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DEP Adding New Reef Site Outside of Townsends Inlet

February 6, 2006

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection announced it would build a new reef site off the coast of Cape May County to enhance its nationally recognized network of 15 artificial reefs while strengthening marine resources, improving recreational opportunities and boosting the state's economy. Recently approved by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, construction of the reef, to be situated approximately 3.8 nautical miles southeast of Townsends Inlet in Cape May County, will be funded almost entirely through private donations. Some 800 reef-ball habitats are scheduled for deployment this summer on the Townsends Inlet reef site.

The reef site measures slightly more than one-half square mile with a depth between 49 feet and 66 feet. Its inshore portion will be used as a drift fishing area; the offshore portion will be reserved for vessels to accommodate diving. The new reef will become part of the state's Artificial Reef Program, administered by the DEP's Division of Fish and Wildlife.

Artificial reefs play a key role in supporting New Jersey's marine fishing and diving industries, and contribute more than $50 million to the state's economy every year. These reefs also benefit the environment by providing new habitat for marine life. In fact, one out of every five fish reeled in by recreational anglers in New Jersey's salt waters during 2000 was caught on a reef site.

Coordinates for the Townsends Inlet Reef are:

Corner Latitude Longitude
NE 39o 06.70 74o 36.00
NW 39o 06.70 74o 37.50
SE 39o 06.25 74o 36.00
SW 39o 06.25 74o 37.50

Fishing and diving clubs throughout New Jersey provide financial assistance to make scheduled reef-material deployment a reality. Divers, anglers and other outdoor enthusiasts interested in helping to enhance fishing grounds in the Garden State are encouraged to learn about the DEP's Adopt-A-Reef Program. For more information on the Artificial Reef Program, visit Or call the Artificial Reef Program at 609-748-2020 or write to the Division of Fish and Wildlife at P.O. Box 418, Port Republic, NJ 08241, Attn: Reef Adoption Program.

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Department of Environmental Protection
P. O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Updated: February 6, 2006