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Allowable Reef Materials for Deployment

Bay County shall only issue authorizations for the construction or nourishment of artificial reef sites using stable materials as authorized in the Permit, which are described below:

Materials shall be free of pollutants and toxins and composed of

  • Non-productive oil platforms thoroughly clean in accordance U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards.
  • Surplus military equipment ¼ inch or greater in thickness thoroughly clean in accordance with U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards.
  • Steel hull vessels ballasted and thoroughly clean in accordance with U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards
  • Natural limestone boulders weighing a minimum of 500 pounds each.
  • Clean concrete rubble weighing a minimum of 500 pounds each.
  • Clean concrete prefabricated reef materials or modules weighing a minimum of 500 pounds each.
  • Clean and structurally stabilized steel/aluminum/metal alloy boxes or structures 1/8 inch or greater in thickness weighing 500 pounds or more.  These structures must be chained together to provide a total overall weight of at least 500 pounds.
  • Non-productive oil platforms thoroughly clean in accordance U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards.

No reef materials shall be allowed to trap marine life and must be configured, cut or shaped, so as not to function as a fish trap.  All materials/structures must be configured and constructed to be stable, durable, and provide habitat.  No material may be deployed within one-quarter mile of the boundaries of the LAARS site.  No other materials are authorized.  Materials expressly prohibited include cars, trucks, storage or fuel tanks, loose metal materials, plastics, fiberglass components (including fiberglass hulls), or materials that upon inspection by Bay County staff are found to be potentially unstable or lack acceptable habitat qualities.

Cleaning Reef Materials

All reef material(s) must be properly cleaned before being loaded for transport to a reef site.  Inspections must be performed by qualified County personnel.  Inspections of steel-hulled vessels will be accomplished by the United States Coast Guard.  Inspection criteria shall include, but is not limited to, the following items:

  • All decks, bilges and cargo spaces should be free of oil, asphalt, other hydrocarbons and toxic residue.
  • All electrical components that contain PCB contaminants must be removed.
  • All floatable materials must be removed.
  • Floatable asbestos insulation must be removed
  • Bridge spans must be free of bubbling or flaking lead paint.

The Guide to Artificial Reef Materials can be found here:

1997 version (400KB pdf)

2004 Version (9.47 MB pdf) – do not attempt to download with a dial-up connection

Permanent link to this article: http://bay.ifas.ufl.edu/seagrant/artificial-reefs/allowable-reef-materials-for-deployment/