On Wednesday, U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., announced that the federal government is sending more than $1.2 million to Okaloosa County.
The funds are coming from the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Gulf Coast Restoration for the Snorkel and Dive Reef construction project. The $1,233,566.00 Direct Component grant comes from funds included in the Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities, and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States Act (RESTORE Act) which was passed in 2012.
“The project includes the construction of four new artificial reef sites through the deployment of prefabricated reef modules offshore of Okaloosa County. The new artificial reefs sites are intended to promote fishing and diving tourism by creating habitat for fish and other marine invertebrate species,” Gaetz’s office noted. “According to the Department of the Treasury, the activities funded by the grant reasonably can be identified with the RESTORE Act eligible activity of promotion of tourism in the Gulf Coast Region, including recreational fishing described in 31 CFR 34. The project is included in Okaloosa County’s multiyear plan that was accepted by Treasury on June 30, 2017.”
Gaetz weighed in on the funds on Wednesday.
“I am excited that Okaloosa County has received a grant through the RESTORE Act for the Snorkel and Dive Reef construction project, which will build four new artificial reefs offshore. Not only will this benefit and preserve Northwest Florida’s precious reef fish population, it will increase fishing and diving tourism for the Emerald Coast — undoubtedly the most beautiful beaches in America,” said Gaetz.
Reach Kevin Derby at email@example.com.