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Caisson Gate Deployed On Deepwater Reef


June 12, 2020

Deployment Video

On June 8, 2020, Marine Fisheries Administration staff deployed a 150-foot long caisson gate on the Deepwater Reef site (pdf). It now rests in 125 feet of water and rises off the bottom 30 feet at the following coordinates:
38*58.300 x 074*10.900

A caisson gate is a barrier used to dam off the open end of a dry dock and is constructed of heavy gauge steel with several tons of ballast in the keel. The deployment is sponsored by The Sportfishing Fund, an organization dedicated to artificial reef building.
Caisson Gate Under Tow To Reef Location    Caisson Gate Sinking
Click images to enlarge

Deployments of caisson gates on the Atlantic City and Cape May occurred in 2019.

Vessels and structures such as these, after being emptied of all machinery and fluids and thoroughly cleaned, are inspected by the U.S. Coast Guard and DEP before sinking. Due to the thickness and quality of steel used in their construction, staff expect the service life of this artificial reef to last more than 75 years.

Artificial reef deployments become home to more than 150 marine organisms including black sea bass, tautog, summer flounder, lobsters, crabs, and mussels. They will surely also become prime destinations for SCUBA divers and anglers alike.
Fully colonized artificial reef structure
A Fully Colonized Reef Structure
(photo courtesy Herb Segars)
Click to enlarge

For more information, please visit the Artificial Reef Program page or contact NJ Reef Program Coordinator Peter Clarke at 609-748-2020.

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Last Updated: June 12, 2020