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** Archived Article - please check for current information. **

August 28, 2015Charleston County artificial reef grows

Off the coast of Edisto Island, a 50-foot barge now lies submerged on the seafloor – but it’s no shipwreck. S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) officials recently deployed the barge in an effort to grow the original artificial reef site known as the Edisto 40’ Reef.

Artificial reefs, man-made structures laid on the seafloor and lakebeds, provide habitat for marine life and attract fish from many levels of the food chain. DNR has constructed dozens of artificial reefs off the coast of South Carolina to increase the amount of fish habitat and enhance recreational opportunities for saltwater anglers and sport divers.

DNR staff worked with the Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) to expand the Edisto 40’ reef site this month. CCA funded the preparation of the 50-foot barge, and officials have named the new reef section the CCA-Edisto 40’ Reef.

“To create more complexity on the vessel and a higher profile in the water column, additional steel pipe was welded onto the deck of the barge,” said Bob Martore, artificial reef coordinator for the agency. “This will entice schools of baitfish and even spadefish to school around the vessel”.

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