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Saturday, May 17 2003

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Life’s a Ball on South Jersey Reefs
By Andy Hahn

Over the next three years, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of Fish and Wildlife will add Reef Ball habitats to artificial reef sites from Little Egg to Cape May inlets. Made of concrete, Reef Balls look like 3-foot-high igloos full of holes, weigh 1,600 pounds and provide hard-structure habitat for marine life ranging from barnacles to sea bass.

The state placed 1,900 Reef Balls off the coast of Ocean County over the past three years and reports improved fishing at these sites. Encouraged by such success, the Division of Fish and Wildlife plans to deploy 700 Reef Balls at each of these reef sites: Wildwood, Cape May (in 2002), Little Egg, Atlantic City (2003), Ocean City, Great Egg (2004).

Anglers, divers and sportsmen’s clubs are encouraged to sponsor the construction of Reef Balls with tax-deductible donations. Sponsors can name their own reef and receive a laminated plaque. For more information, call 609-748-2020 or write the Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Reef Program, P.O. Box 418, Port Republic, NJ 08241.

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