EDISTO ISLAND, S.C. (WCBD) – A new artificial reef is now in its resting place 13 miles off the coast of Edisto Island. The Coastal Conservation Association of South Carolina (CCA) partnered with the Department of Natural Resources and Sea Hunt Boats to create and then sink the artificial reef.
The barge is 260 feet long, 50 feet wide, and 30 feet deep with old shipping containers are stacked on top.
“It’s gonna be a great addition to the recreational fishing community,” said Scott Whitaker of the Coastal Conservation Association. “Marine resources as well. It’s going to create some live habitat and it’s going to be a fantastic addition off the coast of South Carolina.”
The barge will act as a habitat for marine life which, in turn, will draw in recreational anglers and divers. Whitaker says projects like these are all about creating access to the South Carolina way of life.
“What we’re trying to do is to create that, and enhance that by creating access. Places for people to go, places for marine life to live and flourish and thrive. That’s the purpose of this.”
Once the barge was anchored in place, intake valves were opened allowing water to flood and then sink the vessel. Those whole process took just over an hour and a half, though Whitaker says similar projects in the past have taken up to six hours. This barge is the 15th artificial reef created by CCA in the last decade.
“Divers will be able to find it, it will be open to the public recreational anglers will be able to find it and use it,” said Whitaker.
After the barge rolled over and sunk, Whitaker said the day was a success.
“We’re excited about having this latest deployment done. I think in the next ten days, two weeks we’ll start to see some wildlife, marine life find a new home,” he said.
Whitaker says CCA does projects like these as often as they are able to, depending on the cost and availability of materials.