Since July 2015, approximately 700 artificial reef structures have been deployed along the coast of Walton County. These reefs have been specially designed to provide shelter and a sustainable food source for a wide range of marine species. The presence of these amazing creatures makes these reefs excellent spots for snorkeling as well! Each of the 4 snorkeling reefs comprises 40 acres of permitted sea bottom, and we recommend using a kayak, paddleboard or other flotation device when you visit. Here is more information about the 4 artificial reefs in South Walton.
Artificial snorkeling reefs like the Dolphin Reef are located approximately 200 to 300 yards from shore. True to its name, Dolphin Reef is shaped just like one of the playful bottlenose dolphins that can often be seen in the Gulf. If you are near Miramar Beach the snorkelers in your group won’t want to miss the chance to visit this reef. It’s located 685 feet straight out from the Miramar Regional Public Beach access by Pompano Joe’s and is becoming a haven for sea life. The Dolphin Reef has a depth of 12-20 feet and was deployed in 2017.
All of the artificial reefs in South Walton are made from a combination of steel, concrete, and Florida limestone. These tower structures are then assembled and placed in the Gulf. They are also anchored by fiberglass pilings that were driven into the sand to prevent them from moving around. The shape that they were placed in for Turtle Reef was, you guessed it! A turtle! Turtle Reef can be found just 783 feet out from the Grayton Beach State Park access and is at a depth of 12-19 feet.
Seahorse Reef was deployed in 2017 and is located just 715 feet out from the Topsail Hill Preserve State Park access. This particular reef is at a depth of 13-18 feet, and, of course, is shaped like a seahorse. Keep in mind when visiting that sea conditions can and do change quickly.
A grouper is a type of large fish, and this reef is shaped exactly like one! When you visit, chances are that you’ll see the structure that was placed there covered in marine plant life! Grouper Reef is situated just 970 feet from the Inlet Beach access and is becoming a haven for sea life. The snorkelers in your group won’t want to miss the chance to visit this artificial reef during your vacation.
Spend more time snorkeling in these beautiful reefs and less time driving to get to them when you stay nearby in one of our South Walton rentals! Each of our accommodations come with their own unique set of amenities for you and your family to enjoy. So, while you’re not out exploring the reefs and all the other great things South Walton has to offer, you can relax and have fun in your rental!
You won’t want to miss any of these amazing artificial reefs in South Walton! Be sure to check out all of our South Walton vacation rentals so that you can stay close to all the fun!