The Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) recently coordinated a materials enhancement at Bear River and Van Dyke Creek Inshore Artificial Reefs located in St. Catherine’s Sound.
“At Van Dyke Creek the deployment supplemented 25-year-old metal material that had begun to degrade, thereby losing some of its value as a reef structure. The new material will restore the habitat benefits provided by this reef,” said Cameron Brinton, Marine Biologist with the Habitat Enhancement and Restoration Unit of DNR’s Coastal Resources Division. “However, I am more excited about the material at Bear River which is an expansion beyond the originally deployed material and creating new habitat.”
Brinton expects that within a year, the new materials deployed at this site will become colonized with barnacles, oysters, and other marine life creating shelter and feeding opportunities for small invertebrates and fishes that attract sheepshead, spotted seatrout, and red drum which are popular with recreational anglers.
The enhancement was conducted by Zulu Marine Services using 475 tons of concrete rubble generated during the expansion of the Sunbury Boat Ramp and 36 concrete reef balls purchased through the Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration.
The new reef material was placed in subtidal waters at both reefs, which are part of a network of 15 inshore manmade fish habitats along the Georgia coast.