Okaloosa gets $450,000 BP grant to study reefs

Published: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 05:04 PM.

County Commissioner Dave Parisot said the study should provide the county with “valuable data” on the quantities and types of fish around the reefs.

“One of the big problems we’ve got right now is inaccurate counts of our fisheries,” Parisot said.

In early 2013, the county will solicit proposals from companies to conduct the study.

“We will put a bid out for the work that needs to be done,” Henson said. “It’s very specialized, very technical.”

The chosen company will use two primary forms of technology — side scan sonar and hydroacoustics — to study the reef populations.

The field work, which involves going out into the Gulf of Mexico and mapping out 600 square miles to study, likely will take a couple of months to complete, he said.

“After that field work, it goes into the data processing and that will take four to five months,” Henson said. “When all the data’s looking good and we’ve got it packaged, that’s when we’ll be able to go out on the Web and say, ‘Here’s what we’ve got.’ ”

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