The South Walton Artificial Reef Association (SWARA) is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to creating and managing artificial reefs off the coast of South Walton County, Florida. SWARA was founded in 1994 with the aim of enhancing the marine environment and promoting sustainable fishing and diving opportunities in the area.
The artificial reefs created by SWARA are made up of various materials such as concrete culverts, steel structures, and decommissioned military vehicles. These materials are strategically placed on the ocean floor to provide a habitat for marine life, including fish, coral, and other invertebrates.
The reefs have become a popular destination for snorkeling, fishing, and diving enthusiasts from all over the world. Visit https://swarareefs.org/reefs/ for a map of active SWARA Reefs Ideal for snorkeling and diving.
One of the primary benefits of these artificial reefs is that they provide a new habitat for fish and other marine life, thereby increasing the biodiversity of the area. This, in turn, attracts recreational fishermen and divers, who can enjoy the beauty of the reef while also supporting the local economy.
In addition to creating and managing artificial reefs, SWARA is also actively involved in educating the public about the importance of artificial reefs and their impact on the marine environment. The organization conducts outreach programs to schools and other organizations in the area to raise awareness about the need to preserve and protect the marine environment for future generations.
Another great option for snorkeling is the Choctawhatchee Bay. The bay is home to a wide variety of marine life, including dolphins, manatees, and a variety of fish. The calm, shallow waters of the bay make it an ideal location for beginners, while experienced snorkelers will appreciate the abundant marine life and unique underwater landscapes.
The South Walton Artificial Reef Association is a critical organization that plays an important role in preserving and enhancing the marine environment off the coast of South Walton County. Through its efforts to create and manage artificial reefs, promote sustainable fishing practices, and educate the public about the importance of the marine environment, SWARA is helping to ensure that this beautiful and unique ecosystem will be preserved for generations to come.
South Walton Reef Association Man-Made Snorkel Reefs
Dolphin Reef, Miramar Beach Swimming, Snorkeling – Public Beach Access Pavillion, 685’ from shore, Depth 12-20’, Beach Access: 1, 2375 Scenic Gulf Dr, Miramar Beach, FL 32550.
Seahorse Reef, Topsail State Park Swimming, Snorkeling – Topsail State Park, 715’ from shore, depth 13-18’. Beach Access:3, 7525 W County Hwy 30A, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459.
Grayton Turtle Reef Grayton Beach State Park, Swimming, Snorkeling – 250 Yards due south of Western Lake. Depth 12-19’. Beach Access: 9, 357 Main Park Rd, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459.
Cobia / Grouper Reef, Inlet Beach Access Swimming, Snorkeling – 970’ from shore, depth 12-20’. Beach Access: 12, Inlet Beach Beach Access, 438 S Orange St Center, Inlet Beach, FL 32461.
Underwater Museum of Art Located off the coast of Grayton Beach State Park lies North America’s first permanent underwater sculpture park. Divers who wish to visit the site can take a dive boat .7 miles off the coast of Grayton Beach State Park. The coordinates are Latitude N30 18 45.262 Longitude W086 09 33.722. – www.umafl.org – Locator: 9
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