proposed artificial reef

St. Eustatius Marine Park semp at
Tue Nov 20 01:52:17 EST 2001

Hello coral-listers.  I'm looking for some advice about a proposed artificial reef for the Statia Marine Park.  The local oil terminal was recently tasked to clean up "the farm" which is basically a dump for their old heavy equipment.  The terminal approached me about turning some of these items into an artificial reef on the bay side of the island.  We already have two artificial reefs there, but in deeper water than where the terminal proposed placing this equipment.  I toured "the farm" this morning to look at the possible future artificial reef materials which include large steel pipes, cranes, containers, iron walkways and (cringe) SPM hoses which terminal personnel assure me can be cleaned of any oil residue.

Specifically I need to know what materials are safe and guidelines for preparation of these materials.  If we decide to allow the placement of this material, I need to instruct terminal personnel to separate materials into "no," maybe," and "okay" piles by mid-December in order for the terminal to meet the clean-up deadline.  At that point they can start preparation of the materials fit to go in the water.

The Statia Marine Park surrounds the island of Statia and harbors two no-take reserves comprised primarily of surprisingly healthy coral. One concern is that fish may move from these natural and protected areas to these artificial ones where fishing is allowed.  There is about a 2 mile buffer between the proposed site and the northern reserve, and about a 3 mile buffer between the site and the southern reserve.

I am not completely sold on the idea of artificial reefs (nothing can come close to matching natural ones), although they do enhance fishing and diving opportunities which are both important factors for the economy on this island.  Any opinions/advice on this issue???

Kay Lynn

Kay Lynn Plummer
Marine and National Parks Manager
St. Eustatius National Parks Foundation
Gallows Bay
St. Eustatius, Netherlands Antilles
Tel: 599-3182884
Fax: 599-3182913
email: semp at

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