Judging from the aggressive manner in which Okaloosa County continues to populate the gulf waters just off the white-sand beaches of the area, you wouldn’t be alone in thinking they are promoting significant tourism activity in the area.
Okaloosa County’s Tourism Development Department (TDD) bets that the money invested in the reef will bring more adventure tourism to the shores of Destin and Fort Walton Beach in the future.
The TDD has received permission from the Okaloosa County Board of County Commissioners to accept a $60,000 grant from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to build another artificial reef for snorkelers, divers and charter fishermen to use and enjoy.
The total cost of the artificial reed is around double the grant amount, so the TDD plans to use tourism tax money to make up for the rest of the cost.
The money will pay for “at least 44 pre-fabricated concrete reef modules within the Okaloosa County LAARS Site A permitted area. Prefabricated modules will be placed in close proximity to each other to create four patch reefs within the boundaries of the permitted area.”
County Administrator John Hofstad will be the authorizing official on behalf of Okaloosa County for this project.