Archive for July 20th, 2009

Artificial Reefs

Monday, July 20th, 2009

Passport to Texas from Texas Parks and Wildlife and the Sport Fish Restoration Program

The Gulf of Mexico has a soft bottom.

The Gulf [of Mexico] in itself is basically barren of a lot of hard substrate.

This is a problem for marine invertebrates like coral, barnacles and sponges that need to attach to hard surfaces to survive.

To address this lack of substrate in the Gulf, TPW developed an artificial reef program. Dale Shively is its coordinator.

Reefs in general provide habitat for marine organisms, and we have reefs that are made from oil platforms—obsolete oil platforms—which are in the rigs to reefs program. We have ships to reefs program, which includes things like the Texas Clipper Ship that we reefed recently. And then we have other materials that we try to reef near shore in our near shore reefing program.

Near shore reefing, sometimes called public reefing, allows organizations and private citizens to deposit materials such as concrete and steel, in predetermined locations, off shore.

So, these smaller reefs and the materials that we put out provide a base for marine life to grow. That creates a mini-ecosystem reef environment in which larger fishes will live and reproduce.

There’s a process involved in public reefing, and we’ll discuss that tomorrow.

The Sport Fish Restoration Program supports our series and provides funding for the operations and management of Sea Center Texas. For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.