FEB 11, 2018 - CAPTAIN MONTY HAWKINS: Now to build more reef..

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FEB 11, 2018 - CAPTAIN MONTY HAWKINS: Now to build more reef..

Postby EC NEWELLMAN » Sun Feb 11, 2018 8:56 pm

The latest from Captain Monty Hawkins, owner and operator of the fv MORNING STAR out of OCEAN CITY, MD.

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Hello Reef Supporters!


Things are starting to shake in our tiny reef building world. Have received several generous donations of late -- the Foundation is 100% recovered from the Iron Lady Project.

Now to build more reef..

There are buoys at two reefs we're working on - marked off for our small barge. We take approximately 1/2 to 3/5 of a full tractor trailer load on each run aboard the 40 ft barge. It's slow to get loaded & deployed, but creates reef.

Slower still, (but not really because we're always after it!) are block deployments. Just did get a load of chimney blocks from Capt. Jeff Bauer with Potomac Valley Brick - those blocks make a wonderful 'tog condo' unit. Put enough units in one spot, rapid colonization is inevitable ..not just for tog, of course, but everything we want in a reef. Should cross the 20,000 block mark by May..

Soon the Morning Star will be doing dedicated winter block trips -- the kind where we load about 6.5 tons of block, set up on two anchors & let fly. Send volunteers home with a backache & do it again another day.

Spent a few days surveying with side-scan sonar this winter, especially at the Queen site. Then spent many-many hours doing chart corrections with the printer - especially for the Queen & Great Eastern Reefs. All corrections (there are many!) & new deployments will be highlighted in yellow in the 2018 Reef Charts..

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Ace Printing in Berlin claims new charts should be in hand for the Seaside Boat Show this weekend. While a $50.00 donation secures a set of charts, all of your donation is plowed back into reef building -- be generous! (No president's salary, no secretary's salary - I couldn't guess how many hours I donate a year. Saves money!)

Also have an upcoming scuba monitoring trip. (Yup, there are people who will jump off a perfectly good boat in February - especially Nick Caloyianis http://www.nickcaloyianis.com/ & https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HE_9NQNi8U0 for Nat Geo video of Nick's shark attack)

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Quick look of Maryland Artificial Reef 2017


One trip in May 2017 we deployed 7 tons of block in units where the big boulder reef is slated to go. Have to dive/video there for a close inspection to gauge how deeply boulder might scour-in. Scour where, 50 and more years ago, was once natural reef. Should be minimal as it was once hardbottom..

We lose a lot of substrate to scour -- same effect as your feet burying in as a wave recedes. Have to build a reef at least 3 feet high, but usually more, so the material creates its own foundation while the remaining exposed rock/concrete/steel becomes reef substrate.

The Nature Conservancy is still onboard with a $50K grant to assist with buying boulder. They're also committed to monitoring work -- the study of new reef colonization..This boulder reef, essentially a widely spread submerged jetty in an area where corals are already known to grow, is going to be a huge project.

I calculate there were nearly 4 square miles of good sea-whip meadows lost to the surfclam fishery in the 1960s & 1970s. Time to start putting it back. Gonna take a while.

Meanwhile, new charts & new t's/sweats coming. Going to go big on reef!

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Regards,
Monty

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EC NEWELLMAN
 
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