TTMB Reef Enhancement Project Proposal

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
Artificial Reef Program
17629 El Camino Real Suite 175
Houston, TX  77058 Phone number 281-461-4064

Attention:  Ms. Jan Culbertson

Project Contact:
Monty Weeks
301 North Highway 3
League City, TX 77573
281-332-9555 email is monty@2coolfishing.com

Overview of Proposal

The members of TTMB propose to enhance an existing, but degraded  reef located in West Galveston Bay using reef ball technology.
Our proposal is to add 1000 “oyster” reef balls to an existing site labeled “obstruction-fish haven” on the Top Spot Fishing Charts.
These reef balls would be added over a 5 year period.

Proposal Details

Manpower source
52+ members of the TTMB fishing club will donate their time boats and equipment to construct, deploy, and monitor these reef balls.

group.jpg (30706 bytes)

Funding source
No public funds will be required to implement the project. 100% of the funds needed to see this project through completion will come from the TTMB members, corporate donations, and fund raising events. The mold for the reef balls will be purchased immediately upon receipt of a permit to do this work. Funds are currently in place for the purchase of the reef ball mold. Donations of land to construct the reef balls on is secured. Funds for the materials to construct the 1000 reef balls is also secured.

Location of existing fish haven

Eastern Marker Lat. 29 09.202  Long. 095 07.282
Western Marker Lat. 29 09.114 Long 095 07.319

Note:  These coordinates were taken on 6-17-2000 and are approximately 10 feet from the actual pilings.  Due to the weather conditions, 10 feet was as close as could safely be approached.

area map
Navigational considerations

Since the fish haven  is already clearly marked on commonly available charts, as well as being marked by two 10’ pilings, it is well known to local mariners. The site is .88  nautical miles from the nearest marked channel (ICW). The existing bottom depth is 6.5 feet, and would be reduced to 5.0  feet in the enhanced area. If it is determined by the USCG that a buoy is required, the buoy would be deployed prior to the start of the enhancement.

A minimum depth of 5' was observed on 6-17-2000 from channel marker 13 (Lat. 29 09.491 Long. 095 02.238) running a course of 105 degrees out to the fish haven and 285 degrees back
to marker 13.  Access would be available to vessels into the 30'-35' class, as well as most smaller recreational type vessels.

Effect on commercial interests

No commercial interests are anticipated to be affected by either the enhancement of the existing artificial reef or the deployment of the reef balls. This area is currently well marked, and not utilized by the local trawl fleet.

The deployment(s) would be scheduled on Saturdays, and would occur from private recreational vessels of the type normally used in the area for fishing and recreation.

boat used to deploy reef balls

(one of the boats that will be involved)

Environmental considerations

Reef Balls are EPA approved for habitat enhancement . (See EPA Publication EPA842-F-00-005S, reprinted at http://www.reefball.com/charharb/epa.htm). . All reef balls will be manufactured under the
strict guidelines of Reefball Inc. Stabilized cement is the primary component of reef balls.  Area building supply stores will be asked to donate any broken or opened bags of cement mix to recycle this into useful habitat.

Project need considerations

The current fish haven is badly silted over after 15+ years of existence.   The initially achieved environmental benefits of the fish haven artificial reef will be completely lost if some type of restoration or enhancement project is not undertaken soon. Restoration of the original artificial reef is not an economically feasible or environmentally preferable alternative to enhancement.

Enhancing this habitat, using modern technology will provide habitat for oysters, fish, shell fish, and various other types of marine life.

The images below are a reef ball before deployment and one year afterwards.
reef ball before deployment reef ball after one year of deployment

Success of Reef Ball Projects

Over 100,000 reef balls have been deployed in over 15,000 artificial reef projects throughout the world, and the success of these projects has been well documented by the scientific community. (See the research compendium prepared by the Reef Ball Development Group at http://www.reefball.com/research.htm).


TTMB’s proposed enhancement of the fish haven artificial reef through the use of reef ball technology will provide a direct and quantifiable environmental benefit to the West Galveston Bay Area, while requiring no outlay of public funds. The project will have no negative impacts on navigation or applicable commercial interests. TTMB looks forward to your positive review of this project, and certainly welcomes any comments or suggestions which may help us to reach our project goals.