GADNR Continues Enhancements to Artificial Reef SAV

Georgia DNR Staff | June 26, 2015

Brunswick, GA (June 25, 2015)- The Coastal Resources Division (CRD) of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources recently deployed a 110-feet-long barge, 140 poultry transport cages (PTC’s), and four 40-feet-long concrete beams as the latest additions to Artificial Reef SAV – located 6 nautical miles southeast of Tybee Island.

Biblia, Inc. donated the barge estimated at 110 tons. The PTC’s were donated by Claxton Poultry Farms of Claxton, Georgia and Fieldale Farms of Murrayville, Georgia. Claxton Poultry Farms also provided transportation of the PTC’s it donated. TW3 Transportation of Pooler Georgia provided transportation for the remaining PTC’s at a discounted rate. The Fieldale Farms donation was facilitated by the Coastal Conservation Association – Georgia. Industrial Marine Services, Inc. donated personnel and equipment to load all materials onto the barge in addition to the four concrete beams. The barge carrying the donated materials was deployed at 31°55.198’N / 80°46.976’W in 41 feet.

The concrete and metal materials will soon be colonized by barnacles, soft corals and sponges providing the basis of a food web that will attract saltwater gamefish such as grouper, sheepshead, black sea bass and king mackerel. Endangered sea turtles and other sea life also use these manmade reefs as foraging and resting habitat. CRD staff will monitor the site annually using side scan sonar and diver surveys to document the structural integrity of the materials, as well as the fish and invertebrate abundance and diversity.

The CRD offshore artificial reef project is made possible by fishing license funds, Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration, private donations, and partnerships with local organizations that are interested in enhancing offshore fishing and diving opportunities. This project could not have been accomplished without the coordinated efforts of all of these partners as donation are a critical component of artificial reef development.

“Donated materials help us to stretch our limited funds for offshore artificial reef enhancement. Instead of having to use those funds to purchase suitable reef material, we use them to cover the costs of transportation and deployment. Thanks to these donors, saltwater anglers in the Savannah area have a new fishing destination,” commented Spud Woodward, director of CRD.

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