Since 1984, the New Jersey Artificial Reef Program has constructed over 1000 reefs, including over 100 vessels, on its network of 15 ocean sites located from Sandy Hook to Cape May. Reefs are constructed from ships and barges, concrete demolition debris, dredge rock, concrete-ballasted tire units and a variety of other dense materials.
New Jersey's Artificial Reef Program is one of the biggest and most successful of any, especially from a diver's perspective. In comparison with most other Atlantic Coast states, New Jersey's Artificial Reef Program has placed more vessels per person and per mile of coastline than any other state. New Jersey's Artificial Reef Program has also placed millions of tons of rock and concrete rubble.
With a very limited budget, the Reef Program has depended upon donation from anglers, divers, clubs and marine businesses to cover the costs of cleaning and preparing ships and other materials for sinking on reefs.
Bill Figley presides over the sinking of the HRFA reef, 2001
New leader named for artificial habitat program
Hugh Carberry, a 17-year veteran of the DEP's Division of Fish and Wildlife, has been selected to serve as the new coordinator of New Jersey's innovative Artificial Reef Program.
Before becoming coordinator, Carberry served as a supervising biologist for the Fish and Wildlife's Bureau of Freshwater Fisheries, heading up its Research and Management Section. During his career, Carberry documented spawning locations of river herring and American shad, wrote fisheries management plans for lakes and reservoirs, and coordinated Freshwater Fisheries' Artificial Reef Program.
He also worked as a laboratory technician for the Bureau of Shellfisheries and as a boat captain of a 32-foot research vessel. He earned a bachelor's degree in Marine Science from Stockton State College in 1988. A devoted marine angler, Carberry lives to fish on New Jersey's inshore and offshore fishing grounds.
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