Myrtle Beach International Airport Donates New Habitats for Sea Life
Myrtle Beach International Airport has partnered with Greenwall Construction to donate an estimated 500 tons of storm drainage concrete scrap to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for an artificial reef. The concrete is being excavated in preparation for new terminal construction. DNR has picked up approximately 45 loads on flatbed trucks that have been delivered to barges located offshore in Horry and Georgetown counties and there are still about a dozen loads remaining to be delivered. “It will be enough concrete to create a full scale habitat from the smallest plant life to the largest predators, “stated Andrew Skiles with Greenwall Construction.
South Carolina’s marine artificial reefs are constructed from a wide variety of materials ranging from various forms of suitable scrap to specifically designed and constructed reef habitat structures. Steel-hulled vessels are the most commonly employed scrap material in reef construction with over 100 having been sunk off the state since 1969. Other scrap materials recycled on South Carolina reefs include steel and concrete bridges, ex-military aircraft and even intercontinental ballistic missiles. These sites are located in waters from 9 to 11 feet deep, ranging from inshore locations to areas as far as 35 miles offshore. “Fishing on artificial reefs generates approximately $83 million in the Coastal economy, stated Robert Martore, SCDNR Marine Resources.
“Myrtle Beach International Airport’s contribution not only provides benefits for the marine environment by enhancing fish habitat, but also benefits the State by enhancing recreational and commercial fishing and saving the airport money for disposal of scrap metal material,” stated Michael La Pier, Director of Airports.
About the Department of Natural Resources (DNR)
The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is a South Carolina state agency charged with regulating hunting, fishing, boating, duck stamp orders, state parks, and the conservation efforts of the South Carolina state government. DNR currently maintains 45 artificial reefs in South Carolina and they publish locations to fishermen and divers.