Thursday, September 1, 2011

Four Million Cubic Yards of Dredge Rock Being Added at New Jersey Artificial Reefs

Four million cubic yards of rock generated from New York District, Army Corps of Engineers dredging operations is being deployed on nine New Jersey reefs over the next three years as part of the Artificial Reef Program.

The dredge rock, consisting of shale, sandstone and granite ranges in size from baseball-sized pieces to boulders. The rock is being transported from areas along the Kill Van Kull, Arthur Kill and Newark Bay via tugboats and deployed by hopper scows at predetermined locations.

Adding rock to the ocean floor provides much needed hard-structure habitat for fish, lobster and other marine life. The rocky ridges and rock piles will become attachment surfaces for invertebrate marine life, such as mussels, barnacles, sponges and anemones, and will provide hiding places for bottom-dwelling species like sea bass, blackfish, crab and lobster.

The following nine reefs will be receiving dredge rock:

Shark River, Axel Carlson, Garden State North, Atlantic City, Great Egg, Townsend Inlet, Wildwood, Deepwater and Cape May.

Rock deployments will commence on August 20, 2011 at the Great Egg, Atlantic City, Garden State North Reef and Axel Carlson reefs. Rock deployments will commence on the remaining five reefs in 2012. The deployment schedule is subject to weather and sea conditions.

source: NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife

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