New Jersey Scuba Diving
Now with GPS numbers !
Throughout this website, you have probably found many references to artificial reefs. An artificial reef is any man-made object placed in the sea as a habitat for marine organisms. Sea life is drawn like a magnet to any large object in the otherwise featureless bottom sand. Almost anything will do, but objects that can withstand the corrosive effects of salt water are best.
The famous ( or infamous ) 'Redbirds' subway cars
I miss the days when they used explosives to sink reefs.
The objective of artificial reefs is to create hard structure habitat for mussels, Sea Bass, Blackfish, Porgy, lobster and many other species of marine life. Once fish and shellfish establish themselves in their new homes - and it doesn't take long - the reefs produce excellent catches of fish for anglers and provide underwater attractions for scuba divers.
All artificial reef activities are controlled by the Army Corps of Engineers, which issues permits for specified materials to be sunk only in specified locations, to avoid creating hazards to navigation. Once a permit for an area is issued, the state may build the reef as it sees fit with little more involvement from the ACOE. Permits must be renewed periodically. The chart above indicates permitted areas in three states, as well as the main approaches to New York harbor. One of the difficulties in selecting a location for a reef is obvious - any place inside the heavily-trafficked shipping lanes is out of the question.
Artificial Reef Activity by State
|New England||[ no significant artificial reef building activity ]|
|New York||19.0 million||127 miles||~ 65|
|New Jersey||8.5 million||130 miles||131|
|Delaware||0.8 million||28 miles||~ 3 ?|
|Maryland||5.4 million||31 miles||~ 3 ?|
|Virginia||7.2 million||112 miles||~ 12|
|North Carolina||8.2 million||301 miles||~ 35|
|South Carolina||4.0 million||187 miles||~ 100|
|Georgia||8.4 million||100 miles||~ 41|
|Florida ( including Gulf )||16.4 million||1350 miles||~ 380|
|California||34.5 million||840 miles||< 10|
Everyone benefits from artificial reefs
A Guide to Fishing & Diving New Jersey Reefs
NJ Division of Fish & Wildlife, 3rd edition, pdf
Includes GPS numbers for all reef sites.
Download your copy of the 3rd edition here. This invaluable book has been out of print for years.
Load Table of Contents in sidebar ( much faster website navigation )
- Artificial Reef Program
- Department of Environmental Protection
- Division of Fish and Wildlife
- Division of Fish and Wildlife (Facebook)
- Bureau of Marine Fisheries
- APP Fishing & Boating
I make no claim as to the accuracy, validity, or appropriateness of any information found in this website. I will not be responsible for the consequences of any action that is based upon information found here. Scuba diving is an adventure sport, and as always, you alone are responsible for your own safety and well being.
Copyright © 1996-2016 Rich Galiano
unless otherwise noted