National Guard, DNR create reef from used Army vehicles

By Tracey Amick  bio | email

BEAUFORT, SC (WCSC) - The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources is using old army vehicles to create artificial reefs off the coast of South Carolina.

For 15 years, DNR has been teaming up with the S.C. Army National Guard for reef exercises, which convert army surplus vehicles into artificial reefs. On Thursday, they added to an existing reef called the Beaufort 45 in the Port Royal Sound.

The Beaufort 45 was started about 15 years ago and there are already 200 concrete reef balls, 20 tanks, a fuel barge, parts of the Broad River Bridge and now 60 armored personnel carriers.

After a tank or armored personnel carrier serves its purpose for the military they can be used to create artificial reefs. The vehicles are first cleaned, according to Environmental Protection Agency standards, and then put out into the water, creating fish habitats.

The Beaufort 45 Reef attracts spade fish, Spanish mackerel, king mackerel, black sea bass and amberjack.

South Carolina is the only state that has continued this program for so long, which has helped to create more than 30 sites along the coast.

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