How it works

You have seen our Goals.

Now here is the outline of how its all going to go down (literally)

The overall intent is to keep the costs as low as possible.  Where possible, CWRP and VSSA will try to locate existing material that can be donated at little or no cost.  We will likely have to fund transportation costs. Fundraising will occur at the both the CWRP and VSSA level but the goal of this project is for fundraising to occur at the local level and these local funds go directly to eastern shore reef. Both the CWRP and VSSA will also explore other mechanisms for fundraising like silent auctions, dinners, events, tournaments, etc. All funds raised for the reef program from book sales will be deposited by the VSSA treasurer into a separate account to ensure funds are used for the reef program. Currently the CWRP does not have a separate account for localized funds as we are focused solely on material and volunteer time at the moment. Fundraising money will come in the future with Tshirt sales etc.

Existing Reefs.  Adding to existing reefs is administratively easier than creating a new reef.  No additional permits are needed as the reefs are already permitted. VMRC would need to inspect the material to ensure no hazardous material exists, then supervise the deployment into an existing Virginia reef location.  The best way to handle the process is CWRP and VSSA finds or funds the material and pays for the contractor (barge operator, or in Chincoteague case the rocket retrieval boat Thomas reed) to deploy the material. No money would go to VMRC as that complicates the process with procurement rules. VSSA is currently working on a first come first serve basis to local projects like the CWRP. If we locally have a pile of block ready to go, the VSSA will chip in to help us get it offshore.

Steps on making this all happen:

1.  Get reef material: old block, concrete, etc. no protruding rebar, no asbestos and some other rules.  Can be tog castles, cinder blocks, large slabs, concrete culverts are great or whatever we can get, but we need a lot. Concrete is best, a steel ship / old barge requires more work for approval, but is doable!

2.  Find a place to stage the material near the water. In Chincoteague we have obtained permission for temporary storage of block material right at Curtis Merrit harbor where it can wait (not for extended periods of time) to be loaded up and deployed. We need help in Wachapreague to find a similar setup.

3   Once material is in place, VMRC needs to come inspect it (on their dime).  They will have already given preliminary approval because we will send them a picture and description of what material we are getting BEFORE we move it to the staging site. We have good contacts at the reef program there and get them to come most anytime.

4.  Get a barge, crane and tug and load it up on the day VMRC says they can come watch the offload.  Tow the barge out, drop it over and they mark the coordinates with their boat (no cost to us). In the case of Chincoteague we may have the ability to use the Thomas Reed which transports cars and picks up NASA rockets, he has a smaller payload capacity but should be less expensive to charter, for blackfish banks we could make multiple runs per day on a deployment day.

Being a non-profit the VSSA can have material donated from anywhere.  VSSA will donate that material to the VMRC which has no other funds for acquiring material.  The tug/barge will also have to be funded by someone other than VMRC (they have no money).  Because of the staging area required to hold materials, it makes it tough for the VSSA to try and do a statewide blanket program.  This is why the CWRP has been created. We will focus on our area only and use the backing from the VSSA for help. We are a localized group under the blanket of VSSA so we do not have to deal with the non profit paperwork, but will need to comply by VSSA’s rules and procedures.

Check out how you can help

  • Please consider a Donation (all money goes directly to the Eastern Shore)

New Reefs.  The process is long and complicated.  But that does not mean impossible. VSSA will explore additional areas for new reefs as nominated by anglers and distribution centers.  The process will involve (not all inclusive):

  • Minimum vertical clearance & buffer areas
  • Deployment methodologies
  • Survey areas (Pre & Post)
  • Reef material must be effective for a minimum of a 25 year storm event.
  • Vessels equal to or larger than 60 ft. at a 50-year storm event
  • Structure must be stable & not move or break up with resultant loss of habitat
  • The Permittee shall be responsible for the ownership, maintenance & liability of the project site.  
  • Weigh at least 500 pounds Clean – no asphalt, creosote, or other toxic residues
  • No free floating material or other deleterious substances
  • Designed, selected and deployed to avoid entrapping marine life
  • Heavy gauge ferrous & vessels that equal or exceed 60 ft. hull length, shall be prepared and deployed in accordance with all applicable U. S. Coast Guard, EPA, MARAD