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Artificial Reefs

Chesapeake Bay -
Western Shore

Chesapeake Bay -
Eastern Shore

Offshore Sites

More Reef Info

More Reef Information


Reef Bumper Sticker

"If you build it,
they will come!"






Spadefish at the
J B Eskridge
Photo: Chesapeake Diving Service




Tautog at the
J B Eskridge
Photo: Chesapeake Diving Service
The M/V J.B. Eskridge is located at the Tower Reef site. The F/V Prince of Peace is located at the Parramore Reef site. The Redbird Subway Cars are located at the Tower, Blackfish Bank and Parramore reef sites.



Reef Material

Reef Tank

Tank Deployment
Artificial reefs have been created of almost every material imaginable. Over the years, much has been learned about the importance of material selection in constructing a successful reef. There are two general classes of materials that are used to develop artificial reefs: materials of opportunity and fabricated materials.
Pipe on Barge

Concrete Pipe







Materials of opportunity are materials that have outlived their original purpose, are environmentally safe, are of suitable size and shape for the target site, can be transported to a permitted site, and are both durable and stable. Materials of opportunity take many forms and should not lead to the misconception of reef programs as elaborate forms of ocean dumping.
"Reef Exercise" (REEFEX), a joint Department of Defense-civilian cooperative pilot program, provided obsolete main battle tanks, armored personnel carriers, Sheridan tanks, and other military battle hardware for ten state artificial reef programs from New York to Louisiana. Between 1994 and 2003, 8 Armored Personnel Carriers and 18 Sheridan tanks were stripped, cleaned and deployed on some of Virginia's offshore reef sites.
Concrete Reef Ball

Reef BallTM
Concrete, either in fabricated units specifically designed for artificial reefs or imperfect concrete manufactured products, such as culvert or rubble from razed buildings, sidewalks, roadways and bridges, has a demonstrated high success rate as artificial reef material in both marine and estuarine environments. The obvious reason for this high rate of success is the strong compatibility of the material with the environment in which it is placed, and for the purpose for which it is placed. Concrete is genenerally very durable and stable in reef applications.
Over the last 30 years, various fabricated concrete structures, such as reef balls TM, tetrahedrons, igloos, and Tires-in-Concrete(TICs) have been developed and deployed to suite the needs of the reef environment being created.
Tetrahedrons on barge
More Tetrahedrons (Zoom In)

The Virginia Artificial Reef guy...former long term reef program manager Mike Meier - many thanks Mike for your years of service !
Mike Meier  
For more information on Virginia’s Artificial Reef Program,
contact Alicia Nelson at (757) 247-8155 or by e-mail at
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