Alabama Power and the Marine Resources Division of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources are working together to provide a new place to fish off the Alabama coast.
The partners have been working together on a new artificial reef that will be located approximately 25 miles south of Dauphin Island. The large reef is made up of two boilers recently removed from the James M. Barry Electric Generating Plant as well as a 195 foot barge. The 200,000-pound boilers were previously used at the plant’s Washington County and Theodore sites. The old boilers were recently upgraded with new equipment as a part of regularly scheduled maintenance at the plant. The barge is being provided by Cooper/T. Smith.
“While Alabama Power has a long history of partnering with organizations that promote and enhance the environment, this marks the first time that Alabama Power has been involved in a reef project,” said Alabama Power Vice President of Environmental Affairs Susan Comensky. “We are very pleased to partner with the Marine Resources Division to create this reef that will provide not only a quality habitat for marine life, but also a first-class fishing area for local sportsmen.”
Over the past few months, Alabama Power has been working closely with the Marine Resources Division to clean the boilers, cut additional holes in the structures and prepare them for their new home in the Gulf of Mexico. The Alabama Wildlife Federation (AWF) helped develop the idea for the project.
“Alabama’s Marine Resources Division has been a leader for decades with inshore and offshore artificial reef systems,” said AWF Executive Director Tim L. Gothard. “The Alabama Wildlife Federation firmly believes that properly engineered artificial reefs provide ecological benefits and unique fishing opportunities for anglers – a true win-win. We were glad to partner with the Marine Resources Division and Alabama Power on this new reef project.”
“This is the type of public/private partnerships that we need more of in our country,” added Chris Blankenship, Director of the Marine Resources Division.
“This will be one of the largest reefs we have constructed. I am very thankful to work with Alabama Power, and I hope this is the beginning of a long and fruitful partnership to provide environmentally friendly fisheries habitats.”
While it takes a few years for the reefs to become fully established, fish will begin frequenting them after only a few days. The coordinates for the new Alabama Power Company Reef will be: 29 47.544, 87 59.104. The reef is scheduled to be deployed on September 26.
You can find out more about the Marine Resources Division by visiting their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/AlabamaMarineResourcesDivision/.
To learn more about Alabama Power’s environmental commitment, go to www.alabamapower.com and click on the Environment tab.