The people in the TCRRT Supporters photo L to R: (Larry Dasher family) Connie Stanlin, Larry Dasher Jr., Sarah Dasher, Brett Lundy (TCRRT, President), Jody Courtney (TCRRT, VP) and Leroy Holmes (GOFC, President). Not pictured: Taylor Tourism Development Council, Georgia-Pacific, Yates Construction, E-Transport Carriers, Ms. Sandy Beach, and Geoff Wallet (County Marine Agent).
Despite rough seas and thunderstorms the Taylor County Reef Research Team (TCRRT) in conjunction with several supportive organizations, businesses, and individuals was able to place another barge load of reef material on Buckeye Reef. The TCRRT would like to thank the Taylor Tourism Development Council for its continued support and investment in providing locals and visitors recreational opportunities. The Gainesville Offshore Fishing Club (GOFC) is another continued supporter of our artificial reef program. The GOFC is committed to enhancing marine habitat and giving back to the sport of fishing. Georgia Pacific, Foley Cellulose of Taylor County (previously Buckeye, FL) graciously donate funds and the scrap metal for reef material. The Buckeye Reef, would not exist as it is today without the donations made by the former Buckeye Company and its new owner, Georgia Pacific. Logistics of loading and moving these large pieces of material was made possible by Yates Construction, which provided labor and crane service to prep the material and load it on the transport trailer. While moving of the 5 extremely loaded trailers for semi-truck pickup was donated by E-Transport Carriers. Funds raised for the Larry Dasher Memorial Reef, not only deployed our first memorial reef, but helped fund the cost of the scrap metal deployed. Showing her love for the Gulf, long time beach resident Ms. Sandy Beach gave private donation to the reef project. She truly believes in the ecological and economic rewards for the County and helps our artificial reef efforts as much as possible. D&L Contracting, the contractor for deployment, once again performed under adverse conditions. From highway transport of the oversized material, requiring two sheriff escorts, to a straight 32 hours of facing rough seas, thunderstorms, and waterspouts, Dale Colson and his employees worked tirelessly to make the deployment a success.
On behalf of the TCRRT, we would like to encourage everyone to thank each of these business, organizations, and individuals. Each has given generously towards marine enhancement and public recreation; without the support from each, Buckeye Reef 2015 Addition located at N29 38.808 W83 54.250, would not have been possible. Unlike many of today’s recreations, which require dues, fees, or tickets, our artificial reef program freely provides fishing and diving opportunities to all. It has been TCRRT’s pleasure to work with these groups in building artificial reefs and improving our Gulf resources.
The TCRRT has through donations, deployed Buckeye donated scrap metal in 2012, Department of Transport donated concrete culverts in 2013, and Georgia Pacific donated scrap metal in 2015. Totaling well over 100 Tons and thousands of cubic feet of material for under $39,000. Studies show that for every $1 spent on artificial reefs in the Florida Panhandle, the conservative overall economic benefit of the artificial reef system over its average functioning life span is $138 (source: John Dodrill, Natural Sciences Manager, Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission Artificial Reef Program). That’s a 13,800% return on investment or over $5.3 million dollars. More information on the TCRRT and Taylor County’s Artificial Reef Program can be found at http://taylor.ifas.ufl.edu/index.shtml. If you wish to be a part of the TCRRT, please contact 850-843-0170.