Gulf of Mexico Artificial Reefs

Who Knew?!? Texas has an extensive Gulf of Mexico Artificial Reefs program dating all the way back to the 1990's. It was specifically designed to promote, develop, maintain, monitor and enhance the artificial reef potential of Texas offshore waters.

How does the Gulf benefit from these artificial reefs you ask? Well, natural coral reefs in tropical systems are normally found in shallow and warm water environments where the sun can penetrate them. The Gulf coast near Texas is much cooler, sometimes dropping to 60 degrees in the winter. The murkier water keeps the sun from penetrating it very well. This is a bad combination for a natural reef system to survive in, let alone thrive.

The Gulf of Mexico is home to thousands of plants and animals that desperately need an environment to cling to so that they can fulfill their life cycles. The Gulf has very few naturally occurring reef systems, such as the Flower Gardens near the coast of Galveston.  This artificial reef program gives invertebrates, corals, sponges, clams, crabs, jellyfish, hydroids and also bryozoans the hard surface they require grow and reproduce in. Even more importantly their energy then provides for others in the food chain. This creates a thriving culture in species such as snapper, grouper, mackerel, sharks and many more. Also, divers, anglers, spear-fisherman and many others then enjoy the benefits of these larger species as they provide enjoyment and food for years to come.

Here is more on the program at the TPWD website..........................Click Here