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Snorkeling Reef at Casino Beach to be Named in Honor of Charlie Gonzalez

Published Jun 4, 2020

The Board of County Commissioners adopted a resolution on June 4 naming the artificial reef that is being constructed at Casino Beach the "Charles Fennell Gonzalez, IV, Casino Beach Reef" in honor of the late Charlie Gonzalez. Gonzalez was a native of Pensacola and was a long-time employee of Escambia County who made a positive impact in the lives of everyone that knew and worked with him. He passed away unexpectedly on January 17, 2020 at the age of 56.

The Casino Beach Artificial Reef Project was approved by the Board on May 7, 2020, and was one of the last projects that Charlie worked on. Charlie's love of the sea and his passion to educate people about sea life will continue for years to come by everyone who enjoys this reef.

A proclamation was also read by Vice-Chair and District 4 County Commissioner Robert Bender, "Charlie made a great impact to this community. He was always able to be there with a smile and whatever you needed he was able to create and get it to you on short notice, typically for our board meetings. It is an honor to be able to read this tonight." The proclamation said:

WHEREAS, on July 29, 1963, Charles Fennell Gonzalez, IV, was born in Pensacola, Florida to Charles Fennell Gonzalez, III, and Mollie L. Gonzalez; and
WHEREAS, Charlie had an unbridled enthusiasm for life, which included a deep love of his wife, Annabelle, his daughter, Morgan, and a passion for the sea; and
WHEREAS, along with serving his country in the Peace Corps in the Philippines, Charlie spent his time traveling, being present with friends and family, and surfing waves on the Atlantic Ocean and Pacific Ocean, as well as at home on the Gulf of Mexico at Pensacola Beach; and
WHEREAS, on July 14, 2000, Charlie began his career with Escambia County as the County’s Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Director, which placed him in the important position of mapping Escambia County; and
WHEREAS, during his 20-year tenure with the County, Charlie contributed to countless GIS projects, including the Casino Beach Artificial Reef project, which is now under construction; and
WHEREAS, naming the newest Artificial Reef as the Charles Fennell Gonzalez, IV, Casino Beach Reef will serve as an enduring tribute to his many years of dedicated public service to Escambia County.

The full amount of $59,500 for reef construction and installation is funded by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. No Escambia County monies or cash-matching funds are required by the FWC grant agreement for the project. 

The Natural Resources Management Department will deploy 17 reef modules approximately 8.7 nautical miles east of Pensacola Pass, and the reef installation will be completed by August. 

View a map of the current snorkeling reefs on Perdido Key and Pensacola Beach.

Read more about Escambia County artificial reefs here

Charlie Gonzalez Collage
The Board of County Commissioners adopted a resolution on June 4 naming the artificial reef that is being constructed at Casino Beach the "Charles Fennell Gonzalez, IV, Casino Beach Reef" in honor of the late Charlie Gonzalez.

Charlie Gonzalez family
Charlie Gonzalez' family attended the Board of County Commission meeting on June 4, 2020.

Sea Turtle at Snorkeling Reef edit
Sea turtle at a snorkeling reef off Pensacola Beach, Park East 

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