LOUISIANA'S NEW ARTIFICIAL REEF
The Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) recently completed construction on Independence Island Reef, the largest limestone inshore artificial reef project ever completed in Louisiana.
“This project is the result of nearly two years of hard work and dedication by CCA volunteers, the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and NOAA,” said David Cresson, CCA Louisiana Executive Director. “Anglers and their families will enjoy the benefits of this reef for generations.”
The project has been a long time coming. “The recreational fishing industry has sustained a number of challenges over the last six years – hurricanes, the Gulf oil spill and recent flood waters from the Mississippi River have and will continue to impact our inshore reefs along Louisiana's coast,” said LDWF Assistant Secretary Randy Pausina. “Projects like this one are an essential component in restoring our recreational fisheries. We are incredibly grateful for Governor Jindal, Secretary Barham, CCA and of all our partners for their leadership in what is an essential effort to rebuild areas along our coast that have been damaged by erosion.”
Nearly 8,000 tons of limestone were dropped from barges onto four acres about three miles Northeast of Grand Isle, where Independence Island was once located. The total site acreage is more than 50 acres. The center of the reef is located at 29° 18' 26.98" N, -89° 56' 01.01"W and will be marked by several mooring buoys. The buoys will be deployed later this month.
Cresson also thanked a number of additional partners who helped make the project possible, namely Shell Oil Company, The Paul Candies Family, Vulcan Materials and Bertucci Contractors. “Without their generosity and their commitment to conservation, this project would not have been possible,” he said.