Our Vision

The idea for SWARA was borne out of concerns over the effects of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster. The thought was “what can we do to help our community become more aware of our unique natural resources by enhancing their connection to this environment?”

Our solution to this question is to create a series of near-shore artificial reef systems along Walton County’s Gulf of Mexico coastline and Eastern Choctawhatchee Bay waters. These reefs will combine the characteristics of this unique coastal environment with the County’s primary economic engine: tourism.

Building beach-accessible, artificial reef habitat systems is a unique approach that provides tremendous economic and quality-of-life opportunities. In so doing, we could provide a winning situation for residents, visitors, and the environment.

Our Values

Innovation. Collaboration. Sustainability.

South Walton County is a unique community with deep commitment to family values and conservation of our surrounding environment. We’re not afraid of hard work and it’s important to us that we “do our part” for a place that does so much for us.

SWARA seeks to:

  • Make positive contributions to community
  • Enhance quality of life for families
  • Benefit marine habitat
  • Build awareness through marine education

The successful deployment of hundreds of SWARA reef structures and their measurable benefit to our ecosystem and economy since 2015 shows the power of innovation and collaboration towards sustainability.

2018 Board of Directors

“Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to
direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel
that allows common people to attain uncommon results.” – Andrew Carnegie

Andy McAlexander
Andy McAlexanderPresident
Jim Richard
Jim RichardVice-President
Patrick Murphy
Patrick MurphyTreasurer
Walt Hartley
Walt HartleyBoard Member
Bill Horn
Bill HornBoard Member
Joe Moore
Joe MooreBoard Member
Cindy Stenberg
Cindy StenbergBoard Member

SWARA is an IRS certified 501(c)3 non-profit charitable organization. Our member’s donations are tax deductible.


Protecting and preserving our marine resources through habitat development.


New eco-tourism opportunities and new sportfishing locations.


Hands-on learning opportunities and community outreach creating appreciation for our marine resources.


Field studies, fish counts, and regular growth assessments.

Make a Difference

SWARA could not exist without the vision and support of our patrons and members. Please join us in developing this world-class recreation and scientific resource.

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