CCA and Conservation Partners to Build Two New Nearshore Reefs

Chevron and LDWF to support CCA’s REEF Louisiana Projects at Bay Marchand 3 and South Timbalier 51 in August.

The Coastal Conservation Association of Louisiana, in cooperation with Chevron and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, is making final preparations for two new artificial reef projects to be deployed in the State’s nearshore waters in August. Over the next few weeks, CCA and our partners plan to complete large reefs in Bay Marchand Block 3 and South Timbalier Block 51.

The projects are part of CCA’s REEF Louisiana program, aimed at rebuilding critical fish habitat that is lost when oil and gas platforms are removed from the water. Both of these new reef sites were home to platforms that have been recently removed, and were identified by anglers as desirable reef locations.

Bay Marchand Block 3-This site south of Port Fourchon is in about 45 feet of water, and is easily reachable with a short boat ride from Belle Pass or Caminada Pass. CCA will deploy several hundred tons of recycled concrete structures at this location using a modular grid design. Small clusters of these structures will be spread out in columns and rows over 5 to 6 acres in an effort to optimize bottom contours and water conditions. The design will also create overlapping “feeding halos” where a variety of fish species may thrive. In these depths, it is likely that a diverse range of fish could call these reefs home, including nearshore species like red drum and speckled trout, as well as reef species like snapper, cobia and more.

South Timbalier Block 51– Located about 20 miles south of West Timbalier Island in about 60 feet of water, the ST 51 reef site will also utilize hundreds of tons of recycled roadway structures to create new fish habitat.  The design for this project will feature a larger cluster of material at the reef center, with numerous “satellite” clusters deployed in a circular pattern around the center. At these depths, the ST 51 Reef should provide great habitat for a variety of reef species, like red snapper, mangrove snapper, grouper, cobia and more.

Funding for these projects is provided by CCA’s REEF Louisiana Program and Chevron, along with matching funds from LDWF’s Artificial Reef Trust Fund. Additional funding is provided by members of CCA’s REEF Club. In-kind labor is being provided by Romeo Papa Boat Company. Materials are being donated by Gainey’s Concrete and Road Rock Recycling.

The Bay Marchand 3 and South Timbalier 51 reef sites will be studied and monitored by CCA and the LSU Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences, thanks to a generous grant from Chevron. Pre and post-construction surveys will be performed on each site, and the success of the reefs will be measured over time to learn about the viability and productivity of the materials and reef designs we utilize. Results of these surveys will be made available to the public.

CCA’s REEF Louisiana program has plans to announce another reef to be completed later this summer at Vermilion Block 69, in partnership with Shell and LDWF. Details on that project are being finalized, and an announcement will be forthcoming in the next two weeks. CCA has additional plans for nearshore reefs at Eugene Island Block 51, South Timbalier Block 165 and Cameron Block 45, as well as 2 inshore reefs near Four Bayous Pass and in Calcasieu Lake over the coming months.

When the Bay Marchand 3 and South Timbalier 51 reef projects are completed, CCA will publish the GPS locations.

Over recent years, CCA has completed more than 30 artificial reefs across Louisiana’s coast. Most recently, CCA built the Green Monster Reef in Plaquemines Parish, replacing fisheries habitat that was lost when the iconic “Green Monster” platform complex was removed from West Delta Blocks 23 and 24. Get more information about CCA’s REEF Louisiana Program, or learn about CCA’s previous reef projects.