There has been considerable progress made toward securing a new artificial reef in the past two months. The Oregon Inlet Artificial Reef Committee is proud to announce that one of our own, Brian FORBES, has agreed to assume the role of grant writer. Brian is an active member of the Outer Banks Anglers Club, a knowledgeable fisherman, and is keenly interested in this project. We feel very fortunate to have Brian in this position and we are confident in his ability to do an excellent job.
The other good news concerns the fact that a new artificial reef site has been selected by the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries. It will be located at 35 degrees 41.672N/75degrees26.313W, which is approximately 8 nautical miles south-southeast of Oregon Inlet. The reef will be situated in 67 to 72 feet of water.
The proposed reef boundary will be a circle with a 1,500-foot radius and an area of approximately 162 acres, which is consistent with most other reefs in the state’s artificial reef network.
The proposed site selection was made based on public recommendation, surveys from side-scan sonar [a device that detects objects on the sea floor] sediment composition, optimal water column depth, proximity to the inlet, distance from shore and trawl hang data [records of places that commercial trawl fishermen typically avoid because their nets snag the bottom].
Depending on available funds and public approval, enhancements at this new site may be slated for late summer 2017.
The N. C. Division of Marine Fisheries will hold a public meeting on this proposed new artificial reef. The meeting is set for 6 p.m. on June 16 in Room 168 of the Dare County Administrative Building, 954 Marshall C.Collins Drive, Manteo.
With regard to funding, Manteo Marine made the first contribution to the artificial reef fund in the amount of $500. Southern Bank was next with a $250 donation. The Committee is very thankful for these generous contributions. We are seeking some matching funds which we feel will be very helpful in our efforts to obtain grant funding for construction of this new reef.
Four of our members. Pace MIMMS, Gordon GALLIGAN, Brian FORBES and Dick PARKER recently visited Coleen Marine in Chesapeake, Virginia. While there, we met with Captain Tim Mullane and discussed the actual construction materials we would need to build an artificial reef. We were joined on our visit by Jason Peters, Artificial Reef Coordinator with the NCDMF. We came to the conclusion that an ideal reef would consist of a retired vessel in the 100-150 foot range on each end with concrete pipes located on the middle between the two ships. Coleen Marine would be able to supply all of the materials for the reef as well as tow everything to the site and sink the vessels in the proper position.
Work on obtaining a new artificial reef is progressing very nicely. If you want to help, please consider making a contribution to the Oregon Inlet Artificial Reef Committee. You can do so by hitting the DONATE tab on this website. All contributions are much needed and greatly appreciated.