L.D.W.F. TO CONSTRUCT EXPERIMENTAL REEF FOR LAKE PONTCHARTRAIN
The Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation spearheaded a cooperative effort
with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to construct an
experimental artificial reef in Lake Pontchartrain. This is the second
reef constructed in the lake by the Lake Pontchartrain Artificial Reef
The reef is constructed of reef balls which were barged from Florida to
the site. Designed to provide habitat for both plant and animal life, the
reef balls are dome-shaped hollow cement structures with large holes to
allow water to flow through them.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Artificial Reef Program
began in 1987 with the deployment of its first artificial reef. The reef
was constructed offshore from an obsolete oil and gas platform in South
Marsh Island 146. Since the construction of that first reef the department
has created over 115 at 34 sites from obsolete platforms. In 1991, the
department deployed its first inshore artificial reef. These reefs were
constructed from shell and limestone.
Reef balls are the department's latest attempt to evaluate clean,
environmentally safe, low-profile materials for its inshore artificial
reef program. In addition to the non-polluting aspects of the material, it
must also be durable and stable, meaning the material must last a long
time and must not move off location.
The reef balls were placed in 13 to 15 feet of water so that they do not
pose a threat to navigation and will be evaluated for the marine life
attracted to them as well as for their stability. Each ball was
individually identified with brass placards listing telephone numbers and
other contact information, should the balls move off the site.
The reefs are being constructed on the site of three old abandoned shell
pads used by the oil and gas industry. The pads were certified to be
environmentally clean, and are approximately 200 by 300 feet in size and
have three to four feet of relief. The reef balls were placed around the
perimeter of the pads.
The new reefs are a 15 minute boat ride from either Bonnabel or Williams
boat launches. They are located approximately two and a half miles
offshore and are about three miles west of the Causeway Bridge.
For more information, contact Rick Kasprzak at 225/765-2375
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