About the Maryland Artificial Reef Initiative

MARI includes over 60 private, state, and federal partners, and acts as a funding mechanism (using private and corporate donations) for reef development in Maryland. It is a volunteer organization dedicated to preserving, restoring and creating fish habitat in tidewater Maryland. Funding for MARI comes from the Coastal Conservation Association, Maryland Department of Natural Resources and the coalition of donors and partners.

Map of Current MARI Reef Locations
Latest Angler's Log Reports from Artificial Reefs


Ryan Gary
Student Technican
Total Reports:
11
Sent in on: August 17, 2011 Permalink

Sinking of the U.S.S. Radford

Type: Ocean
Region: Ocean
Location: Atlantic Ocean
Tags: Artificial Reefs

Wednesday of last week I had the opportunity to go out on a ferry and watch the joint cooperation from Maryland, New Jersey, and Delaware to sink the decommissioned destroyer, U.S.S. Arthur W. Radford. We launched about 9:30 in the morning and arrived at the site at 12 and the sinking was already underway. It took about 3 hours before we could start to see a difference in the massive shipís position but as soon as the stern went down the rest of the boat followed in a titanic like manner with full submersion in about a minute and ten seconds. Sidescan was done on the boat a couple days later and found the boat sunk just as it was planned with the broadside in to the current coming out from the Delaware bay.


David G Brown
Student Technican
Goldsboro
Total Reports:
6
Sent in on: August 15, 2011 Permalink

Student Technican Entry for Week of Aug 8

Type: All
Region:
Location: Atlantic Ocean, Potomac River
Tags: Artificial Reefs, Juvenile Index Survey

Last week was an exciting week. I had one of my favorite days of field work and I was able to witness history. On Wednesday, I was one of the lucky few who got to witness the sinking of the 564.3 foot warship the USS Arthur W. Radford for the Del-Jersey-Land artificial reef. At about 6 oíclock in the morning, I was picked up at the Natural Resources Police office in Queen Anne and we drove all the way to Lewes, Delaware to catch the Cape May-Lewes ferry. The large ferry was used to take selected onlookers to the site to observe the historical sinking. The site where the Radford was sunk was 29 miles offshore of the Delaware coast so to say the least it was a long ferry ride. We arrived at Lewes at around 8:30 and boarded the ferry and at around 9 we were en route to the ship. The ferry ride was three hours long so we arrived at the ship at noon. When we got there, they were doing some last minute preparations on the boat and soon after they started pumping water into the vessel. In about two hours of waiting, we started to see the boat listing to left a little bit. We knew the boat was going to sink soon so we all made sure we had a good spot to watch it. After about an hour, the bow of the ship was heavy and we were all worried that it might go down bow first instead of stern first like it was supposed too. We watched the boat for about 40 more minutes and then all of a sudden the stern dropped below the water and the Radford finally started sinking. One minute after the stern fell below the surface, the ship completely sank. It was really cool to watch, especially when the air bubbles in the ship shot water out of the ocean like a geyser. Watching the ship sink was definitely worth all the waiting. History was made and I was told I would probably never see anything like it again. The USS Radford is by far the longest ship in the multi-state artificial reef and it will provide much needed habitat for fish and also provide a great place to go scuba diving. The ship will provide safety for fish like tautog, sea bass, scup, and triggerfish, and the smaller baitfish will attract rockfish, bluefish and weakfish to the sunken vessel. The Radford is going to be very good habitat for many species of underwater animals. I am very glad that I got the opportunity to witness this beneficial and historical event.

