New 2017 Casino Beach Reef Project - Pensacola Fishing Forum

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Old 01-07-2017, 04:26 PM   #1
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Default New 2017 Casino Beach Reef Project

A 3rd party asked me to pass this on for informational purposes. Rather than make it part of a 7 year old post, I thought I would post in a new clean thread.

Below is a communication forwarded from Robt Turpin, the information below is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.........

"The original "Casino Reef" was deployed in the early 1970s about a mile offshore in 60 feet of water. One of our earliest reefs, it was the demolition debris (mostly concrete) from the demolition of the old Casino building on Pensacola Beach. That is why "Casino Beach" is so-named. Back then, land ranges were used by anglers and divers, although LORAN was becoming more commonly used.

I got certified in 1975, and dove the Casino Reef, three barges, Russian Freighter, old bridge rubble & barge, etc. The Casino Reef was rather small & scattered, but sometimes held some good fish. I did a lot of night diving on it for flounder in late fall/early winter The Casino Reef subsided over the decades, but one small piece is still above the sand most of the time. This is the coordinate we still have listed on the public reef list.

It is only about a mile off the beach, so easy to reach for kayaks. As we previously discussed, putting reef materials on top of the old, subsided materials might minimize subsidence of new materials. For these reasons, we obtained federal and state permits to authorize new deployments on the site. We will be deploying $300, 000 in reef modules in early 2017: concrete tetrahedrons, polyhedrons, and an improved reef ball design (with a flared bottoman to minimize subsidence). We'll be deploying these as "patch reefs" across the site (1/4 Sq mile) using NRDA funding.

To respect the historic name of "Casino Reef", we have retained that name for the permitted site.

When we first started planning the first beach-accessible snorkeling reef in the Gulf off Pensacola Beach, my preference for the location was Casino Beach because it is centrally located, has plenty of parking, etc. The Santa Rosa Island Authority did not like that location, so we built it at Park East. It has been super-popular, and the SRIA wants to replicate that success in other locations. Although they still prohibit it inside of the Lifeguard area at Casino Beach, they are allowing it to be built a short distance east of the boundary line.

We are using the lessons we learned from the other snorkeling reefs, and the new designs will be closer to shore and shallower (we still have to comply with regulations requiring 6 feet clearance at MLLW). We will have a gap between the closer portion and a "patch reef" portion farther offshore and more amenable to kayak anglers. The gap is intended to reduce user-conflicts.

I have the state permit, and waiting for federal permit. Funding will (hopefully) come from the new round of NRDA proposals I submitted in the late-2016 application period.

The projects were thoroughly discussed and approved by the 11-member Marine Advisory Committee, and public input is always welcome! These and other projects are discussed and updated in the monthly MAC meetings, in room 104 at 3363 West Park Place, Pens, FL 32505 at 530pm on 2nd Mondays of each month.

Robert Turpin, Manager
Escambia County Marine Resources Division
Department of Natural Resources Management"

I posted this as a favor and in the interest of our fishing community. Please do not be offended if I do not reply to any other questions or posts on this subject. , I have no other information.
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Old 01-07-2017, 07:15 PM   #2
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aaahhhh, the cryptic 3rd party......
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