RGV Reef Projects

Join Hands And Restore Fish Habitat.

RGV REEF is located 12 miles north of the South Padre Island jetties and within state territorial waters covering 1650 acres is by far the largest Reef off the Texas coast. Biologist say it could be the largest in the world.


  • Deployed high profile material
  • Two 70 foot cleaned steel vessels
  • Tift Tug and the Gulf Explorer were sunk


  • Low profile (nursery) material
  • 600 tons of concrete roof tiles
  • 67,000 cinder blocks
  • Multiple other test patches of oyster shell, limestone oyster patch low relief slab test modules
  • Mid profile material
  • 210 eight foot highway dividers
  • 3000 tons of large concrete
  • 76 ten foot box culverts
  • 47 eight foot tall reefing pyramids
  • 42 five foot round culverts
  • 1500 tons concrete rip rap


Test patches of concrete railroad ties donated by the BNSF Railway were deployed ranging from
25tons to 400tons to determine best practice.

We were able to deploy 10.6 million pounds (5600 tons) of recycled concrete railroad ties in
2018. These were deployed into the 32 foot tall “Big Pile” which is still to be named. (Big donors
get things named for them, hint hint hint.)

We also built most of the five hundred foot long CCA Ridge.


  • Build up the “Big Pile” of concrete railroad ties to 45ft tall 30ft from the ocean surface
  • Add 25,000 to 71,000 cinderblocks to start another 200 acre nursery reef.
  • Add ten 100-ton patch reefs to the CCA corner which will continue to build up the SE corner of the Reef.
  • 26 100-ton of low and mid relief reef patches with RR ties, which is the barrier to keep the shrimpers out of the Reef.


  • Deployed 12,400 tons of material in RGV Reef 33% of the material was 16  high relief 250 ton patches along the north east edge of the reef.
  • Deployed 6,000 tons of nursey reef in the North East corner which consisted of broken concrete, concrete railroad ties donated by the BNSF Railroad  
  • Deployed 50 & 100 ton durable nursery reef patches comprised of a base of concrete, railroad ties broken concrete and an icing of 26,000 cinderblocks which covered over 308 acers 
  • Deployed 2,600 tons of concrete railroad ties and broken concrete to add complexity to high relief nursey reef patches and existing sunken boats.
  • Cleaned and sank two shrimp boats one was huge,96ft long  bringing the total to four vessels deployed in the RGV REEF.



  • Deployed over 11,500 tons of  material in 58 low relief nursery patches of 200 tons each establishing a new 132 acre nursery reef.
  • As of June 11th deployed 11,500 tons of concrete railroad ties donated by the BNSF and broken concrete donated by  Cameron County Commissioner Precinct 1 Sophia Benavidez
  • Deployed 450+ cables spools weighing 450lbs,5500lbs and 25,000 lbs each.
  •  Deployed 550 tons of concrete railroad ties donated by the BNSF Railroad and 50 cables spools in the south east corner of the clipper reef for this monolithic structure..
  •  Mid 7 High relief reef deployed consisted of 450 donated by Technip FMC. The 17 spools ranged in size 450lbs-5500lbs 17 that were 2 stories high and 8ft in diameter and weighed 25,500lbs each.
  • Plan for the summer clean & deploy two steel haul shrimp. boats and a 42ft steel sailing vessel.   


  • Carbon Capture study in RGV Reef by Dr Rick Kline
  • Preparing to clean the engine room on the Titan.Improvements to the Titan as fish habitat courtesy of industry partners. Embridge Corporation donated these 10’ X 22’ steel pipes. Lone Star Trucking donated the trucking from Robstown, and EMR cutters made art and better fish habitat out of them.
  • Enbridge Corporation funds research in RGV Reef for first (and we are talking the first in the world) reef wide carbon capture study. Wild claims of billions of tons of carbon captured by artificial and natural reefs notwithstanding, there are no peer reviewed published scientific studies actually measuring and quantifying the amount. We’re gonna fix that.
  • L-R Pete Sheffield of Embridge Corporation, US Congressman Vicente Gonzalez, Dr Richard Kline Professor of Marine Sciences at UTRGV, Gary Glick, the chango in the middle, County Commissioners Sofia Benavides, and Joey Lopez, and SPI Councilman Ken Medders, Jr.
rgv reef 4k.mp4 high .mp4.Still004
- DJI 0064 - RGV Reef
- Check 1 - RGV Reef
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