Project to Create and Enhance Louisiana Marine Habitat
LAKE CHARLES, Louisiana – (July 20, 2018) – On Thursday, July 19, construction was underway on an expansion to the Brad Vincent Reef in Calcasieu Lake. Building Conservation Trust (BCT), the National Habitat Program of Coastal Conservation Association (CCA), is a partner of this project with CCA Louisiana, Phillips 66 Lake Charles Manufacturing Complex, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and DLS Energy. Matching funds from this project came from LDWF’s Artificial Reef Trust Fund. Media members were in attendance on Thursday to view the reef installation and interview project leaders.
This deployment is the first enhancement to the original Brad Vincent reef, constructed in 2012 in memory of Lake Charles area conservationist Brad Vincent. The original project created roughly six acres of reef habitat in mid-Calcasieu Lake that has become a popular hot spot for Big Lake anglers.
“It is monumental that we are able to create new structures to benefit marine habitat,” said David Cresson, executive director of CCA Louisiana, “and it is just as important that we are able to not only maintain these reefs, but to also enhance them as the years go by. We are thrilled to be a continued partner of this impactful project.”
The main objective of the artificial reef is to create new habitat and enhance marine life in Calcasieu Lake. This part of the project will provide habitat for larger vertebrates and contribute to overall ecosystem productivity. It will be approximately 3-4 acres and constructed of roughly 2,000 tons of limestone and recycled concrete. These materials will construct low-relief “shell-reef” type structures to enhance habitats and fisheries resources.
This project would not have been possible without the support of Phillips 66, who awarded a grant of $90,000 to BCT and CCA Louisiana.
“Phillips 66 is proud to work together with the Coastal Conservation Association to build a sustainable marine environment that preserves the important Calcasieu Lake habitat,” said Richard G. Harbison, Phillips 66 Lake Charles Manufacturing Complex Manager. “It is an incredible opportunity knowing that the volunteers and conservationists helping with this project are in alignment with our key company values to improve lives where we live and work.”
CCA’s Building Conservation Trust was created to provide vital funding for grassroots-driven projects that achieve one or more of five key objectives: Restore degraded habitats; Create new habitats; Advance the science of coastal habitat and marine fisheries conservation; Foster habitat stewardship; and Educate coastal communities of the value of conservation.
“This project, which employs all of BCT’s core objectives, really shows the value of strong partnerships,” said John Carlson, chairman of Building Conservation Trust. “The passion and dedication of these partners and the local community are what make these marine habitat projects possible.”