A photo a day from Oriental, NC, the surrounding Pamlico County area, and nearby rivers, creeks, bays and other waterways of coastal North Carolina.

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Sunday, April 11, 2010

4.11- Reef construction

Dredging barge working on the construction of an artificial reef in the Neuse River just off from Oriental 
(click image to enlarge)
An old artificial reef about half a mile off of Oriental's Whitehurst Point (mouth of Pierce's Creek) is undergoing a major expansion thanks to the Town's raising donations and grant funding for the project.

The old artificial reef at the site was built during that unfortunate era when it was common to use old automobile tires as the reef material - 22,000 tires were dumped in the river at this location.

The idea was we could get rid of all those old tires that would go to a landfill or tire mountain, and at the same time create a fish-friendly reef... Turns out tires reefs don't provide good platforms for immobile organisms and therefore don't end up attracting many fish - also the tires don't stay in place very well, and get spread out all over the place by storms.

The new expansion project will be using marl and concrete "reef balls" - kind of like giant concrete wiffle balls - to create the new hard-surfaces immobile creatures and oysters enjoy, and plenty of hidey holes that fish will hopefully adopt as their new homes.  It also looks like there are some large concrete structures like highway dividers or hog slats on the barge. 
The yellow buoy demarcates a corner of the reef area.  The green buoy in the foreground is one of the new buoys recently added to the channel into Whittaker's Creek.


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