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DNR, construction company add scrap to fishing reef
Stafford Island 11 2017
Workers dump the scrapped concrete from a barge onto the reef. - photo by Photo provided.

BRUNSWICK — The Georgia Department of Natural Resources recently coordinated an enhancement of Camden County’s Stafford Island Inshore Artificial Reef.

Mortenson Construction of Minneapolis, MN, donated 57 square concrete pilings and barge services to dump those materials, making the project entirely private funded. The pilings are part of P611 Crab Island Security Enclave where Mortenson is upgrading and constructing new security measures on NSB Kings Bay.

The Stafford Island reef is one of a series of 15 inshore manmade fish habitats along the Georgia coast. It is located in the Cumberland River, Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway River Mile 705 near ICW marker G"71", at Stafford Island, near St. Mary’s (30 49.157’N / 81 29.280’W).

"Our hope is these materials will find new purpose and support the preservation of the marine ecosystem in coastal Georgia," said Mark Ruffino, vice president and general manager at Mortenson. "We’re pleased to help play a role in promoting marine biodiversity and enhancing the Stafford Island Inshore Artificial Reef habitat."

In 1997, a 3.67-acre area along the northwest shore of Cumberland Island was designated as the Stafford Island Inshore Artificial Reef. In the past, concrete culverts, pilings and fish aggregating devices have been sunk at the site with some materials partially exposed during low tides.

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