In the Gulf of Mexico off South Texas, officials dropped 50 concrete pyramids as part of an artificial reef. They are to act as artificial reef in order to increase fish habitat in the area.
The project was backed by the group Friends of RGV Reef, and it involves marine scientists in the Rio Grande Valley and elsewhere who are studying reefs and red snapper populations. According to U.S. News, the project features 3-ton concrete pyramids up to 10 feet tall that are placed in the water about 8 miles off South Padre Island.
Lil' Mo Marine Services donated its time as well as the pyramids for the cause. Each of the structures made by Atlantis Marine Habitats LLC was made with cavities in order to shelter adult snappers. The pyramids were placed in groups of four in order to form a "trolling trail." Cinderblocks are also said to be sunk around some of them, while others will be "rip-rapped" with limestone in order to boost snapper productivity.
Lil' Mo has already sunk about 6,000 of these Atlantis-built pyramids for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, as well as other entities. These includ the Coastal Conservation Association, which all helped fund the RGV Reef project.
According to Valley Morning Star, the ultimate goal of Friends is to have 1,650 acres of artificial reef to help protect fish during all their stages of development up until adulthood.
Why are snappers the main species of concern, though? Friends President Gary Glick said that snappers are particularly important when it comes to research and is usually used in scientific literature. He said that, "We know that when we make things right for snapper, we make things right for all of the less-studied species."
RGV reef will also create habitats for other fish species. These include the menhaden or pogie and other popular game fish like kingfish, sailfish and jackfish.