. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Continued

In July of 1996 Project 98 was born and fund raising began to deploy 400 "Reef
Balls" throughout four of the existing reef sites to enhance the habitat. This project was completed on time and within budget in April of 1998.

The use of "Reef Balls" was the first in the state of North Carolina and have proven to be true "Fish Motels". Recent surveying with the Aqua-Vu Underwater Viewing system show large amounts of growth and marine life.

In July of 1998, the Long Bay Artificial Reef Association Club Challenge was born. Held annually in July this King Mackerel and Flounder Tournament pits fishing club against fishing club for braggin rights while still recognizing individual achievements. All proceeds go to the Artificial Reef Association.

For the record, N.C. Products of Raleigh donated the concrete pipe. The Stevedoring Companies (SSA, Cooper T. Smith and South East Crescent) have donated the use of their equipment to move the material. In addition, the Brunswick County Commissioners gave a generous donation to help in the cost of transporting the pipe.

Thanks to the help of many friends, Project 2000 grew to include 600 "Reef Balls" and a 100' barge. The barge was sunk in March, 2000 on AR 420. The barge project was a joint effort between U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, U.S. Army, Sunny Point, U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Office, U.S. Coast Guard, Station Oak Island, U.S. Marine Corp, Cherry Point and the NCDMF Artificial Reef Division. The 600 "Reef Balls" were also deployed during the spring of 2000 with 100 being deployed to all sites except AR 465. President Dale McDowell added, "As long as the funds are there we are willing to handle the logistics of the project."

Sounds like a challenge to me!

Long Bay Artificial Reef Sites
AR 420, 3.0
nm from Cape Fear Sea Buoy AR 425, 4.4 nm from Cape Fear Sea Buoy AR 440, 4.5 nm from Lockwood Folly Inlet AR 445, 9.3 nm from Lockwood Folly Inlet AR 455, 7.0 nm from Shallotte Inlet
AR 460, 3.0 nm from Shallotte Inlet
AR 465, 30 nm from Lockwood Folly Inlet

For additional information regarding the LBARA program, contact Jim Knight at 910-457-6323. For information regarding the reef project in NC, contact Mr. Jim Francescoin, Marine Fisheries, at 1-800-682-2632.


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