This project is being funded through the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundations “Keeping it Wild” program and the state’s nearshore reefing Artificial Reef Program, along with funds from Shell Oil Company through the Coastal Conservation Associations national habitat program. The program will create and enhance vitally important marine fisheries habitats along the Texas coast, benefiting recreational anglers and sport divers as well as the diverse marine populations. The specially designed pyramids are embedded with limestone to allow marine life, like worms and invertebrates, a place to burrow. The opening at the top is large enough to allow any sea turtles that may pass through the pyramids to escape.
The oil industry has been participating in the TPWD’s Rigs-to-Reefs program for many years, leaving environmentally friendly portions of decommissioned oil rigs for use as artificial reefs. More importantly, the oil companies also donate a portion of the money saved by not removing the rigs in their entirety. This money has been essential for pursuing the state and federal permits required to build the artificial reef and placement of other reef materials for the program. Two additional decommissioned rigs currently stand in the 381-acre area permitted for the new reef, making them prime candidates for the Rigs-to-Reef program and further enhancing the “Keeping it Wild Reef” site.
Read more about Rigs-to-Reefs and Keeping it Wild, as well as the joint Keeping it Wild Reef project.