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
Our next meeting for the Navarre Beach Marine Sanctuary Committee is Monday, May 21 at 6:30PM at the Best Western in Navarre.
We will be focusing on the ground breaking event and firming up sponsor signage. The kiosks are being built now and will be completed by Friday. Sign and plaque design will be discussed at the meeting
Snorkelers are welcome at the ribbon cutting event on Tuesday May 22 at 11:30PM. Please contact Mandy Evers (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you would like to be part of a group snorkel at the ribbon cutting. Volunteers are also needed to man the table with information about the sponsorship program and Run for the Reef.
More volunteer opportunities are available for Thursdays in the Parks which start May 24th. The Foundation is using VolunteerSpot (an online sign up and reminder tool) to schedule volunteers for upcoming community awareness activities. Please sign up – here’s how it works in 3 easy steps:
1) Click this link to go to our invitation page on VolunteerSpot:
2) Enter your email address. (No registration required!) Please note: VolunteerSpot does not share your email address with anyone or send spam emails.
3) Sign Up!
If you have trouble accessing the site or prefer not to enter your email address – please email email@example.com
Santa Rosa County has received and reviewed the final draft Federal Permits from the Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE). The county is set to sign the permits and has begun the procurement/deployment process for the beach accessible snorkeling reefs on the Gulf Side of Navarre Beach Park. A final federal (ACOE) permit for the two Sound Side reef sites is expected within the next month. Applications for the required Gulf side and Sound side federal permits were submitted in September of 2009. The federal permit process was expected to take 18 months but has been delayed due to the ACOE activities associated with The Deep Horizon oil spill and associated responses. State permits were granted for both sites in 2009.
The reefs specified in the permit are the Eco System piling mounted disc reefs, a patented design by Walter Marine. If contracting details can be put together within the next two weeks, the reefs could get the go ahead from the Santa Rosa County Board of County Commission (BOCC) as early as February 23rd. The installation process itself will not be long (2-3 days in the Gulf and 3-5 days for the Sound), but a suitable weather window with multiple days of calm seas is critical for the Gulf reef installation. Weather is not as critical for the installation of the Sound side reefs. Depending on the timing of receiving the federal permits for the Sound side reefs and weather conditions, the Sound side reefs may be installed earlier than the Gulf reefs. Historically, the sea state gets calmer as we get into June, but we are hopeful the weather cooperates and the reef installation can proceed as soon as possible.
Here are some great pics from previous snorkeling and surfing outings at the Navarre Pier hosted by Brenda Stokes and others. Pictures compliments of Mike Sandler and Jason Stokes
Something fishy going on here
Mom and the girls
To surf or to snorkel...That is the question.
Beachside Touch Tank