New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced it has deployed the steel barge Shannon C on the Shinnecock Reef as part of the State’s ongoing efforts to enrich New York’s network of artificial reefs.
The artificial reefs are an effort to develop a stronger, more diverse marine ecosystem that could provide better shelter for fish and other marine life off New York’s shores.
The Shannon C is a 60-foot, steel deck barge built in 1973, formerly berthed in East Hampton and owned by DJ Whelan Corp.
The Shannon C was used for more than 30 years in the marine construction business, building docks, bulkheads, and revetments, launching ramps, and dredging throughout the waterways of Long Island, the Hudson River, New York Harbor, Fishers and Plum Islands, Connecticut, and beyond. The barge also served as a launching platform for local firework events in Westhampton Beach, East Hampton and Shelter Island.
DEC manages the State’s 12 artificial reefs, which include two reefs in Long Island Sound, two in the Great South Bay, and eight in the Atlantic Ocean.
Since 2018, New York State’s Artificial Reef Program has deployed a total of 521 cubic yards of Tappan Zee Bridge materials, 200 tons of New York State Department of Transportation (DOT) steel pipe, columns, beams, girders, and trusses, one New York Canal Corporation steel barge, two New York Canal Corporation vessels, and seven steel center beam railcars on Shinnecock Reef. All materials were deployed under the guidance of the DEC Reef Program to ensure they are safely cleaned of contaminants prior to joining the reef.
DEC’s Artificial Reef Program is popular with local fishermen and divers and helps to support the Long Island economy. Additional patch reef creation through material deployments is expected to increase the use and enjoyment of these resources. Anglers and divers who access the artificial reefs support local businesses through the purchase of fuel, bait and tackle, marine equipment, and by using for-hire party/charter and dive vessels.
In August 2021, DEC deployed the vessel Big Time on Fire Island Reef. Big Time is a 55-foot steel luxury Feadshipcruiser Showboat built in 1956 and was donated by its owner Peter Taubler. In November 2020, the Artificial Reef Program deployed 16, 75-foot steel rail cars donated by Wells Fargo on Fire Island Reef; 59 additional rail cars were deployed on five other reef sites.
For more information about DEC’s Artificial Reef Program visit DEC’s website.
Photo of Shannon C being scuttled at Shinnecock Reef provided.