BRUNSWICK — The Coastal Resources Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources recently deployed a deck barge as the latest addition to Artificial Reef SAV, six nautical miles southeast of Tybee Island.
It was the sixth deployment completed by the DNR at the reef over three and a half years.
The 90x30x10 foot barge was donated and deployed by Biblia, Inc. of Savannah at 31°55.008’N / 80°47.111’W in 35 feet of water. It is expected to soon be colonized by barnacles, soft corals and sponges providing the basis of a food web that will attract saltwater gamefish such as grouper, sheepshead, black sea bass and king mackerel, as well as numerous other species that use the reef as foraging and refuge habitat.
A news release said CRD staff will monitor the site using side scan sonar and diver surveys to document the structural integrity of the materials, as well as the fish and invertebrate abundance and diversity.
The CRD offshore artificial reef project is made possible by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration, fishing license funds, private donations and partnerships with local organizations that are interested in enhancing offshore fishing and diving opportunities.
“Donated materials help us to stretch our limited funds for offshore artificial reef enhancement, CRD Director Spud Woodward said. “Instead of having to use those funds to purchase suitable reef material, we use them to cover the costs of transportation and deployment. Thanks to this donor, saltwater anglers in the Savannah area have a new fishing destination.”