Dive Corpus Christi?

New Artificial Reef off Corpus Christi/ Port Aransas

gulf reef

“With a few exceptions, the floor of the Gulf of Mexico is flat and bare except for artificial reef sites. Nearly 200 marine fish species have been seen on these complex, stable, and durable habitats among artificial reef structures.”- Texas Parks and Wildlife  website:  water/water/habitats/artificial_reef/overview.phtml

Concrete box culverts were being deposited at an artificial reef site offshore from Padre/Mustang Island to attract fish, fishermen and fishers of men  (oh, divers). Yep, pretty cool things are happening here!

The plan is to use recycled materials for the basic structure of the artificial reef.  (Even better!) The concrete culverts are made of a mostly limestone concrete mix which will attract algae and later coral. It’s hard to imagine  a pile of scrapped concrete  becoming an underwater dream house for fish, but with the assistance of Texas Parks and Wildlife, these scrap materials can become the bones for artificial reefs, close to shore creating new habitats for marine life and bringing the watery world closer to anglers and divers. ( Something Ariel from the little Mermaid would appreciate!) 

I think it sounds like a win, win situation for the Coastal Bend. Below is the headline from the Caller Times:

By Jessica Savage
Posted September 25, 2012 at 6:24 p.m.

CORPUS CHRISTI — Large pieces of concrete headed for the landfill soon may have a new purpose under the sea in an offshore artificial reef planned in state waters 10.5 miles east of Packery Channel.

The City Council approved a first reading Tuesday on a lease agreement with the Texas General Land Office to store materials in a 3-acre site on the Rincon Channel. A waterfront storage site has been the missing link for the project, which has the permits needed to begin building the reef, said At-large Councilman Mark Scott, who has been working on the project the past year.

“This is a great asset for tourism because it will provide a fishing and scuba diving location for nearshore activities,” he said. “It benefits Port A and Lake Padre because it’s equidistant from both.”

The 160-acre artificial reef, two years in the planning, is a partnership between the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, Saltwater-fisheries Enhancement Association, Coastal Conservation Association, Port of Corpus Christi Authority and the city of Corpus Christi. It’s part of the Near Shore Reefing Program coordinated by the state to enhance fishing and diving opportunities close to shore within state waters.

To secure the storage site, the city has to agree to a four-year lease agreement to pay a total of $32,000 for the waterfront site on port property. The agreement is expected to have a final reading Oct. 9 by the council.

Once it’s in place, SEA will begin coordinating the transport of materials to the site, said Mike Hurst, who handles offshore resources for the nonprofit. The groups will begin building the reef once there are enough materials to load onto a barge. Some of the material could come from the planned demolition of the Copano Bay bridge, where a new structure is being built. The state will help stockpile the material as the reef will take years to build.

“This is really going to be a big thing in the future,” Hurst said. “We’ll be working on it long after I’m dead.”



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