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Deployments Continue at Nearshore Reefing Sites on Upper Texas Coast

By June 27, 2022 Uncategorized

By John Blaha

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s (TPWD) Nearshore Reefing Program has completed additional nearshore reefing efforts at the Sabine HI20 and Galveston’s Big Man and Kate’s sites. TPWD contracted with Laredo Construction to deploy a total of 150 pyramids into the Sabine HI20 site and 1,000 pyramids and 255 slab reefs (low profile) into the Big Man and Kate’s sites. The December 2021 deployment included the 150 pyramids into Sabine HI20, 500 into Big Man’s, and 70 pyramids and 100 slab reefs into the Kate’s site. Laredo Construction is now in the process of assembling the balance of 430 pyramids and 155 slab reefs which will be deployed into the Kate’s site once construction is completed.

The Sabine HI20 site has benefited from multiple material deployments since October 2018. CCA Texas, the Building Conservation Trust, and local industry partners have funded $906,000 to these deployments that include: a 120’ barge in October 2018; concrete culverts and granite blocks in November 2018; over 500 culverts in May of 2021; and the latest deployment of 150 pyramids in December of 2021. CCA Texas, the Building Conservation Trust, and Friends of Sabine Reefs have worked with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Nearshore Reefing Program to help secure materials and funds to make the nearshore reefing vision a reality.

Local industry partners Sempra LNG, Chenier Energy, Golden Pass LNG, Motiva, Phillips 66, Shell Oil Company, Friends of Sabine Reef, Forterra Pipe and Precast, Bo-Mac Contractors, and Eldridge Construction have all been key partners helping to create much-needed nearshore habitat for nearshore species, and provide an easily accessible fishing area for local recreational anglers. CCA Texas and Friends of Sabine Reef will continue to work with TPWD to establish new nearshore reefing sites along the Upper Texas Coast that will benefit the resource and local recreational anglers.

The Galveston Big Man’s and Kate’s Reef sites are located roughly 20 miles southwest of the Galveston Jetties. This site was permitted by TPWD with input from many local anglers and support from many, most notably Andy Gessner. These two sites are named for Andy’s grandchildren, and honor his support and efforts to bring a nearshore site close to the Galveston area. The Big Man’s site was previously reefed with 180 pyramids in 2018 and 180 slab reefs in 2019, and the Kate’s site was previously reefed with 200 tons of concrete railroad ties and a 45’ vessel in October of 2020. CCA Texas, the Building Conservation Trust and Shell Oil Company have contributed $329,000 to these reefing efforts, and look forward to the continued reefing and building of the sites.

Time to Get Involved

CCA Texas encourages you to get involved with your local chapter and help make a difference for Texas’ coastal resources. Your voice is also important and another way to get involved. With coastal fisheries management issues always at the forefront, it is important for each of us to attend and make or voices heard at TPWD public meetings. These are held all along the coast and, in many cases, presentations and opportunities for written comment are available online. Being a part of the process in an important step to becoming a conservation minded recreational angler.

Photos Courtesy of Laredo Construction