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Our Mission is to put fish back in the Gulf of Mexico by restoring lost nursery reef, and then providing graduating sized stepping stones of complex habitat to carry multiple specie through their life stages.

RGV Reef Diver
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Your Support Will Help the Biotic and Economic Impact of the Reef

RGV Reef Photo of Snapper

The Good News About Reefs

Artificial Reefs give solid and stable homes for fishes and marine creatures. In excess of 50 countries utilize artifical reefs to improve biological system preservation and fishery creation. Researchers utilize artificial reefs as stages for natural experimentation. Fisheries utilize artificial reefs to help cushion the impacts of overfishing and natural harm.  From a monetary point of view,  artificial reefs give a huge financial lift to neighborhood economies.  

In Texas, the Artificial Reef Program makes an essential strategic improvement on marine natural surroundings in the Gulf of Mexico. Out of date oil stages and ships, solid scaffold material, predesigned solid reefs, reef balls and pyramids, solid ducts, characteristic quarry rock and different materials are the basic structures that make essential living spaces. 

 

rgv reef spi

Providing Habit and Food for Endangered Species

The RGV Reef provides important habitat and food supply for the world’s most endangered sea turtle population, the Kemp’s Ridley.

~ Jeffrey A. George, Executive Director, Sea Turtle Inc.
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Boosting neighborhood economies

Artificial reefs have social incentive. Anglers visit a large number of the artificial reefs and can produce revenue through the travel industry, pulling in business for lodgings, eateries, angling contracts, rental vehicle organizations, etc. 

RGV Helps Sea Turtles

Fixing marine harm.

The marine environment, and hence the food chain on the continental shelf is negatively impacted by multiple stressors.

Round up the usual suspects; habitat loss from bottom trawl fishing, chemicals, including the reproductive hormone disruptor BPA from plastics as they degrade concentrating in fish tissue up the food chain, mercury from dirty coal burned in foreign countries concentrating in apex predators, introduced exotics like Lionfish, new species moving north like mangroves trees and mangrove snapper as waters warm, over fishing, occasionally poor fisheries management by State and Federal fisheries management, and intense overfishing of the highly migratory species particularly the tunas, inside and outside US waters.

We see this in greatly reduced fish numbers. Ask any Old Salt or fisheries biologist; fish populations are small fractions seen in earlier days.

rgv reef boat photo

Friend of RGV Reef

Friends of RGV Reef combat this loss by deploying artificial reefing materials of different concentrations and sizes, ranging from intentionally sunken vessels to concrete rail ties and cinder blocks. Diverse, complex reef substrate can provide habitat for snapper of all ages and sizes, in addition to habitat for hundreds of other species of fish, invertebrates, and turtles that frequent the reef.

The first industrial-scale nursery reef in the Gulf of Mexico,  maybe in the world. RGV Reef successfully carried 240,000 juvenile red snapper through the first two years of their life. We’ve also placed increasing sizes of recycled concrete in patch reefs to form graduated stepping stones which provide cover, habitat, and food for all the species of fish on the continental shelf. This is how we put fish back in the gulf.

Get Involved

Join Hands And Help Restore Fish Habitat

What is the RGV Reef?

Located 12-miles northeast of South Padre Island, the 1650-acre Rio Grande Valley (RGV) Reef is the largest artificial reef off the Texas coast. Since 2014, Friends of RGV Reef is  dedicated to the ongoing habitat restoration of this important fishery by implementing comprehensive science-based management of this Gulf ecosystem. Historically, this low-relief nursery reef was comprised of sandstone, clay, caliche, and associated soft coral cover.

This created valuable habitat for juvenile Red Snapper and other reef fishes. However, this low-relief material had been severely degraded by trawl fishing in recent decades, drastically reducing juvenile snapper survivorship and recruitment.

Impact?

Friends of RGV Reef combat this loss by deploying artificial reefing materials of different concentrations and sizes, ranging from intentionally sunken vessels to concrete rail ties and cinder blocks. Diverse, complex reef substrate can provide habitat for snapper of all ages and sizes, in addition to habitat for hundreds of other species of fish, invertebrates, and turtles that frequent the reef.

The first industrial-scale nursery reef in the Gulf of Mexico,  maybe in the world. RGV Reef successfully carried 240,000 juvenile red snapper through the first two years of their life. We’ve also placed increasing sizes of recycled concrete in patch reefs to form graduated stepping stones which provide cover, habitat, and food for all the species of fish on the continental shelf. This is how we put fish back in the gulf.

RGV Reef Sponsors

Our Gulf’s ecosystem is threatened by a variety of events such as overfishing, red tide, pollution, and debris that result in habitat loss.

RGV Reef is funded by individuals, conservation groups, family foundations, businesses, fishing tournaments, grants, and state and local governments. By folks like you, folks interested in giving back to the Gulf


Your support is greatly appreciated.

Funding Will Help the Biotic and Economic Impact of the Reef

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