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The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Artificial Reef Program got a boost from Forest Oil on Thursday, September 18. Larry Fontenot, of the Denver based petroleum company that operates out of Lafayette, presented LDWF with a check of $2.5 million and ownership of an oil platform near Eugene Island. The platform, rendered inoperable by Hurricane Lili, has been scrubbed and cleaned of all hazardous materials and will now become an artificial reef. The monetary donation will go to help cover the program's costs.
Louisiana's Artificial Reef Program has enjoyed much recent success in improving the habitat for fisheries in coastal waters and the gulf. The program creates artificial reefs by submerging obsolete oil and gas platforms in gulf waters. This helps to provide valuable habitat for fishes and prime fishing areas for anglers.

The arrangement between Forest Oil and the department is beneficial to both sides. To properly dispose of an obsolete platform, a company could spend several million dollars. By donating the platform to the program, a company can save a substantial amount of money and help to provide a service to the public.

The latest addition to the program is located in the Eugene Island area, just 90 miles south of Marsh Islands. The rig will be submerged in 225 feet of water. The exact location is: Longitude 28 degrees 17 minutes 51 seconds west, latitude 91 degrees 42 minutes 57 seconds north.

For more information, contact Rick Kasprzak at 225/765-2375




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