New Synthetic Reef off St. George Island, Florida



Anglers will have another offshore area to fish later this summer, thanks to local efforts to build a new man-made reef off the coast of Apalachicola and St. George Island.

The Franklin County Commissioners recently awarded the contract to build and deploy 35 man-made offshore reef modules at a site called the Buddy Ward Memorial Artificial Reef in memory of longtime fishing industry lawyer and businessman Olan “Buddy” Ward.

The Ward Memorial is in state waters and within sight of St. George Island, about eight nautical miles off the coast of Apalachicola in about 40 feet of water. The project is expected to be completed in the summer.

The Ward Reef connects more than 60 man-made reefs that are already off the coast of Franklin County. These fish hotels stretch from Alligator Point to Apalachicola and are responsible for providing valuable habitat for hundreds of fish species that roam the area. Once deployed, the Ward Reef GPS coordinates along with other existing reef coordinates will be available online through the AARA website

Want to learn more about the Franklin County’s fishing scene? Visit for a full overview of seasonal fishing, guides, and marinas / boat docks.