POSTED: Wednesday, April 13, 2011 - 6:15am
UPDATED: Wednesday, April 13, 2011 - 6:53am
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has successfully completed the first phase of the conversion of the old Twin Spans into artificial reef habitat. Portions of the old bridges were recycled in a unique way to provide continuing service to the public.
The four-acre reef is located between the new I-10 bridge and Highway 11 (Latitude 30° 10.169’ Longitude 89° 50.744’). The corners of the reef are marked by four yellow illuminated marker buoys.
Sixty spans were dismantled, processed and deployed as reef material. In addition to providing hard bottom habitat for bottom-dwelling organisms, the reef will create a valuable fish habitat for popular recreational species including redfish, speckled trout, croakers, sheepshead and drum.
The creation of the artificial reef is the culmination of partnership between LDWF, Department of Transportation and Development, Coastal Conservation Association of Louisiana and NOAA Office of Coast Survey.
“Increasing habitat for finfish will provide greater sport fishing opportunities on Lake Pontchartrain, which will ultimately benefit the economy in attracting people to the area,” said LDWF Assistant Secretary Randy Pausina. “And we’re able to do so utilizing materials that would typically be sent to a landfill.”
The second phase of the bridge demolition is currently underway. Forty-two spans from the old Twin Spans will be used to create an additional four-acre reef.
Since its creation in 1986, the department’s Artificial Reef Program has developed 28 reefs in Louisiana’s inshore waters.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources.