PASCAGOULA, Miss. (WLOX) – Chevron’s Pascagoula Refinery has partnered with Mississippi Gulf Fishing Banks to donate surplus equipment that will now be used as artificial offshore reefs.
“When you have an artificial reef, you give the fish the opportunity to live, grow and sustain themselves,” said Christine Haswell, chief operating officer of Chevron Pascagoula Refinery. “And so we are very, very excited to be a part of that.
The five carbon steel structures of a recent refinery project needed to be recycled. That’s until a Chevron worker suggested reusing the equipment in artificial fishing reefs.
“Not everyone is aware of it, but the bottom is empty of life,” said Mississippi Gulf Fishing Banks President Ralph Humphrey. “It’s all mud and sand. There is nothing alive there. The only reason we have snappers, and other fish and those types of species, is because of the artificial reef program.
The structures have undergone a thorough environmental assessment and will now be deployed by MGFB after receiving clearance from the Department of Marine Resources.
“We’ve wanted to do something like this in the past, so it’s great to see it coming out right now,” Haswell added. “What this means for the environment is fabulous. Fishing is a way of life, of course, here.
Wyatt Field donated fabrication services to prepare the equipment for transport and Barnhart Crane & Rigging lifted the structure for relocation.
“We can’t thank Chevron enough for not only donating the reef, but also the resources to get it in the water as well,” Humphrey said. “It will have a huge environmental boost for everyone who uses it.”
Chevron also presented a check for $30,000 to MGFB. This money goes directly to the deployment of the reef.
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