After many weeks of waiting and watching for a good window of weather and sea state, the Reef Maker of Orange Beach installed the last of the Marine Sanctuary Eco System Reefs in the Gulf off of Navarre Beach County Park. This deployment of reefs completes the set of three reef sites that make up the Marine Sanctuary at Navarre Beach County Park. Two additional sites are in Santa Rosa Sound just off the north shore of the park.
The newest reef addition provide a great snorkel opportunity…and a fun way to cool off after the October 13th Run for the Reef 5K
All three pavilions on the sound at Navarre Beach County Park have new walkway improvements and showers thanks to Navarre Beach Area Chamber of Commerce Foundation funding and a solid partnership with Santa Rosa County. The Foundation provided the funds from monies raised by their Marine Sanctuary Committee and reserved for Marine Sanctuary and related program use. The monies were used to purchase material and the county provided the sweat and muscles to get it done. Sand fences will also be installed near two of the pavilions to mark a clear path through the sand from the pavilions to the shore near the reef areas, which will help direct foot traffic and minimize damage to the natural vegetation.
Signs identifying the sound side reef areas as snorkel reefs where no motorized vessels are allowed have also been deployed on all the sound side reef marker pilings
The barge you see doing work in Santa Rosa Sound just north of Navarre Beach County Park is the county’s contractor installing the sound side reefs.
The public is invited to attend a ribbon cutting to celebrate the opening of two of three Navarre Beach Marine Sanctuary snorkeling reef projects on Tuesday, May 22 at 11:30 a.m. at the Sandpiper Pavilion located sound side in Navarre Beach Park. The installation of the two Navarre Beach Park sound side tiered reef modules, also known as Walter Eco-System Reef Modules, began May 15 and is expected to take four days to complete.
For more pictures and the full press release check out the Santa Rosa County Website
The Navarre Beach Leaseholders and Residents Association (NBLRA) will be a Prime Sponsor of the third annual Run for the Reef 5K. After being a race shirt logo sponsor last year the organization voted to increase their role in the event to that of a prime sponsorship. The move indicates their strong and continued support for the event and the Marine Sanctuary effort to establish snorkeling and diving reefs off Navarre Beach County Park.
A check presentation will be held at the next NBLRA meeting on May 21st with press and the public invited.
The Marine Sanctuary Committee is thrilled to have the NBLRA in this role and is looking forward to the October 15th event with great anticipation. Already sponsorships for the event have increased over last year’s total and participation is sure to be high. We’ll be unveiling a new logo this year and will enjoy a great award’s ceremony on the newly expanded Navarre Beach Pier Deck. It’s early but we’ve already gotten a few registrants and have distributed registration forms to the Navarre Pier and Run With It shoes in Fort Walton. Race registration is available on line at active.com and sponsorship registration is available online on this site’s Run Sponsorship page.
A great way to get involved in our diving and snorkeling reef program is to volunteer to help man a booth at one of our community awareness events. It’s a great way to learn about the project and promote it to the community. Some upcoming opportunities to help are :
Fun Fest – Navarre Beach County Park Parking Lot -April 29th & 30th
Sunset Stampede – Navarre Beach Boat Launch Parking Lot May 7th
To find out more contact Community Awareness Coordinator Nancy Sandler at email@example.com