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Public Invited To Participate in Reefing Program
AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Artificial Reef Program is initiating a new reefing option in which organizations and members of the general public can participate. The new Public Reefing Program will enable persons to reef materials approved by TPWD at existing reef sites in the Gulf of Mexico that have been permitted to TPWD.
The Public Reefing Program will provide greater opportunities to enhance the artificial reef potential off Texas through direct participation of the general public in development of offshore artificial reefs along the Texas coast. It is designed to allow private citizens, organizations or corporations to deploy their own artificial reef materials creating new and expanded artificial reefs off Texas under the direction and guidance of TPWD.
Reefs created under the authority of the program will be placed on sites permitted to TPWD by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. TPWD currently holds numerous reef building permits, and is authorized by these permits to conduct reef development activities by placing inspected and approved artificial reef materials within these sites.
It is the Artificial Reef Program’s intention to establish a 160 acre reef site nearshore of each major port area, including Galveston, Corpus Christi and Port Mansfield. In addition, other pre-existing sites can be used by the general public for the reefing of additional materials.
The TPWD Artificial Reef Program’s goal is to provide artificial substrate that supports marine habitat which will develop into a complex reef community. Materials to be used in the construction of artificial reef units must be chosen with safety to the marine environment, durability and stability in mind.
Any person, organization, firm, or corporation wishing to participate in the Public Reefing Program and deploy materials to be used as artificial reefs must adhere to the rules and guidelines that will be established by TPWD and incur all costs associated with the acquisition, building, inspection, testing and deployment of the materials. All materials deployed under this program become the property of the State of Texas.
The Public Reef Building Program does not replace the Rigs-to-Reef or any other artificial reef program. It will be a means in which the general public can participate in the building of fishing reefs in waters closer to shore than many of the reefs currently managed by the program.
Participants should submit an application to TPWD listing the materials they would like to reef. Once inspected and approved, participants will be issued a reefing permit to deploy those materials at a pre-determined reef site.
Workshops for public input into the program will be held:
- June 6, 7 p.m., at the TPWD Dickinson field office (1502 FM 517 East);
- June 8, 7 p.m., at TAMU-Corpus Christi (Natural Resources Center, 6300 Ocean Drive);
- June 13, 7 p.m., at Port Isabel (101 Port Road; actual building is part of Port Isabel High School right on Hwy. 100 between Laguna Heights and Port Isabel.)
For more information, contact Dale Shively, Artificial Reef Coordinator, at (512) 389-4686 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Paul Hammerschmidt, Resource Specialist, at (512) 389-4650 or email@example.com.
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