Vessels Sunk to Bolster NJ’s Artificial Reef Program

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On the morning of Jan. 14, 3 vessels ended up sunk 5 miles off Holgate to assist bolster an artificial reef.
That day, a tugboat from Virginia brought a 140-foot barge, a 45-foot tug boat and a 30-foot push boat to the Very little Egg Synthetic Reef to make a new habitat for the marine environment. The system was envisioned and coordinated by the Junior Mates of the Beach Haven Charter Fishing Affiliation.
“This will be the 1st deployment here because 2005, a lifetime for most of our mates,” reported John Lewis, association president. “The average synthetic reef in New Jersey has 600,000 cubic yards of materials. The reefs off of Extensive Beach front Island are the most undeveloped in the point out – Backyard Condition northeast about 50,000 cubic yards Backyard State South has only 12,000 cubic yards. The Barnegat Mild Reef has only 10,000 cubic yards, and Minimal Egg had only 9,000 cubic yards.”
At first, Lewis said, the vessels have been heading to be sunk in early December.
“But then we had a extend of negative temperature, so they experienced to delay it,” he explained. “Our mentioned goal is to sustain and extend the present reefs off of LBI in order to make habitat for all of the sea creatures that kind the food items chain, hence raising the figures of fish, maximize the fishing alternatives and serving to to make improvements to the maritime-associated business enterprise surroundings on the Island and surrounding mainland.”
The project value $100,000, with the affiliation elevating $50,000. It was matched with a $50,000 contribution from the Sport Fishing Fund, longtime financiers of synthetic reefs in New Jersey.
The a few sunken vessels every single have their possess name. Lewis claimed the barge is the Hughes Family Reef, due to the fact they and their Sea Shell Vacation resort and Seaside Club “raised the lion’s share of the funds.” The tugboat reef is named for Cap. John Koegler, a founding affiliation member and previous president and treasurer.
“The Junior Mates system was his satisfaction and pleasure,” said Lewis. “John passed away in 2015 and was a mentor to the captains as well as the junior mates and was a fountain of understanding who taught me many factors. The push boat is the BHCFA Junior Mate Reef’ simply because they pushed this notion forward.”
Lewis claimed synthetic reefs are composed mostly of previous boats, obsolete military automobiles, concrete building debris and railroad cars and trucks. He said reefs off Prolonged Beach Island have been deteriorating through the organic degradation of the metals, which are sinking into the sand.
“The reefs can be casualties of frequent motion of the sand due to wave action, especially for the duration of storms, which will scour all-around the base of any structure, resulting in that construction to sink into the sand,” he claimed. “And Superstorm Sandy brought on a lot of hurt to some of the reefs.”
Species of the fish identified by the reefs incorporate sea bass, tautogs, flukes, bluefish and bonitos.
“We’re hoping the reef must be an appealing spot for fishers by this summertime,” he mentioned. “If not, undoubtedly by the next summer season.”
— Eric Englund
(Photos by Jack Reynolds)

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