Chapter: Big Bend

Contact: Bill Mickler

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Only July 28, 2016, CCA Florida, CCA Music City Chapter, and CCA’s Building Conservation Trust (BCT) partnered with the Organization for Artificial Reefs, Inc. (OAR) to deploy Billy’s Barge to its final resting place on the Carrabelle 10 Mile Reef system.  The reef was named after Billy Solberger, a longtime OAR Board and Research Dive Team member.  We were honored to have the Solberger family, including Billy’s sister and children, on hand to witness the deployment.

The 110-foot barge was from the 1997 adventure horror film "Anaconda"!  The GPS coordinates for the wheelhouse, which is visible from the surface, are 29 39.653/ 84 30.008.  This new reef development will provide hard-bottom habitat enhancement for reef community fish and provide additional recreational fishing and diving opportunities. This reef will also provide valuable forage and protection for various species of fish migrating from inshore nurseries further offshore. The existing Carrabelle 10 Mile reef already has various structures including many placed there on previous projects as memorials to several young men who grew up and fished these waters but died young.  Funding partners include BCT ($25,000), CCA Florida ($8,500), and OAR ($22,000) for a total of $55,500.