On June 25, 2018 the first underwater museum in the U.S. was deployed off of Grayton Beach State Park. The Underwater Museum of Art (UMA) consists of seven permanent sculptures in approximately 58-60 ft. of water. The sculptures will serve as artificial reefs, providing a source of biological replenishment and protective marine habitat where none exists.
The UMA was deployed with the South Walton Artificial Reef Association (SWARA) existing artificial reef project that includes nine near shore reefs located within one nautical mile of the shore. The sculptures were transported by ship to the gulf and carefully sunk to the floor where they will begin to attract marine life. The sculptures are in a circular array approximately 25 ft. apart. This deployment of the initial seven sculptures is planned to be an annual event with more art reefs to be selected and added each year.