Artificial Reef

Rigs to Reef

Rigs to Reef

The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources (DMR), Mineral Management Service (MMS) and petroleum companies are working together to utilize decommissioned oil and gas platforms for offshore artificial reef development.This program is commonly known as "Rigs to Reef." Building on Title II of the National Fishing Enhancement Act of 1984, the National Marine Fisheries Service published a National Artificial Reef Plan which opened the door for Federal support for offshore artificial reef projects. Further building on the National Artificial Reef Plan, the MMS and coastal states developed the Rigs to Reef Program to stimulate the reuse of oil and gas production platforms for offshore hard bottom habitat. Mississippi DMR artificial reef personnel are using the Rigs to Reef program to work cooperatively with oil/gas companies to utilize these abandoned structures for enhancing fish and invertebrate habitat. Together, they are creating premier habitat for fish stocks in the Northern Gulf of Mexico.

The Rigs to Reef Program offers conservation minded alternatives for the platform, as opposed to onshore disposal with no subsequent habitat value. The average platform jacket can provide up to 2-3 acres of hard bottom habitat for marine invertebrates and fishes, and these submerged platform jackets currently provide habitat for thousands of marine species. This habitat is beneficial to both the marine organisms that inhabit these reef systems and the commercial and recreational fishermen who seek the highly prized fish that can be found within this newly created ecosystem.

Map of Rigs to Reefs Sites download links (click to view or right-click to download):

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[Download PDF] 2.12 MB PDF for printing

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