Onslow Bay Artificial Reef Association (OBARA) Makes a “Big Splash” In February

The Onslow Bay is a large body of water stretching between Frying Pan Shoals and Cape Lookout Shoals.

In February 2015, AR-372 (The Liberty Ship artificial reef) off Wrightsville Beach was the recipient of the first load of (scrap/donated) reinforced concrete pipe (RCP) and the new, locally manufactured, “Atlantic Pods”. In the weeks to come, three additional existing Artificial Reefs along our coast will also receive the same “enhancement” by placement of RCP and Atlantic Pods.

A 2014 Grant from the Coastal Recreational Fishing License (CRFL) was used to transport, unloaded, stage/store, reloaded onto the barges and deploy this material onto the ocean floor at the artificial reef location. “This is a win-win situation for recreational fishermen. This will have a positive impact on many species of fish that live and spawn on this structure near the inlets and beaches, and on our local economy as a result of recreational fishermen traveling to our coast from outside our area. “This is one of the most efficient uses of CRFL funding possible” said Capt. Dennis Barbour, OBARA board of director.

This (scrap) RCP material encourages life in many forms including multiple species of spawning adult, fry and juvenile fish, crustaceans, bi-valves, invertebrates, plant life and more on an otherwise sandy bottom without much definition. Instead of the expensive reclamation/recycling process needed for RCP, laying it on the seafloor and adding habitat for marine life is, by far, the best use of this material.

OBARA Director, Rita Merritt says “this is the best of both worlds… this type project takes a scrap concrete material like RCP, which is a liability to the manufacture, and turns it into an asset. We have the ability to create a living, breathing reef area that was an area of very little life on sand bottom”.

One interesting aspect of OBARA is the last letter…”A”. This letter stands for Association, meaning, OBARA is openly recruiting association members. Please feel free to join and/or donate to OBARA to ensure that we can continue to develop and build artificial reefs for MANY years to come, throughout the entire Onslow Bay. We are looking for private and corporate members with different skills and/or resources to donate. Be part of our team to keep this momentum going. Visit www.obara-ncreefs.org

We are a 501c3 organization with all donations being tax deductible.

Photo courtesy of Capt. Lee Parsons