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Oregon Inlet Artificial Reef Gets Funding

From left, Terry, Robin, Britton, and Justin Stewart of TW’s present $20,000 to J. Richard Parker, right, chairman of the Oregon Inlet Artificial Reef Committee. Submitted photo

Reprinted from Outer Banks Voice

A new artificial reef to be built 8 miles south of the Oregon Inlet sea buoy has been funded by a grant from the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries.

Through the sale of coastal recreational fishing licenses, a two-year grant in the amount of $882,000 was awarded to the Oregon Inlet Artificial Reef Committee for the construction of AR-165.

In addition to fishing licenses money, local matching funds were donated by TW’s Bait & Tackle, Manteo Marine and Southern Bank. Local funding is still being sought and donations can be made through the website of the Outer Banks Anglers Club.

Prior to beginning reef construction, all state and federal permits must be obtained. A Coastal Area Management Act major permit is expected to be issued within the next few weeks. It is anticipated that federal permits will follow thereafter, although the exact time period is unknown.

The initial reef construction will consist of one ship about 100-140 feet in length. The retired vessel will be towed to the reef site and sunk in place.

In addition to the ship, 2,000 tons of concrete material consisting of assorted concrete pipe ranging in size from 36- to 76-inches in diameter and 8-feet in length will be used in the construction of AR-165.

The concrete will be barged to the reef site and deployed as directed by a North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries Artificial Reef Group representative.

Second-year plans call for an additional 6,000 tons of concrete material and possibly another ship, if funding allows.

No material from the demolition of the Bonner Bridge will be used on this new reef. That debris is all scheduled to be used to enhance four older reefs in the vicinity of Oregon Inlet.

For more information, visit www.outerbanksanglersclub.com and click on the link to the Oregon Inlet Artificial Reef Committee.

This story is provided courtesy of the Outer Banks Voice, a digital newspaper covering the Outer Banks. Coastal Review Online is partnering with the Voice to provide readers with more environmental and lifestyle stories of interest about our coast.