat@ufl.edu for more information.

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