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Long Island anglers will soon be benefiting from expanded reef building projects on both shores of the Island.

By Fred Golofaro  |  April 17, 2018
Locations of artificial reef sites in the NY Marine District.

New York’s reef building program has been relatively dormant for a number of years following a flurry of projects through the 1990s and early 2000s. There are currently 12 reefs managed by New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation in the Marine District – two in Long Island Sound; two in Great South Bay and eight in the ocean off of Long Island’s South Shore. All have provided prime habitat for bottom dwellers like blackfish, sea bass, porgies and fluke, while providing expanded fishing opportunities for private boat anglers and party/charter boat anglers alike.

The Fisherman Magazine was involved in a number of these reef building and expansion projects, providing funding through its Fisherman Reef Fund. The most notable of the projects was the creation of The Fisherman Reef in Great South Bay. With the cooperation of NYDEC, the Air National Guard, and Roman Sand & Stone, 100 specially constructed reef balls were deposited by helicopter along South Beach in Great South Bay at 40°37.954/73°14.595; 40°38.051/73°14.354; 40°38.016/73°14.327; 40°37.918/73°14.569. It was the first use of Reef Balls in the Northeast and they have been widely used for reef building projects in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans since then.

The reef program is about to get a big lift. Governor Andrew Cuomo is holding a press conference at 9:15 today (Tuesday, April 17) at the West Pavilion in Sunken Meadow Park’s Field 2. He will be announcing plans to rejuvenate the state’s reef building program by using materials from the old Tappan Zee Bridge to expand reef sites in Long Island Sound and the Atlantic Ocean (see video by Fred Golofaro below).

Governor Cuomo has been very active in his efforts to promote and expand recreational fishing opportunities in the Marine District and freshwater throughout the state. For a complete list of existing reef sites in the NY Marine District, go to www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/71702.html. For more detailed information and the locations of the individual artificial patch reefs within each site, contact Chris LaPorta at 631-444-0438.