Ocean City Reef Foundation Reef Report
From the desk of Captain Monty Hawkins …
After a year of modest reef building, the Ocean City Reef Foundation now has a lot going on. We’re close to inking a deal with a major corporate sponsor – – it’s huge. This sponsorship will bring the Bass Grounds Reef Restoration project to life.
Benelli has sponsored reef building again; this year with a positively stunning Benelli 828U in 12 gauge. The over/under has an engraved nickel receiver, AA grade satin walnut stock, and 28 inch barrels. Raffle tix are $10 apiece, 3 for $20, or 10 for $50.00.. The drawing, as ever, will be on the Sunday after Thanksgiving — 11/24/18.. Although this gorgeous Benelli over-under lists for $3,000.00, the winner could choose to receive $1,000.00 instead. Raffle tix are available & will be mailed in a few weeks’ time to past donors. We’ll cheerfully mail more to you too if you’d like friends to have a chance at this classic firearm. https://www.benelliusa.com/828u-shotgun
Sponsors: be aware donations really are the only thing driving construction. Ours is not a state program. If you make a copy of the charts for a “buddy,” (who doesn’t share your vision!) you’re lessening future construction..
Have a new shirt design this year. Simple–one color; it’s one of Niki Pino’s contributions modified by Mike at Red Sun for sweats/Ts..
Wave energy requires depth to fully impact the beach. Whether a natural mound of sand, such as Isle of Wight Shoal some 9 miles offshore; or a long, wide mound of concrete rubble; the effect of wave height and energy diminishment is dramatic when encountering shallow bottom. For the mariner in heaviest weather there is safety down-sea & behind a shoal; a place to hide where wave height is shaved by 2/3rds..
I suspect the same of an enormous concrete reef; here protecting not a single storm-trapped vessel, but the Town’s most valuable asset— the beach.
If started soon such a reef would be fully protective by the time sea level rise has truly begun its worst.
Reef’s completion would not be required for benefit to accrue, however. Army Corps of Engineers & OC’s Town engineers have long identified erosion ‘hot spots’ where reefing would be best begun; where erosive forces could quickly be arrested.
Aside from protecting our shores, a protective reef will have also saved millions & millions of landfill dollars for local contractors—more still for distant Maryland pre-cast concrete manufacturers. I’d anticipate surfers delight at an offshore break; and, of course, it would all become fish habitat too..
Never a fan of anything new on the seabed which can snag a net, the trawl community should have no issue with building a reef so near shore. They’re not allowed to tow within one mile of land anyway & will lose no fishing grounds.
A small barge with a means to load it – even just an eighty footer; a piece of machinery aboard to offload; and a mooring with which to ensure accuracy – here is begun a real measure which will stabilize our beach against a rising sea..
Perhaps too we might be allowed the barge’s use for fisheries and coral restorations from time to time. . . . .
Not an idea just for Ocean City: our part of the ocean has turned green owing oyster’s absence in our two main estuaries–Chesapeake & Delaware Bays. White marlin, so dependent on clean blue water to feed, are no longer a few miles offshore as in great-grandad’s youth. Instead of just 5 to 10 miles out, today they must feed 40 to 50 miles further offshore to find clean-enough water.
Biofilter oyster reefs of the Chesapeake & DE Bays long since harvested — entire oyster bars sold off with no idea of economic & ecological losses to come — today we, at last, know how to build oyster reefs that thrive, that grow.
Leave shell-based “restoration” for commercial interests. Oyster reef restoration demands hard vertical substrates such as rock or concrete might offer. Shell has failed for over a century and a half to create any true, growing, oyster reef. It does, however, create wonderful marketable product..
Such a reef, a biofilter reef in Maryland’s Chesapeake—many of them–could be fashioned with exactly the barge deployments of unwanted concrete pre-cast & rubble I’ve described above.
Save cement contractors money – create a better, more ecologically & economically resilient ecosystem – rebuild a long-lost estuarine ecology.
Meanwhile, such a reef—a functioning biofilter—will have to throw off so much spat that many clever ‘spat trap’ ideas will spring forth. Commercial interests, which today only see immediate harvest, will swiftly realize the big money is drifting away with fertilized oyster larvae awaiting their capture.
True oyster reef biofilter restoration: from there we can turn the Mid-Atlantic Ocean blue again..