Artificial Reefs

This is Passport to Texas

An artificial reef is marine habitat created by man and placed on the ocean bottom for the benefit of marine life.

12—Nature has a way of providing its own habitat, but in the case of the Gulf of Mexico – offshore Texas – most of the substrate is soft, murky, muddy, and there’s very little hard substrate out there.

Dale Shively coordinates the artificial reef program for Texas Parks and Wildlife. He says that hard substrate is necessary for the development of reefs. What’s fascinating is that once they deploy the substrate material, within days marine life begins attaching to it.

10—In a very short period of time, the substrate is covered with barnacles and sponges and some types of coral. And that begins the basis of the food web as we know it.

Without artificial reefs in the Gulf of Mexico, the waters wouldn’t be nearly as productive and vital as they are.

All kinds of items end up on the bottom of the gulf as artificial reefs: from oil rigs to concrete rubble to decommissioned battleships.

But what does any of this mean to the average Texan? Why should we care about this effort to create artificial reefs?

13—The importance of the reef program is, number one: preserve and enhance the marine environment. And by doing that, we also create fishing and diving opportunities for not only Texans, but also citizens throughout the US.

That’s our show for today…we receive support from the Sport Fish Restoration Program… funded by your purchase of fishing equipment and motor boat fuels.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

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