RGV REEF is located 12 miles north of the South Padre Island jetties and within state territorial waters covering 1650 acres is by far the largest Reef off the Texas coast. Biologist say it could be the largest in the world.
It was permitted to allow a large extensive nursery reef primarily benefiting the commercially and recreationally important Red Snapper. This is also the only Reef off the Texas coast that is being built with graduated stepping stones of increasingly complex and taller habitat to carry multiple species of fish through their life cycles.
With the material that we have down so far, the One Gulf consortium which is A&M Galveston, the Harte Research Institute in Corpus and UTRGV estimated that we carried 240,000 snapper from juvenile stage to adults from 2017 to 2019. These are young unsophisticated fish, easy to catch. And people will travel a long way for dumb fish. That puts heads on beds and butts in restaurants.
RGV Reef was supposed to take decades to finish and $20 million. This was predicated on the normal Reefing contracts through the state or the federal government that put material in the water for about $1000 a ton. Through great persistence Friends of RGV Reef Has secured donated deep-water port frontage with rail siding, donated professional services, donated equipment, donated management, donated site prep.
HEROES OF THE RGV REEF
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Friends wants the Reef to put more fish back in the Gulf than it takes, primarily red snapper, by alleviating a juvenile snapper survival bottleneck caused by a lack of habitat. Mortality is high out on the flat bottom of the Gulf. That idea came out of scientific research at the experimental level. RGV Reef will be the first reef to provide that habitat on a large scale. All of our deployments are positioned and spaced in ways and numbers that can be used for scientific research. Most of the local research has been spearheaded by UT RGV’s Dr. Richard Kline, our primary and much appreciated science advisor. What we are doing is on the cutting edge of marine science, and The Harte Institute of Corpus Christi and UT Galveston also have research projects in the reef.