SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, Texas – What started as a dream for more fish has quickly grown as one of the largest efforts to preserve wildlife along the western Gulf of Mexico.
Since 2015, Friends of the RGV Reef has set out to increase fish production of the coast of South Padre Island. By using various approved methods to create a reef, the group prepares for its largest shipment yet.
Curtis Hayungs, Co-Founder, Friends of RGV Reef, “For the next 45 days it’s going to be deploying concrete railroad ties, reef pyramids, cinder blocks to create the largest industrial scale reef currently known in the world.”
For their next deployment they’re preparing an estimate of 16,000 railroad ties, 64,000 cinder blocks, pyramids and concrete.
Richard Kline, Ph.D., Associate professor – UTRGV, “This is the third deployment over several years that have been done. This has just going to be the most massive.”
The project has gathered support from national, state and local sources. Each for their own reasons. Whether it’s helping preserve wildlife, or simply preserving the sport of fishing for future generations. The project has grown and will continue to do so in the upcoming days.
Curtis Hayungs, “Without this habitat there’s going to very little fish and it’s going to be life or death for them. The reason why we really do this, is for generations and generations to be able to go out and catch the fish.
Richard Kline, “If you go out to the RGV reef you can find 10 fishermen at a time fishing there. Before, when we surveyed it, there was no fish and now there are hundreds of reef patches that fisherman can access to go fishing.
The project will protect local wildlife and create fishing opportunities for the region. Organizers believe it will also allow researchers to come up with models for creating better artificial nursery reefs in the future.