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#07-124 April 30, 2007

New materials for Georgetown area artificial reefs

Artificial reefs off the coast of Georgetown were enhanced recently, with two deployment efforts of the S.C. Department of Natural Resources.

The Georgetown area reefs receiving the recent materials include the Georgetown Reef and the Greenville Reef, which lie offshore from Winyah Bay.  The materials enhance the existing reefs and provide suitable structures for a thriving habitat that will attract numerous marine species.

On April 18th, S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Marine Artificial Reef Program coordinators deployed a 50-foot tugboat on the Georgetown Reef, located 7.5 miles from Winyah Bay. The tugboat was added to a reef that lies in water depths of 40 feet and already includes structures such as steel beams, shipping containers, deck barges, concrete cones and landing crafts. Coordinates for the addition to the Georgetown Reef are 32 14.096 latitude north - 079 00.539 longitude west.

Days later, on April 23rd DNR staff deployed a 105-foot tugboat on the Greenville Reef, located 17.5Tugboat sinking miles off of Winyah Bay. The Greenville Reef, at a water depth of 85 feet, is composed of deck barges, dry dock units, fuel barges and a ship. Coordinates for the new addition to the Greenville Reef are 32 56.766 latitude north - 078 54.629 longitude west.

South Carolina’s marine artificial reefs are constructed for several important reasons. Primarily, they are useful for providing additional productive locations for recreational saltwater anglers. Additionally, artificial reefs create hard bottom habitat areas for marine species, areas that are limited off the coast of South Carolina.

The DNR Marine Artificial Reef Program currently maintains 45 reef sites in estuarine, coastal and offshore waters.  The sites are marked with yellow Nun buoys to assist boaters in locating and using the reefs.

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