FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. (WKRG) — A wine company is joining the ocean conservation efforts by sinking artificial reefs in the Gulf of Mexico. No, there is no wine on the reefs.

Starborough Wine, a New Zealand-based company is raising awareness for National Oceans Month by deploying massive limestone reefs in Destin-Fort Walton Beach waters.

The reefs were launched Tuesday two miles offshore. Teams of divers went to secure the reefs. The structures sit 68 feet below the surface. GPS coordinates are listed as 30 21.047, 86 36.874.

Reefmaker, the largest artificial reef builder in the country, has made 50,000 reefs in the state of Florida.

Limestone Reef Structures

  • 68 feet deep
  • Weigh 18 tons
  • 15 feet tall
  • 19 feet wide
  • Able to withstand storms with up to Category 5 hurricane force winds and waves
  • Made of ancient clamshells with a natural PH balance for marine life

Reefmakers, Walton County, Okaloosa Tourism Department and Starborough joined forces for the deployment.

Starborough said they are taking their efforts a step further to support Ocean and conservation efforts. They are donating money and dedicated media campaigns to raise awareness with a social media challenge.

The company will deploy a second limestone reef if the campaigns can reach 100,000 people.

“This is just the latest partnership in our ongoing commitment to protect and restore our oceans,” said Courtney O’Brien, Senior Marketing Director at E. &. J. Gallo Winery. “Coral reefs are an incredibly important part of our ecosystem and we are honored to be partnering with Reefmaker to make a real impact.”

The new reefs are open to the public to explore by scuba. Coastal Resource team members said lionfish and other marine life will begin to show up in the area within days.