Lifestyle

Texas Parks and Wildlife Artificial Reef Team Shows Great Progress Off Texas Coast

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The Texas Parks and Wildlife Artificial Reef Team recently shared a video to its Facebook page that is truly impressive. It captures the essence of exactly why a rig is sunk into the waters off the coast of Texas. In the time that a rig is deployed to the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico, an artificial reef is allowed to take shape and become a home to a variety of sea creatures and life. It’s an amazing site at which dives are regularly completed to monitor how productive it can be.

In their caption of the video, they state, “This video is a small window into the abundance and diversity found on Texas Parks and Wildlife Artificial Reefs. Near the end, you can see a school of unidentified juvenile fish swarming the structure! How many different species can you see?” The 40-second video definitely encapsulates a part of life we don’t often think about in reference to Texas – which is generally earmarked for ranching, farming, oil, and industry. However, South Texas has become synonymous with world-class work that supports marine life in and around our shores.

“This particular video was shot at platform HI-A-555 at a depth of 145 feet by our Dive Safety Officer, Chris Ledford,” explains the Facebook post. “When possible we try to deploy shallow (100 feet) and deep (150 feet) dive teams so we can compare species diversity at different depths. The Artificial Reef Team puts an enormous amount of training and planning into each of these dives to ensure a safe and productive trip!” The Texas Parks and Wildlife Artificial Reef Team is a state organization designed to “…manage and conserve the natural and cultural resources of Texas and to provide hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation opportunities for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.” Their work involves the provision of hard surfaces for reef fish species in order to enhance overfished populations, i.e. grouper and snapper. Managed within the Coastal Fisheries Division of the TPWD, the program primarily operates out of the Dickinson Marine Lab satellite office of the department.