Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources will use artificial reef donation to build reef in the Gulf of Mexico off Gulf Shores
(Foley, Ala.) – Foley’s new entertainment destination, OWA, has partnered with one of its contractors to donate used construction materials to be recycled for the building of an artificial reef in the Gulf of Mexico.
OWA has contacted the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) and gotten its approval for the donated materials. The ADCNR has inspected the concrete materials and deemed them eco-friendly for use in the reef. Cunningham Delaney Construction LLC has gathered the discarded construction items from the OWA site and delivered them to the ADCNR. These materials will be combined with items from other donators to build an artificial reef this year off Alabama’s coast, a few miles out from the Gulf Shores coastline.
“When we heard an artificial reef was being constructed in the Gulf, we knew that was the perfect place to recycle our items and help the ecosystem as a whole,” OWA Director of Marketing/PR Kristin Hellmich said. Cunningham Delaney delivered the materials to the staging site in Gulf Shores on Jan 23. As OWA collects more used construction items, it will send them to the site to be added to the collection.
Craig Newton with the Alabama Marine Resources Division said there are several benefits of having artificial reefs in the Gulf. Newton said one of the best attributes for constructing these reefs is the increase in fishery production and diversity of fishes and other wildlife that migrate through our waters.
“The natural bottom of the Gulf lies flat with sand, which means natural reefs are few and far between. Certain types of materials make it perfect for artificial reefs to be built,” Newton said. “Alabama has one of the largest reef programs, and our goal is to provide a more productive ecosystem and stability for the various industries along the Gulf Coast. We are grateful to OWA and Cunningham Delaney for donating these
unique items to include in our efforts.”
OWA is only 7 miles from Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, just off the Foley Beach Express and County Road 20. Phase One of OWA, which includes a 150-room Marriott TownePlace Suites, retail and dining spaces, amusement park and lake, will open summer 2017. Future plans call for a waterpark, additional hotels, a condominium complex and a resort level RV park. When complete, total investment in the development will top $500 million. For full details on OWA go to VisitOWA.com.