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Two Artificial Reef Deployments Planned for Week of June 8


June 6, 2020

Staff of New Jersey Marine Fisheries Administration is planning two deployments off the coast next week as part of the Artificial Reef Program.

The first deployment, a 150-foot long caisson gate, is scheduled for the morning of Monday, June 8, on the Deepwater Reef site (pdf). A caisson gate is a barrier used to dam off the open end of a dry dock, and is constructed of heavy gauge steel with several tons of ballast in the keel. The deployment is sponsored by The Sportfishing Fund, an organization dedicated to artificial reef building.

Deployments of caisson gates in 2019 were on the Atlantic City and Cape May reefs. This deployment will rest near the following coordinates:
38* 58.3 x 074* 11.00
Caisson towed to deplooyment site    Caisson sinking on reef site
Previous Caisson Gate Deployment On the Atlantic City Reef.
Click images to enlarge

The second deployment is scheduled for 6:00 a.m. on Tuesday, June 9, at the Sandy Hook Reef site (pdf). The sinking of the 65-foot tugboat VINIK HUNTRESS is in memory of Hudson River Fishermen's Association past member Darren Cardinal. Sponsorship at Sandy Hook is being provided by the association and The Sportfishing Fund.

The vessel will rest near the following coordinates:
40* 21.50 x 073* 56.40

Vessels and structures such as these, after being emptied of all machinery and fluids and thoroughly cleaned, are inspected by the U.S. Coast Guard and DEP before sinking. Due to the thickness and quality of steel used in their construction, staff expect their service life on an artificial reef on the ocean floor for over 75 years.

Reef deployments are always subject to change due to weather and sea conditions.
Fully colonized artificial reef structure
A Fully Colonized Reef Structure (photo courtesy Herb Segars)
Click to enlarge

Artificial reef deployments become home to more than 150 marine organisms including black sea bass, tautog, summer flounder, lobsters, crabs, and mussels. They will surely also become prime destinations for SCUBA divers and fishermen alike.

For information on the Artificial Reef Program visit the Artificial Reef Program page.

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

Last Updated: June 6, 2020