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Steps to Deploying Artificial Reefs in Bay County

1. Applicant must submit a completed Pre-Deployment Notification Inspection Request Form to the Bay County Planning and Zoning Department Artificial Reef Coordinator to schedule an inspection (7:00 AM to 3:00 PM, Monday – Friday) of the materials to deploy.

2. Proposed reef materials will be inspected to determine compliance with the Large Area Artificial Reef Site (LAARS) permit. If approved, the permit paperwork will be signed and materials tagged. These tags shall not be removed, and shall remain attached to the materials at all times throughout loading, transport, and deployment onto the Gulf floor.

3. Applicant will sign a “Statement of Responsibility” acknowledging financial liability and responsibility for any LAARS permit noncompliance issues.

4. Applicant must pay a $30 permit fee at the time of the inspection for each vessel load of artificial reef material per deployment voyage. The applicant must display a copy of the Permit Number 199300660 (IP-TZ) and the manifest documents onboard the deployment vessel at all times until the materials have been deployed.

5. Bay County Staff will notify the US Coast Guard, US Army Corps of Engineers and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission of the intention to deploy and copies of all documents. This notification initiates a 14 day inspection period for the above agencies to inspect the materials, request additional information, or register an objection.

6. After the 14 day period has expired, Bay County will notify the applicant of the status of the application: Approved, Conditionally Approved, or Denied.

7. Upon receipt of the LAARS Authorization Form the applicant has 30 calendar days to deploy the artificial reef within the permitted site. Artificial reef materials may be loaded, transported, and deployed during daylight hours only. Once the materials are inspected and photographed, they must remain in that configuration during loading, transport, and deployment.

8. The applicant must telephone the Artificial Reef Coordinator (850-784-4024) no less than 24 hours prior to deployment of the intent to deploy the materials.

9. If materials are not deployed by the end of the 30 day period, the LAARS Authorization expires and the Artificial Reef Coordinator will notify the applicant in writing. A written request for a one-time 30 day administrative extension is allowed by the applicant. If the applicant fails to deploy the artificial reef during the extension period, the original tamper-proof tags, and LAARS permit (with the last page “Deployment Cancellation Report Form” filled out and signed) must be returned. A penalty fee will apply if the applicant applies to deploy the same previously authorized materials.

10. The Bay County Artificial Reef Coordinator or designated staff agent will be required to accomplish on-site monitoring of the reef deployment. The applicant must confirm the meeting place, time, and transport vessel with the Coordinator.

11. Within 48 hours after the artificial reef has been deployed, the applicant must submit the “Post-Deployment” information to the Artificial Reef Coordinator. In compliance with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers LAARS Permit issued to Bay County, the exact location of the reef deployment shall be listed in latitude and longitude, recorded from a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver. These coordinates will be used ONLY to verify the location of artificial reef materials. Bay County staff will neither utilize these personal reef coordinates for any non-work-related or fishing or diving uses nor include them in any public artificial reef databases.

For information contact:

Allen Golden

Bay County Planning and Zoning
850-248-8250

Scott Jackson

UF/IFAS Bay County Sea Grant Agent
850-784-6105

The University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Employment Opportunity – Affirmative Action Employer authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function without regard to race, color, sex, age, handicap or national origin.

Permanent link to this article: http://bay.ifas.ufl.edu/seagrant/steps-to-deploying-an-artificial-reef-in-bay-county/