OAR expands Dog Island’s underwater structure

Byron Camp on a ladder with the “Super Reefs” Photo available for purchase

Byron Camp on a ladder with the “Super Reefs”

David Adlerstein
Published: Wednesday, June 25, 2014 at 01:01 PM.

A construction crew last week expanded Carrabelle’s 10 Mile Reef system, further enhancing fishing and diving opportunities in and around Dog Island.

Alan Richardson, who chairs the Tallahassee-based non-profit Organization of Artificial Reefs group, said the deployment took place June 17 and 18, funded by a mix of state grants, matching funds and private donations.

The new reef components, named in memory of young men whose life were tragically cut short, expand to the south the 10 Mile Reef complex, about three miles offshore of Dog Island.

Origins of the reef date back to 1999 when a group of divers from Thomasville, Georgia created the Rose City Reef, the first in a complex series of smaller patch reefs that have grown over the years with additional portions, each named in the memory of a fishing or diving enthusiast who loved the Gulf waters.

The most recent of these, the popular "Robby's Reef" was christened in May, 2011, and includes a 12-ton metal sculpture. Costs are defrayed each year by supporters of the Robby Redding family, through a fundraising event on Robby's traditional birthday after Christmas.

Last week’s deployment included an enhancement of Robby’s Reef, which added another eight artificial reef units to the patch reef, as well as creation of the Dixon Camp memorial reef, about two-tenths of a mile further south of Robby's.  

Both the Camp and Redding families of the St. Teresa Beach community lost sons at young ages and approached OAR early on about donating funds in order to memorialize them. OAR also had the support of the Thornal family, who lost their 19-year-old son Price last Easter in a tragic traffic accident.

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