DESTIN, FL (WKRG) — The Coastal Resources team visiting Destin-Fort Walton Beach is front and center for the new PBS documentary Ocean Invaders.
The Okaloosa County Tourism Branch has a team dedicated to controlling the invasive lionfish population. Tourism Director Jennifer Adams said team leader Alex Fogg has been at the forefront of this work for more than five years.
“Alex and his work are truly recognized on a national and international level,” said Adams. “For me, as divisional director, to be able to give him and the team the opportunity to continue this good work and expand the scope of our work is really new for us.”
Released October 26, 2022, the documentary follows a coastal resource team along with a local dive shop as they head to an artificial reef. The diver dives in and takes action against the invasive fish, killing and removing them with a stick spear.
The team takes ocean explorer Danny Washington to the Air Force ship BIG DAWG, which was sunk in 2021 as an artificial reef. Fogg explains that lionfish are new to the region and feed on fish humans rely on, such as groupers and red snapper.
Adams said it was an honor to be a part of the documentary.
“It’s a huge honor for us. Being in this amazing documentary is a testament to the hard work we’ve put in,” said Adams. “They are one of the few species we need to monitor and protect reefs for other species.”
This video showcases the Okaloosa County Artificial Reef Program. Adams said he hopes this will encourage more people to come to the area to dive and play.
“We hope you can dive with Alex and the team, or come visit your local dive shop,” says Adams. “If they’re interested, we hope they call us and ask questions. We just want to start more conversations.”
Watch the 53 minute documentary online.
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