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Northwest Florida Gets a New Reef and Tourism Boost!

A 239-foot research vessel, R/V DEEP STIM III, has been transformed into an artificial reef off the coast, creating a haven for marine life and a new attraction for divers and fishers. This exciting project was a collaborative effort between three counties and several organizations, highlighting the region’s commitment to conservation and tourism.

Key points:

  • New reef: The DEEP STIM III joins hundreds of other reefs, offering habitat for various marine species.
  • Collaboration: Tourist development councils, reef associations, and a conservation group joined forces.
  • Benefits: Enhances diving and fishing opportunities, attracting tourists and boosting the local economy.
  • Dive experience: The vessel sits at 100 feet, ideal for experienced divers.
  • Fishing: The reef attracts popular species like amberjack, grouper, and snapper.
  • Location: 22 miles from Destin East Pass, accessible to various coastal communities.
  • Future potential: Similar projects could draw adventure seekers from beyond the region.
RV DEEP STIM III deployed as artificial reef

This project demonstrates the power of collaboration in creating a win-win situation for the environment, tourism, and local communities.

Additional details:

  • Coordinates: 30° 03.035’ N, 86° 17.758’ W
  • Photos and video available at the provided link.

Destin-Fort Walton Beach, Panama City Beach, and Walton County Tourism: Committed to ecological stewardship and promoting exceptional diving and fishing experiences in the Gulf of Mexico.