Bay County to get 25 mile artificial reef

by September 5, 2008 • 6 comments

Many don’t realize how great the diving is in Panama City Beach.  Short of going to the Keys or Mexico, there really isn’t any better diving in this part of the world.  The visibility is usually fairly good and we have plenty of structures to dive.

In a commission meeting on Tuesday, Mike Thomas, at the last minute, made an off-agenda suggestion that we use rubble from demolished structures to build an artificial reef across Bay County.  Rubble from the soon to be demolished downtown jail-house was discussed.  In the open water with our desert sea floor, fish congregate around any structure they find.  By creating artificial reefs, we can create a place for the fish to come, hang out, and get hooked.  Or, maybe just observed by divers.

Our area is already well known to the diving community, but this will attract more.  This also has the possiblity to increase the fishing tourist business in our area.

The proposed reef will span the length of the county, almost 25 miles and will rest around 8 miles off-shore.  This is inshore from deeper federal waters and would sit in around 80 to 100 feet of water.  The permitting process would likely include work with the Army Corps if Engineers, but they would not be the main permitting agency as the reef would lie in state waters.  At the close of the meeting, a motion was made to begin the permitting process.

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1 Rob September 5, 2008 at 1:53 pm

We need more things like this.


2 Allan September 5, 2008 at 11:45 pm

This is cool, I would love to learn how to dive….


3 Marc Levesque September 6, 2008 at 4:59 am

I seem to remember hearing about Asbestos in the jail. Are there environmental concerns there?


4 Gene September 6, 2008 at 2:22 pm

If you want to learn to dive take the courses at FSU panama city. It’s best to learn over the course of a semester rather than learn in a 4 day crash course…you are under the water with the only source of oxygen is a tank and a tube so you definitely want to get the skills right the first time with little pressure.

just my 2 cents…i did it the hard way.


5 Jason Koertge September 6, 2008 at 2:30 pm

Gene, funny you should mention that. My background as a diver actually started at FSU PC. I went through their Underwater Crime Scene Investigation program as a criminology major and went on to complete my Advanced Scientific Cave Diver certification.