Cormorants make use of Choctawhathcee Bay Air Force pilings

January 30, 2013

    Doulble-crested cormorants sunbathe on the pilings in the Choctawhathcee Bay. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors
Double-crested cormorants sunbathe on the Air Force pilings in the Choctawhathcee Bay. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors

Folks often ask about the pilings in the Choctawhatchee Bay – why are they there and what purpose the pilings served. There are many a theory, however, truth is the pilings were installed many years ago by the Air Force.

Here is what Eglin Air Force representatives have to say:
Test Area D-55 is an air-to-ground radar resolution test facility installed in May 1959 and is currently inactive.  It is located in Choctawhatchee Bay and originally consisted of 25 arrays of 2,040 omnidirectional radar corner reflectors, each mounted on a creosote-treated wood piling extending above water.  Most of the reflectors are reported missing with the pilings remaining on-site.  The pilings are clearly marked on navigation charts. The pilings have not been removed due to potential environmental impact to water quality from the creosote.