Group seeks to build world’s largest artificial nursery reef

Local News

SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, Texas – An ambitious project is falling into place off the coast of South Padre Island. For the next 30 days Friends of the RGV Reef will be deploying hundreds of tons of material for the creation of an artificial reef.

The reason, more fish for local fishermen and more habitat for wildlife.

Curtis Hayungs, Friends of the RGV Reef Co-Founder, “Our granite reefing area is basically 1,650 acres. And to give people a perspective on how big that is. That’s right about 3 square miles. It’s just about bigger than the City of South Padre Island.”

The project began in 2015. Since then, three major deployments, beginning with the sinking of a shrimp boat, then 50 concrete pyramids. Now a massive shipment of donated over 16,000 railroad ties to continue making refuge for small fish. Which means more fish for locals and tourists alike.

David De Leon, Coastal Conservation Association Chapter Rio Grande Valley, “It’s great to be able to see that the population of the snapper is growing. As well as being able to allow normal people that don’t have head boats, that aren’t in the commercial industry allow us to go fish whenever we want.”

Essentially what they’re doing is they are deploying the railroad ties. The ties are going to go down all the way down to the bottom of the reef. They’re all calculated. They know exactly where each one is going to go. All of it has been measured. All of it for science and at the end of the day this is all for more fish.

Dr. Richard Kline, Associate Professor with UTRGV, “This project was started with people from the community. I think it can keep going in that fashion. We really need more people to participate and become Friends of the RGV Reef.

Friends of the RGV Reef is currently looking for donors. For more information on the reef visit:

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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