A partnership between the New York District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is utilizing dredged rock to enchance artificial reefs in New York including Hempstead Reef, Fire Island Reef, Moriches Reef and Shinnecock Reef.
New York reef sites are strategically located near Long Island inlets. These locations afford opportunities for smaller recreational vessels that cannot travel to offshore destinations to fish and dive.
Hempstead Artificial Reef received its first load of over 5,500 cubic yards of ACOE rock on May 27. The rock is being dredged from a channel deepening project in the Arthur Kill Channels area. Additional deployments on the reef may happen as acceptably sized rock is dredged.
The ACOE and its local sponsor, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, have harbor deepening dredge projects continuing through 2014 that can yield rock material. Dredge rock will removed from the New York Harbor area and placed on New York reef sites.
Prior cooperative projects between the ACOE and DEC have seen the deployment of over a half million cubic yards of dredged rock onto New York reefs. Individual rock deployments have benefitted recreational fishermen and divers through the increased number of patch reefs made available on the sites.
According to DEC, dredge rock has proven to be both stable and durable reef building material while providing shelter and forage opportunities for finfish and crustaceans who inhabit underwater structures.
Reef structures provide valuable marine habitat for popular finfish species such as tautog, fluke, black sea bass, scup, as well as crustaceans like lobsters.
source: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation