Topsail Talks: Topsail Hill Preserve State Park Artificial Reef with SWARA Feb 9
January 27, 2018 by SoWal Staff
Join Topsail Hill Preserve State Park for a Topsail Talks Educational Discovery Series on Friday, Feb. 9 from 10 to 11 a.m. South Walton Artificial Reef Association (SWARA) will discuss the seahorse reef installed at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park. The snorkel reefs are close enough to the shore that they can be reached by kayak or paddle board, so snorkelers or divers can access them from the beach
SWARA recently completed a snorkel reef in Miramar Beach that's shaped like a dolphin, and is the first to join the turtle-shaped reef already in place offshore at Grayton Beach, as well as a seahorse-shaped snorkel reef off the beach in Topsail Hill. Recently installed is a cobia-shaped snorkel reef in the waters south of Inlet Beach. Each snorkel reef has 75-100 towers per location and will be located about 200 yards off the beach.
Twelve additional dive reefs will also be constructed – 9 of them will be near shore fish/dive reefs located about 2/3 miles off the beach and in about 60 feet of water. The other 3 are classified as fish havens/reef sights and will be located 3-7 miles offshore in about 80 feet of water. The off-shore reefs are the perfect destination for SCUBA divers to explore via a charter boat in Walton County.
“We wanted to do something that would have both an ecological and economic impact in the community,” says Andy McAlexander, a SWARA board member and lifelong SCUBA diver. “We’re already seeing people come here to dive the reefs, which is cool.”
Given our sugar-white sands and turquoise waters, not to mention 200-plus miles of hiking and biking trails and rare coastal dune lakes, South Walton is an outdoorsman’s paradise. The addition of SWARA’s snorkel and dive reefs only enhances the community and gives our locals and visitors another opportunity to enjoy our unspoiled natural beauty.
To learn more about the snorkel/dive reefs, visit SWARA’s website at www.waltonreefs.org.
This program meets in the Clubhouse and is free with regular park admission. Topsail Talks is a monthly educational discovery series with presentations from organizations and government agencies from the local community. Event is free with regular park admission. Donations to the Friends of Topsail Hill Preserve State Park always welcome.
Park programs are made possible by Friends of Topsail Hill Preserve State Park. Come out and explore one of the most beautiful state park preserves in South Walton, Florida. Follow Friends of Topsail on Facebook for upcoming events such as geocaching around the park (Wed & Sat), weekly Ranger Programs (Thu), Family Challenge (Sat), Dirty Friday (First Fri) and special events and festivals throughout the year. Follow Friends of Topsail Hill Preserve State Park on Facebook for updates on park events.
Topsail Hill Preserve State Park, located on the west side of Scenic 30A in South Walton, offers a wide variety of natural resources including 3.2 miles of secluded, white sand beaches with majestic dunes over 25 feet tall. Three rare coastal dune lakes provide excellent freshwater fishing. Although boats are not allowed, fishing from the shoreline yields bass, bream, panfish, and catfish. Lakes, pristine beaches, old-growth long leaf pines, sand pine scrub, and a variety of wetlands offer a bird-watching and hiking paradise. Visitors may bike, walk, or enjoy a quick ride to the beach on our timely tram service to swim, fish, sunbathe, or beachcomb. Gregory E. Moore RV resort features a (non-heated) swimming pool and shuffleboard courts. Furnished bungalows are available for weekly stays. A camp store offers a variety of camping items, as well as snacks and drinks.
Florida State Parks are treasures waiting for your discovery!
Additional information, photos & video on South Walton area parks:
Parks Of South Walton & Northwest Florida