Successful Man Made Reef Projects
Scroll down for independent success stories…
Dr. Robert Abbot’s Berkeley Reef is made from two 1/4 acre sections of reef balls placed in the shallow intertidal areas. The reef are a great success in that that they have helped restore native Olympia oyster to San Francisco Bay while creating spawning habitat for Salmon, Green sturgeon and places for the kelp to grow which in turn supports the herring fishery.
NOAA’s Wilmington Reef in Prince William sound is made from several hundred reef balls. Our federal government placed the reef balls in the Alaskan bay several years ago to help offset any damage caused by the creation of a new harbor. The kelp, rock fish and invertebrates can already be seen thriving on the new reef.
SONGS Reef is a 174-acre reef created by Southern California Edison for the purposes of mitigation. This means that in order to offset increased particulate matter caused by outfall of the San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant, they created the SONGS reef. The end result is that the SONGS reef is cleaning the water and likely improving the ambient ecosystem considerably.
UCSB Bren School of Marine Biology has stated that the SONGS reef “is an underwater rain forest, exceeding expectation for creation of new marine life”.
Although made from Catalina quarry rock (not reef balls) SONGS reefs does show that man made structure of various kinds can support marine life. In just five years is fully covered in thick kelp, sea fans and soft corals. The lobster are growing in numbers . The reef does lack expected fish numbers, this I likely due to the lack of cave area which could possibly be rectified by adding reef balls-fish need caves to thrive.