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The Texas Artificial Reef Program

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The National Fishing Enhancement Act (NFEA) of 1984 was designed to promote and facilitate efforts to establish artificial reefs for the purpose of enhancing fishery resources and commercial and recreational opportunities. In 1991, the Texas Artificial Reef Program was established based on the guidelines of the NFEA to provide a means for the oil and gas industry to donate their obsolete structures as artificial reefs. Currently, over 35 permitted reef sites from over 70 decommissioned platforms have been created offshore Texas. The purpose of this paper is to summarize the regulatory background of the Texas Artificial Reef Program, to discuss the nature of the cost savings associated with reef donation, and to derive first-order approximate relations that predict the donation amount. Statistical data describing the frequency of rig donations as a function of water depth and planning area are provided, and regression models of the donation are developed based on the structure size, water depth, removal method, and proximity of the platform to the permitted reef site.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: March 1, 2006

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  • The Marine Technology Society Journal is the flagship publication of the Marine Technology Society. It publishes the highest caliber, peer-reviewed papers on subjects of interest to the society: marine technology, ocean science, marine policy and education. The Journal is dedicated to publishing timely special issues on emerging ocean community concerns while also showcasing general interest and student-authored works.
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