Nonprofit partner’s with Marine Fisheries for reef deployment

Nonprofit partner’s with Marine Fisheries for reef deployment
Published: Oct. 20, 2023 at 6:53 PM EDT
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AURORA, N.C. (WITN) - Environmental groups have partnered with the state Division of Marine Fisheries to improve one waterway in the east.

Concrete Exoforms are 3D-printed cement artificial oyster reefs designed by Raleigh-based environmental engineering group Natrx and purchased by the Coastal Conservation Association of North Carolina.

Once the project is complete officials say the reef site will cover 15 acres of the Pamlico River. It is the second artificial reef deployment.

The reefs are being deployed in an effort to provide refuge for oysters, and important fish species such as red drum, and sheepshead for example.

Environmentalists say it’s important to promote biodiversity and vibrance within the river ecosystem.

“They actually lower those into the water and then you know in the next handful of months invertebrates and other things will start to kind of grow on there we’ll have some oysters settle on there next spring and they’ll be great places to fish you know by next summer,” said Jordan Byrum with NC Division of Marine Fisheries.

“There’s been years and years of decline in our fisheries here in North Carolina and I think habitat projects like this are essential so this is one of those steps that that we can take you know using partnerships like this with Natrx that we can actually have an impact on today,” added Matthew Wallin with Coastal Conservation Association.

The department says they plan to have the reefs deployed by the end of the month.