DESTIN, Fla. (WKRG) — The Coastal Resource Team with Visit Destin-Fort Walton Beach is front and center for the new PBS documentary ‘Ocean Invaders.’

Okaloosa County’s tourism branch has a dedicated team working to control 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 the work that he does is really getting recognized on the national and international level,” said Adams. “For me, as the department director to be able to give him and the team the opportunity to continue to do this good work and to grow the scope of work has really been something new for us.”

The documentary, released on Oct. 26, 2022, follows the coastal resource team, with local dive shops, out to artificial reefs. The divers jump in and take action against the invasive fish, killing and removing them with pole spears.

The team takes ocean explorer Danni Washington to the BIG DAWG, an Air Force vessel sunk in 2021, as an artificial reef. Fogg explains that lionfish are new to the area, feeding on fish humans rely on such as Grouper and Red Snapper.

Adams said the documentary was an honor to participate in.

“It’s a big honor for us. To be featured in this wonderful documentary, it’s a testament to the hard work that we’re doing,” said Adams. “They’re one of several species that we need to monitor, we have to protect the reefs for other species.”

The video showcases the artificial reef program in Okaloosa County. Adams said she hopes this brings more people to the area to dive and play.

“We hope that they come visit either to dive with Alex and the team or one of our local dive shops because we have several,” said Adams. “We hope that if they’re curious, they’ll call us and ask us questions. We just want to start more conversations.”

Watch the 53-minute-long documentary online.

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