Yarmouth, MA, Artificial Reef Expanded

Some 2,000 cubic yards of granite and concrete were recently added to the artificial reef 2.2 miles off Yarmouth, Cape Cod, increasing the size of the structure by about an acre. The reef, which was first created in 1978 from old tires, attracts many types of finfish—scup, tautog, sea bass, bluefish—targeted by recreational fishermen. Only a small portion of the reef site, which is permitted to cover 127 acres, actually contains manmade material.

The material that was recently added to the reef consists of defective concrete septic system sections and granite blocks from the old Bass River railroad bridge and a defunct drive-in movie theater.

Funding for the project ($225,000) came through the Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game’s relatively new In-Lieu Fee program, where companies or individuals pay a negotiated amount of money to offset their project’s impacts to federally regulated aquatic resources.

Massachusetts has five artificial reefs: two on Cape Cod, two in Boston, and one in Dartmouth.