New artificial reefs

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Two new artificial reef projects are moving forward using funding from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Natural Resource Damage Assessment. Texas artificial reefs consist of three types: decommissioned drilling rigs that make up the Rigs-to-Reefs Program; concrete structures that comprise the Nearshore Reefing Program; and large ships that make up the Ships-to-Reefs Program.

The floor of the Gulf of Mexico is typically barren and artificial reefs provide much-needed habitat for marine life, thus increasing fishing opportunities for saltwater anglers. They also create income; the Texas Clipper ship reef off South Padre Island generates more than $1 million for the local economy from anglers and $1.4–$2 million from divers.

These two new projects will see 2,400 concrete structures installed at two underwater sites: a new site offshore of Matagorda County and an established site off the coast of Freeport, where a Liberty Ship was sunk as part of the Ships-to-Reefs program. Liberty Ships were used by the Merchant Marine during WWII and you can find out more about their work above and below water in thisvideo. If you’d like to find an artificial reef to fish right now, add this map and start planning your next saltwater expedition.

Source: Fish Texas

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