A summary of artificial reef construction on the Texas coast
A total of 68 intentional artificial reef areas amounting to a minimum of 502 ha and consisting of various materials such as oyster shell, tires, cars, construction rubble, barges, pipes, ships and drilling rigs have been constructed in Texas marine waters since 1947. Forty-one oyster shell reefs were built (approximately 152 ha) from 1947 to 1982 and 21 remain (approximately 114 ha). Eight tire reefs were constructed from 1966 to 1977; five remain, but they have partially settled into the sediment. Car reefs placed in the nearshore Gulf lasted 2 to 4 years, while concrete and pipe reefs lasted slightly longer. Fourteen ships and two drilling rigs were sunk in the Gulf from 1975 to 1983; all remain. A minimum of 2191 unintentional artificial reef areas in the form of open water spoil disposal areas, piers and docks, jetties, oil and gas well shell pads, and offshore petroleum platforms were in place in 1984. There were approximately 20,000 ha of open water spoil disposal sites permitted in coastal waters and 1362 bay piers and docks on record. Fourteen jetties were in place or under construction with a bottom area of 228 ha.