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|“Reef Wranglers” rocks Alabama’s coast|
February 5, 2013, Orange Beach, Ala. (OBA) – Diving, demolition and determination are what drive the Walter family in the daily grind of their company, Walter Marine, one of the largest reef builders in the U.S. This family business invites marine lovers of all kinds to journey with them through The Weather Channel’s newest series, “Reef Wranglers,” set on Alabama’s Gulf Coast.
Since 1986, Walter Marine has created more than 35,000 custom marine habitats for recreational and sustainable, eco-friendly use. The series follows the Orange Beach-based Walter family, who has dedicated their livelihood to reducing erosion and pollution to restore marine ecosystems by sinking stable and durable artificial reefs.
David Walter, owner of Walter Marine, has more than 30 years of experience building and deploying artificial reefs and is the head honcho of the family business. Stewart, Walter’s eldest son, is second in command and handles all the explosively creative day-to-day operations while Justin Stoufflet, Walter’s stepson, gets down and dirty as he carries out most of the manual labor. Meanwhile, Roger Strick is Walter Marine’s resident greenhorn and goofball who constantly stirs up trouble working alongside Justin.
“This series is a great way to shed light on a new niche market for us,” said Herb Malone, president and CEO of Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism. “Thanks in part to the efforts of the Walters, we will soon be able to offer a diving experience closer to shore, allowing guests of any skill level to discover the Gulf waters of Alabama’s coast.”
With the help of Walter Marine, coastal Alabama is one step closer to becoming a diving destination. In June 2012, David brought coastal freighter Yokamu to Alabama’s coast and deemed that it would cost $500,000 to sink the ship for recreational diving purposes. Mac McAleer of LuLu’s at Homeport Marina donated $250,000 to become the title sponsor of the reef, naming it “The LuLu” for his friend and business partner, Lucy Buffett. The sinking of the ship is the first project of the Alabama Gulf Coast Reef and Restoration Foundation, which was founded in July 2012 by the Alabama Gulf Coast Area Chamber of Commerce.
“More artificial reefs off our coast and near shore will be a positive resource for our area in so many ways,” said Colette Boehm, foundation board member, “and placing more reefs is the goal of this foundation. They add relief for the enormous array of marine life as well as adding recreational opportunities for fishermen and divers. This project, ‘The LuLu’ will put Alabama’s Gulf Coast on the radar of divers from throughout the region. We’re hopeful its sinking will be featured in future episodes of ‘Reef Wranglers.’”“Reef Wranglers” is bound to pack a punch as the Walters shatter, smash and sink whatever they can get their hands on. Tune in to The Weather Channel on Tuesday, Feb. 12 at 8 p.m. CST (Comcast #26 (SD) and #1111 (HD)) to see this family in action.
Meet the family during the official viewing party at LuLu’s at Homeport Marina (200 E. 25th Ave., Gulf Shores), which is occurring the same day. The fun begins at 7 p.m.
To view promo clips of the show visit www.weather.com/video/web-exclusive-alabama-tooth-pull-33794?collid=/tv/shows/reef-wranglers.