Tallahassee, Florida (Tallahassee.com) -- People find all sorts of ways to remember their late family members.
Three Tallahassee families have chosen to create artificial reefs along the Gulf Coast to commemorate the lives of their sons and create a place where their passion for the ocean can live on as new habitat for sea life.
Kitty and Byron Camp's son Dixon died in 2009 at the age of 28.
Now, five years later and almost to the day of his death, with the help of the Organization for Artificial Reefs, the Dixon Camp Memorial Reef, along with more than 35 other reef structures, will be placed on the sea floor 10 miles off the coast of St. Teresa beach in Franklin County.
"He loved St. Teresa," Kitty Camp said. "It just symbolizes his spirit as an enthusiastic, vivacious young man and a lover of all."
The Camps aren't the only Tallahassee family that will be adding to the makeup of the Gulf floor.
Dixon Camp Reef, additions to Robby's Reef, which was deployed in 2011 in memorial of Robby Redding of Tallahassee as a continuation of the Carrabelle 10-mile reef system and sections off the coast of St. Marks in Wakulla County will all go down next week.
In all, more than 40 reefs from the Orange Beach, Ala., based Walter Marine will be deployed Monday and Tuesday.
The cone-shaped concrete and limestone structures — three 15-foot-tall "super reefs" and 38 8-foot-tall "Florida specials" made from natural Florida limestone — will all add to a sea floor that is mostly sand.
The company works with state and local governments as well as private donors to sink sea life providing habitat.
A third memorial reef in honor of Price Thornal of Tallahassee, who was killed in a car crash in 2013, is the next project in the works.
Mike and Molly Thornal, Price Thornal's parents, said working with OAR has been rewarding, but the funds given by private donors are a testament to the lives their son touched.
They, like the Camps, embraced the idea for a reef as a lasting tribute to their son.
"When we were deciding what we were going to do, we decided a reef would be so fitting for him," Molly Thornal said. "It's just a place that so many people can come back to and enjoy. It's going to be very special."
OAR has assisted all three families in securing state funding and navigating the permitting process of deploying the structures. That, along with private donations and fundraising events, has helped to secure the funding.
The ones being deployed this week are funded by $110,000 from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's state grants and trust fund budget for artificial reefs and a $30,000 match from OAR.
And while they serve as a place to remember a loved ones, the reefs also give back to the coast communities and the sea life where they're located.
"We have been very fortunate and honored that they wanted to remember their loved ones in this fashion," OAR chairman Alan Richardson said. "They've got a lasting tribute to their family member and are helping out marine life and tourism in the area."
Kitty Camp will be on the boat next week when the reefs are deployed.
"It's extremely touching and I know I'll tear just because it reminds me that it's Dixon's," she said. "It'll be touching for all of us."