New Jersey expands artificial reefs with concrete forms
MANASQUAN, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey has expanded its offshore artificial reef program by dumping concrete forms into the ocean off Manasquan.
The material came from a shipping terminal in northern New Jersey and was no longer needed.
The state has numerous man-made reefs off its coast consisting of concrete, steel, decommissioned ships and barges. They provide a habitat for a variety of marine life.
The state Department of Environmental Protection said its studies show these materials are quickly colonized by algae, barnacles, mussels, sea stars, crabs, sponges and corals.
That, in turn, attracts fish including black sea bass, tautog and lobster, and provides opportunities for recreational anglers and divers, according to the DEP.
“This beneficial collaboration gives new life to these materials, keeping it out of landfills and providing habitat for a wide array of marine life, including species important to New Jersey’s world class commercial and recreational fishing sectors,” said DEP Commissioner Catherine McCabe.
The concrete came from Maher Terminals in Elizabeth.
One shipment was dumped into the water about two miles east of the Manasquan Inlet on Oct. 28; a second followed on Nov. 10.
The new material adds nearly 1.25 acres of artificial reef habitat on what was formerly featureless sand bottom.
New Jersey’s artificial reef program began in 1984. It has 17 reefs spanning 25 square miles of ocean floor.