On Thursday, I went out with Fisheries biologists Eric Durell and Angela Giuliano to assist with the juvenile index seine survey in Southern Maryland. It was another early start. We left Annapolis at 5:45 in the morning to go to our first site on the Potomac in Charles County. We started working right away. When we got to the site, we unloaded the van and got everything set up on the beach. One of the first things Mr. Durell did when he got to the beach was throw a stick in the water to see which way the current was going and he stuck a stick on the shore to see if the tides coming in or going out. Itís very important to see which way the current is going because you need to seine with the current. We moved some debris off the beach so it would not get caught in the net and then we started seining. I observed the first couple of times but I still got in the water to help pull the net out and keep it straight. For those who donít know what seining is, a seine is a long net stretched between two poles with floats on the top and weights on the bottom. One person holds one pole on the shore while the other takes the other end of the net and goes out into the water until it gets about four feet deep and then he turns and pulls the net parallel to shore and then back to shore capturing all the fish that was in the small area. I was amazed at how many different fish we caught. We caught several different species of fish and we had to identify and record them all. Most of them were small minnows but we caught a few decent sized fish. We caught Rough and Atlantic silversides, needlefish, blue crabs, stripped killifish, shad, perch, rockfish, and menhaden. We counted all the fish and by the time we were done the 30 minute waiting period between seining rounds was over and we started seining again. We caught less fish than the first time but still a good amount. We sampled three different sites in the lower Potomac. I got to pull the seine at the other sites and I had a lot of fun doing it. I Love being in the water so I had a good time. Iím really happy I got to out and help them. It was a good experience and I learned how to identify a lot of fish different fish species.


Michael eversmier
Recreational Angler
Total Reports:
7
Sent in on: November 21, 2010 at 9:24 PM Permalink

Lower Tangier Sound Artificial Reef SiteThis report contains valuable fishing information!

Type: Chesapeake
Region: Southern
Location: Lower Tangier Sound Artificial Reef Site
Tags: Artificial Reef, Tautog, Striped Bass

A follow up to the fishing report posted by Fisheries Biologist Erik Zlokovitz. Two days later on Friday (11/19) myself, Fisheries Biologist Marty Gary, and underwater videographer Nick Caloyianis conducted MARI reef monitoring dives on the same Lower Tangier Sound Artificial Reef site built in 2007 with material from the Woodrow Wilson bridge. The following images show the reef to be alive with life. Within seconds of descending to the bottom we saw schools of stripers swimming around us and started encountering numerous tautog, a few as big as 24" in length. The concrete slabs and rubble from the bridge are now covered with water filtering tunicates, oyster of all size, ghost anemones, mussels, and red beard sponge.

Living amongst the marine growth were lots of mud crabs, naked gobies and the occasional toad fish. This site along with many other reef sites we have monitored are like a small oasis surrounded by a sand desert. Our long diving day ended with the following beautiful sunset over our Chesapeake Bay. For the location of this reef site and other MARI sites visit the following DNR Artificial Reef link http://www.dnr.state.md.us/fisheries/reefs/index.asp and if you would like to donate to MARI to support other reef projects please visit: http://www.ccamd.org/MARI/MARI_home.htm

Upcoming Meeting Information

Artificial Reef Committee Meeting
Date: 10/29/2014
Time: 2 - 5 pm
Location: Tawes, C-1 Conference Room Annapolis
View on Calendar >>


Help The Cause

MARI is currently taking donations. These donations help to build artificial reefs throughout the Chesapeake. To donate, Click Here.

Current Artificial Bay Reefs
  • Pooles Island
  • Tolchester
  • Gales Lumps
  • Memorial Stadium
  • Love Point
  • Hackett Point/Dolly's Lump
  • Severn River (off Jonas Green Park Fishing Pier)
  • Cedarhurst
  • Hollicut's Noose
  • Holland Point
  • Chesapeake Beach
  • Tilghman Island
  • Cook Point Reefball Site
  • Plum Point
  • Sharps Island (discontinued)
  • Gooses
  • Taylors Island
  • Little Cove Point
  • Cedar Point
  • Point No Point
  • Point Lookout
  • Janes Island
  • Tangier Sound
  • Asquith
  • Current Artificial Ocean Reefs
  • Bob Mason Reef
  • Purnell' s Reef
  • Kelly' s Reef / Little Gull
  • Russell's Reef / Great Gull
  • Isle of Wight Reef ("IOW")
  • Research Reef
  • Bass Grounds (2 Boxes)
  • African Queen Reef
  • Great Eastern Reef
  • Jackspot Reef
  • USS Radford/Del-Jersey-Land