by Hugh Carberry, Reef Program Coordinator
Bureau of Marine Fisheries
June 23, 2016
After more than a five year hiatus, the NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife's Artificial Reef Program is back!
On June 1, the Sport Fish Restoration Program restored $159,000 to the program. This equates to $119,250 Federal and $39,750 State match for this year. The majority of this money will be utilized to pay salaries and to perform mandatory archeological surveys on two new reef sites the program is proposing off Manasquan Inlet and in Delaware Bay. The matching amount is coming from concrete culverts and castings that were donated to Artificial Reef Program. The amount may increase in the future as the Division moves forward with Special Management Zone regulations for the 13 reef sites located in Federal water. In the past, the Reef Program received $250,000 in SFR funds.
On June 16, 2016, two substantial vessels were sunk to became part of the reef network, joining vessels and reef materials on the Ocean City and Atlantic City Reefs. In addition to these two ships, eight more vessels are slated for deployment during the summer and fall.
The deployment of these large ships will provide habitat for more than 150 species of marine life and excellent fishing grounds for anglers. They will also be prime locations for scuba divers to explore and go spearfishing. The Ocean City and Atlantic City Reefs are part of the 15-reef network stretching from the waters off Sandy Hook down to Cape May.
Below are the vessels that were recently deployed.
Ocean City Reef
70-foot Dredge Sunk At: N 39 09.993' W 74 34.095'
Dedicated to: Jack Clements, Frank B. Smoot, and Joseph A. Coffey Jr. Atlantic City Reef
90-foot Tug Boat Sunk At: N 39 14.038' W 74.12.567'
Dedicated to: Richard Reina
There are presently eight additional vessels slated for deployment over the summer and fall Below is information about the vessels slated for deployment:
Three caisson doors that range in size from 115 - 175 feet in length. Two of the caisson doors will be sunk on the Deepwater Reef and one will be sunk on the Cape May Reef. Caisson doors are utilized with floating dry docks to make a watertight seal.
Wildwood Reef will receive the Lisa Kim, a 115-foot former surf clam vessel.
An Army tug of 107 feet, and the Relentless at 120 feet, will be sunk on the Garden State North Reef and Shark River Reef respectively.
The 65-foot crew boat NY Harbor Charlie will become part of the Axel Carlson Reef.
The former U.S. Coast Guard Cutter the Tamaroa. The Tamaroa was immortalized in the hit film The Perfect Storm when it saved the Coast Guard helicopter rescue team. This project is being done jointly with Delaware's artificial reef program and the vessel will be sunk on the DelJerseyLand Inshore Reef (DJL). The DJL Reef is shared between the states of NJ, DE and MD and is also where the Arthur W. Radford was sunk in 2011.
For further information regarding the deployment of these vessels contact Hugh Carberry at 609-748-2022.
For information on past and planned deployments see the Artificial Reef Deployments page.