Efforts are underway to restore marine habitat while improving fishing opportunities for recreational fisherman in the Chesapeake Bay.  Coastal Conservation Association’s (CCA’s) national marine habitat program, the Building Conservation Trust (BCT), has partnered with CCA Maryland, the Maryland Artificial Reef Initiation (MARI), Rinker Materials and Engel Coolers to add several hundred tons of concrete structure to the Tangier Sound reef site.

Over the next several weeks, more than 300 tons of concrete reef structure is being hauled by Rinker Materials from Frederick, Maryland and loaded up for deployment in Tangier Sound.  Marine contractor Smith Brothers, Inc. from Galesville, Maryland was recently awarded the deployment contract for construction of the new reef. In whole, the habitat project is valued at more than $100k.  CCA Maryland’s habitat committee has been working together with the Maryland Artificial Reef Initiative and BCT to develop the project which will expand the network of individual reefs already throughout the Tangier Sound site. Once the material is in place, the concrete will duplicate naturally occurring habitat by providing hard substrate. This process is necessary to the basic formation of a live-bottom community of invertebrates, like filter-feeding oysters, which quickly colonize and inhabit almost every square inch of reef structures.

The Building Conservation Trust (BCT) is Coastal Conservation Association’s national habitat program. BCT provides funding for local, state and national fisheries, habitat conservation and restoration projects. For more information visit www.buildingconservation.org