Two artificial ocean reefs off the Jersey Shore will soon be teeming with even more marine life, state officials announced.
The Sea Girt and Axel Carlson reefs, situated 3.6 and 2 nautical miles off Sea Girt and Mantoloking, respectively, will each receive 930 cubic yards of concrete rubble from a seawall this month, according to a release from the New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife.
From the state release:
Once the concrete is deployed it will serve as an attachment surface for mussels, barnacles, hydroids, anemones, stony coral and other invertebrates, which will quickly cover the structures with a living carpet, providing the base of a productive marine food chain. By summer, the new reef will be colonized by sea bass, tautog, scup, triggerfish and summer flounder. It will then become a favorite target of anglers coming out of the Manasquan Inlet.
The deployment location for the Axel Carlson Reef is 40 00.900′ 73 59.700′ and 40 07.450′ 73 56.800′ for Sea Girt.
The state, which holds permits for 13 artificial reefs in federal waters and two in state waters, encompassing 25 square miles of ocean floor, funds the program through excise taxes on recreational fishing gear and motor boat fuel.
Providing a habitat for a variety of marine organisms to grow along with food and habitat for fish and shellfish, the reefs are made of rocks, concrete and steel, and old ships and barges.