Charleston and Georgetown have added more artificial reefs off of their coasts in order to create new habitats and prevent coastal erosion. The reefs are made out of a concrete design that assists with erosion control. 8 towers of various heights and different configurations were deployed in order to create an enhanced fish habitat on the ocean floor.
“These have not been used specifically as fish habitat before,” said Robert Martore, who leads the agency’s artificial reef program. “We will monitor the structures, and if they attract and hold significant numbers of fishes, we will construct more and distribute them along the coast.”
In addition, The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, along with partners, sent a retired 65-foot fishing boat 50 feet underwater off the coast of Georgetown.
The Sea Hunt Boat Company and Coastal Conservation Association of South Carolina helped fund the artificial reef. This project marks 14 artificial reef projects to date that they have supported. While actual coral reefs cannot grow in the temperate waters off the coast of South Carolina, these man made structures provide shelter – just like coral reefs do – improving the existing habitat. This creates a favorable environment for spawning grounds for a variety of marine species. In addition, these artificial reefs are great for scuba diving and recreational fishing.
It’s pretty awesome to see what is possible when private businesses and non-profit organizations work together. Well done to everyone who was involved. These reefs will help to boost the species’ population numbers in the area and help to conserve them in the future.