“Paradise Reef” Documentary Wins Suncoast Regional Emmy Award

“Paradise Reef” Documentary Wins Suncoast Regional Emmy Award
Program Highlights the Project to Plan, Fund and Deploy the Largest Artificial Reef System in the Western Hemisphere

Naples, Fla.(December 8, 2016) – A documentary film about Collier County’s newly established artificial reef system, “Paradise Reef,” received recognition from the Suncoast Chapter of The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences as the winner of the 2016 Suncoast Regional Emmy Award in the Topical Documentary category. Primary funding for the documentary was provided from Collier County Tourist Development Tax revenue.

The Suncoast Regional Emmy Award winners were announced during a ceremony on December 3 in Orlando. The Suncoast Chapter is the regional chapter of The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, representing Florida; parts of Louisiana, Alabama and Georgia; and Puerto Rico.

“The new artificial reef system has quickly established new underwater habitat thereby creating increased opportunities to promote the enhanced marine activities along our coast”, said Jack Wert, Executive Director of the Naples, Marco Island, Everglades Convention and Visitors Bureau. “The new underwater ecosystems are already attracting many species of fish to the delight of fishermen and divers.”

The artificial reef deployment project – creating the largest artificial reef system in the Western Hemisphere – was managed by Collier County’s Coastal Zone Management Division in cooperation with the cities of Naples and Marco Island and the private sector. Funds for the reef project came from a BP disaster fund grant and private sector donations. 

The project consists of 36 new artificial reef modules located from 10 to 28 miles offshore from Naples and Marco Island on Southwest Florida’s Gulf Coast. The 18,000 tons of materials used in the project included clean, surplus construction concrete and utility poles donated by area utility companies. These donations resulted in a major cost savings to the County as those surplus materials might have otherwise ended up in the County’s landfill. The pre-planned configuration of each of the reefs was designed to attract a variety of sea life to sustain healthy populations of reef fish, creating opportunities for offshore fishing, spearfishing and diving enthusiasts. The reef project is a testament to the County’s ongoing commitment to sustaining our natural resources for future generations.

Paradise Reef LLC, producers of the documentary, is comprised of John Scoular, award winning cinematographer, Madeline Scoular, and Naples-based Captains Harry Julian and Lance Julian, who operate Marine Team International, a marine service and support organization for the film industry, and Pure Florida, Inc., providers of fishing charters and sightseeing cruises in Naples.

The documentary debuted in March of 2016 on Public Broadcasting station WGCU in Southwest Florida and was quickly picked up by numerous other Florida PBS stations. Through online streaming, the documentary has now also been viewed across the country and the world. 

The documentary tells the story of the visionaries who developed the concept, the cooperative efforts of Collier County and the cities of Naples and Marco Island along with and numerous permitting agencies to complete the reef deployment project. It includes underwater views of the first of the thirty reef complexes, showing the rapid rate of newly established life on the structures and creation of new fish habitat.

The Naples, Marco Island, Everglades Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) is highlighting the new artificial reefs in promotional efforts with sport fishing and diving publications, broadcast programs and online sites to encourage visitors to come to the Naples, Marco Island, Everglades region to experience the great fishing and diving now available along Florida’s Paradise Coast.

ABOUT NAPLES, MARCO ISLAND, EVERGLADES CVB

The Naples, Marco Island, Everglades Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) is the official tourism marketing and management agency for Collier County, Florida, known as Florida’s Paradise Coast. The CVB produces the area’s ongoing destination marketing campaigns, website and visitor guides; supports events and cultural initiatives through grants; and provides information and assistance for travel media, group meeting and event planners, tour operators, and travel agents. For more information visit http://www.paradisecoast.com. Follow the destination on Twitter and Instagram @ParadiseCoast and on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/TheParadiseCoast.  

Media Contact:
JoNell Modys
239-252-2425                                                                                                                         jonellmodys@colliergov.net

Photos:
http://www.paradisecoast.com/articles/paradise_reef

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