CCA Louisiana and Conservation Partners Expand Independence Island Artificial Reef
Shell, LDWF collaborate on Phase II of important fisheries habitat near Grand Isle
CCA Louisiana, along with Shell, Bertucci Contractors and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), hosted government officials, volunteers and media members to view the installation of Independence Island Artificial Reef Phase II, northeast of Grand Isle.
Construction began earlier this week on the four-acre expansion of Independence Island Artificial Reef, which is comprised of roughly 7,000 tons of large limestone. The original Independence Island Reef, built in the summer of 2011, has become a favorite fishing destination for thousands of anglers.
“This is a great project for Grand Isle, and we appreciate CCA and their partners for making it happen,” said Grand Isle Mayor David Carmadelle. “Anytime we can build habitat in Louisiana and create new fishing spots for anglers and their families to enjoy, that’s a win-win situation.”
Independence Island Reef Phase II is the 18th reef of its kind to be built by CCA Louisiana since 2002.
“CCA Louisiana is pleased to bring another reef project to the Grand Isle area,” said CCA Louisiana VP of Habitat John Walther. “The innovative design of Independence Island Reef Phase II will take advantage of the natural tidal flow moving in and out of Barataria Pass, making the site an even more attractive habitat for fish, and a better spot for anglers.”
Walther also acknowledged that the project would not have been possible without project partners Shell, Bertucci and LDWF, all of whom were on-hand for the site visit.
“CCA Independence Island Reef Phase II highlights both the success and challenge in this sensitive ecosystem,” said Dwight Johnston, VP of Shell Deepwater. “As part of our six year commitment to CCA’s Building Conservation Trust, the continued development of Independence Island Reef enhances fisheries habitat and supports coastal restoration. These objectives align with Shell’s ongoing support of coastal sustainability in Louisiana and across the Gulf Coast.”
Funding for the project was provided through the LDWF Artificial Reef Development Fund and CCA’s Building Conservation Trust, including the lead gift from Shell. Continued support of CCA’s habitat program is provided by the Paul Candies Family.
“We frequently hear from Grand Isle anglers who have had tremendous success fishing on the original Independence Island Reef site,” said CCA Louisiana CEO David Cresson. “If history is any indication, we would expect speckled trout and redfish to populate the site as early as Spring 2016.”
Upon completion, marker buoys will be placed on the site so that anglers can locate the reefs. The location of the new addition is at GPS coordinates 29° 18' 29.40", 89° 56' 00.24".
About CCA Louisiana
In its 32nd year, CCA Louisiana is the largest marine resource conservation group of its kind in the state. With more than 30,000 members and volunteers in 27 local chapters, CCA has been active in state, national and international fisheries management issues since 1977. Visit www.CCALouisiana.com for more information.