City Council Give Go-Ahead to Build Artificial Reef in Gulf

City Council members took action at City Hall on Tuesday that could result in improved conditions for sport fishing in the Gulf of Mexico.

It is a fact that dormant oil and gas rigs offshore can be turned into artificial reefs and be used to attract tens of thousands of fish, and now, using that same principle, the State and City are teaming up to create a different kind of artificial reef off Padre Island.

Council gave the go-ahead to Tuesday to spend about $32,000 to pay for a site that will store all the construction material that will be used to form that coral reef 10 miles off Packery Channel.

The Texas Public Artificial Reefing Program was designed to increase the number of coral reefs in the Gulf. That is good for the fishing and diving industries.

Three years ago, the State went to the City to see if it would help to fund the  construction of an artificial reef off our coastline. The two sides got together again and brought in the Saltwater Fisheries Enhancement Association. The SEA Group agreed to match the City's financial contribution in the project.

The Coastal Conservation Association also pledged $100,000 to build the reef. Now, that project is one step closer to reality after the City gave its blessing.

"This site is fully permitted what eight miles out in between Packery Channel and Port Aransas," Councilman Mark Scott said. "So it benefits tourism in both Port Aransas and eventually marina activity in Lake Padre."

Now, the State of Texas has concrete material right now that it can use, and believes it will have much more in the future. That is because a new Copano Bay Bridge is being built and the old structure demolished.

That may sound like a lot of concrete to have to get rid of, but the reef being built will be on a 160-acre site.


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