Artificial reefs a plus, but it’s not a ‘habitat’

Posted: 12/30/2011 in all marine news

Bob Marshall –

 How can an event be both good and sad at the same time ?

How can it be an occasion when both congratulations and condolences are in order ?

Yet, that was the only way to look at Wednesday’s press event marking the start of construction on the Dudley and Kim Vandenborre Artificial Fishing Reef in Lake Pontchartrain between Slidell and Irish Bayou.

It was a good thing that rubble from the demolition of the old Interstate 10 twin spans was being recycled, and congratulations were in order for all the parties involved: The state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries for the reef program, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for enabling a Hurricane Katrina disaster relief grant that paid for the work; the Coastal Conservation Association for helping smooth out the considerable regulatory logistics – and the Vandenborres, who came up with the idea.

But the very idea that we’re building artificial reefs in the coastal wetlands is a sad admission of this fact: The only reason we need them is because we’re still losing the battle to save the habitat base that produces the fish we hope this reef will attract – our coastal wetlands.

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