Last fall a series of man-made reefs were constructed off the south shore of Long Island to improve marine life habitat and bolster recreational opportunities for fishing and scuba diving.
The Rockaway Reef project was enhanced by Williams to offset temporary environmental impacts associated with construction of the Transco pipeline’s Rockaway Delivery Lateral in 2014. More than 450 sections of concrete coated steel pipe were placed to expand the network of individual patch reefs throughout the Rockaway Reef site. These patch reefs provide valuable marine habitat for popular finfish species such as tautog, fluke, black sea bass and scup, as well as for crabs and lobsters.
The Jamaica Bay Ecowatchers recently conducted dive surveillance of the reef sites and reported encouraging results.
“The reef material, 24-inch concrete tubes, were already covered in mussels and corral and the areas inhabited by large schools of fish including Tautog, sea bass, Fluke, small bait balls, and lobsters,” the group writes on their blog. “This is only 8 months after the material was placed and the transformation is really amazing to see.”
Rockaway Reef is one of 11 sites managed through NYSDEC’s Artificial Reef Program, which was established to increase fisheries habitat and provide marine fish and other organisms additional opportunities for shelter and foraging.