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New artificial reef off Cameron coast completed

March 6, 2022 GMT

CAMERON, La. (AP) — Construction of a new artificial reef off the coast of a southwest Louisiana city has been completed.

The reef, about 10 miles (16 kilometers) southwest of Holly Beach, was built in an area where an oil platform was recently removed, with the intention of rebuilding a fish habitat, KPLC-TV reported.

The reef was built by the Coastal Conservation Association of Louisiana, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the Building Conservation Trust. It’s in about 25 feet (7.6 meters) of water in Cameron, which is located on the Gulf of Mexico just 30 miles (48.2 kilometers) east of the Texas state line, and can be reached by boat from Holly Beach or the Calcasieu Ship Channel.

“We worked with our Lake Charles CCA Chapter to identify this specific location,” David Cresson, chief executive of CCA, said in a statement. “Vital fisheries habitat is lost each time a platform is removed from Louisiana’s nearshore waters. Through REEF Louisiana, CCA members are doing something about that issue.”

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Several hundred tons of recycled concrete were used to create small clusters of structures spread out in columns and rows over four to five acres. Conservationists hope a diverse range of fish will call the reefs home, including nearshore species like speckled trout and redfish.

“People from Southwest Louisiana fished those platforms in West Cameron 45 for years, and it is sad to see so many of those great fishing spots being removed,” said Eric Mire, president of the Lake Charles CCA Chapter. “It makes me proud of CCA, the Lake Charles Chapter and our partners to see us replacing these removed platforms with great new fish habitat.”

A new inshore reef is expected to be completed in Calcasieu Lake in 2022.