Artificial reefs provide teachable moments

If you have ever wondered what kind of fish we have at our artificial reefs off of Navarre Beach, then you need to either dive the reefs or attend a class at the Navarre Beach Marine Science Station. Classes are held once a quarter and one was held Saturday.

Our reefs are designated as a marine sanctuary and as such, there is not to be any collection for private collections or spearfishing, except for the invasive Lionfish. Lionfish are the only exception as they are an invasive species and harm our fish and coral population.

Instructor Charlene Mauro and her student assistants and adult volunteers showed pictures and video of what divers and snorkelers have found on Navarre’s artificial reefs. “We wouldn’t have the species that we have here if it were not for the reefs,” Mauro said to the class of 14 participants. Volunteer and photographer John Starrett showed video and pictures that he has taken at the reefs. He is a free diver. “When divers go down there with tanks and lots of air bubbles, it scares away the fish,” Starrett said. He has been able to get up close and personal with sea turtles and rays while free diving.

Read the full article in the Nov. 12 issue of Navarre Press. Click HERE to subscribe for as little as $38 per year.

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