Coastal Conservation Association of Louisiana’s REEF Louisiana Program began construction Tuesday on a set of new artificial reefs in South Marsh Island Block 233, on a former speckled trout fishing hotspot where oil and gas platforms have been removed. The new reef complex will be named in honor of Lafayette area conservation legend Ted Beaullieu, Sr.
Along with conservation partners Chevron, CCA’s Building Conservation Trust and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, CCA’s REEF Louisiana program will build two reef sites using a variety of recycled concrete “materials of opportunity.” The materials will include recycled platform legs, catch basins and construction materials that have been made available to CCA and approved for use on the project.
The reefs will replace habitat that was once a favorite of speckled trout anglers before oil and gas platforms were removed. Each of the new reefs will cover about 2 acres, and the site will total roughly 5 to 6 acres. Each reef will be designed to optimize the water and bottom conditions with the hopes of creating the best possible fish habitat. The reefs are in roughly 20 feet of water, and the materials will be placed on the bottom to create up to 6 feet of elevation from the seafloor.
CCA Louisiana will name the project after Mr. Beaullieu, Sr. in honor of his lifetime of service to Louisiana’s coast. Beaullieu is a member of the CCA Louisiana Hall of Fame, created the CCA Louisiana Ted Beaullieu, Sr. Scholarship (given annually to a University of Louisiana at Lafayette student) and has been recognized for his conservation leadership by numerous national organizations.
This is the first-ever CCA REEF Louisiana Project, and the 25th reef project by CCA Louisiana in recent years, representing more than $10 million in habitat creation. It will be CCA’s second reef project built on the site of removed oil and gas platforms. The first was the “Pickets Reef” complex in Ship Shoal Block 26 (built in 2014), one of the most popular and productive projects ever completed by CCA.
Funding for the Beaullieu project comes from CCA Louisiana, Chevron, CCA’s Building Conservation Trust and LDWF’s Artificial Reef Trust Fund, as well individual gifts from CCA REEF Louisiana Club members. In-kind donations are provided by DLS Energy and Road Rock Recycling.
CCA and our partners will hold a dedication ceremony this Thursday, June 27, at 10am at Quintana Landing in Cypremort Point. After the ceremony, those in attendance will have the opportunity to tour the reef construction site. Boats will be on hand to provide transportation to and from the reef site.
CCA’s REEF Louisiana Program is working on plans for other new reefs, including projects in Vermilion Blocks 119 and 124, Eugene Island Blocks 51 and 74, and other popular sites across Louisiana. These projects are part of the new REEF Louisiana Program, in which CCA, LDWF and our partners rebuild fisheries habitat on the sites of removed platforms. For more information about REEF Louisiana or to become a REEF Club Member, please contact David at 225-952-9200.
Construction of the Ted Beaullieu, Sr. Reef complex should take 7-10 days. Once work is completed, CCA will publicize the GPS coordinates for both reefs.