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Town of Yarmouth, Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, seek Corps permit to build artificial reefs in Nantucket Sound

Published June 11, 2013

CONCORD, Mass. – The Town of Yarmouth and the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries are seeking a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District to conduct work in waters of the United States in conjunction with constructing artificial reefs in Nantucket Sound, off the coast of Yarmouth, Mass.


The proposal includes work in navigable waters for the construction of artificial reefs throughout an area no larger than 125 acres. The project proposes a 2:1 ratio of natural substrate to artificial reef structures, with material deployed for creating structure covering no more than 9.5 acres in total. The exact material type to be deployed is unknown at this time. However, the Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) and the town of Yarmouth are looking at materials of opportunity such as damaged concrete culverts, natural rock, or other clean material and manufactured units like Reef Balls. The separation between the top of the structure and the sea surface at mean low water will be a minimum of 24 feet. The volume of materials to be discharged range from 45,154 cubic yards to 90,308 cubic yards, depending on the maximum vertical relief that ranges from 3 to 6 feet.


The proposed project will impact 9.5 acres of Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) for various species and life stages. This habitat is relatively uniform throughout the site consisting primarily of sand. Loss of this habitat may adversely affect these species by adding structure to the substrate. However, the Corps has made a preliminary determination that the site-specific adverse effect will not be substantial. Further consultation with the National Marine Fisheries Service regarding EFH conservation recommendations is being conducted and will be concluded prior to a final permit decision.


The application for the federal permit was filed with the Corps in compliance with Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act, which provides for federal regulation of any work in, or affecting navigable waters of the United States; and with Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, which regulates the discharge or fill of material in U.S. waters, including wetlands. The public notice can be viewed on the Corps website at


Public comments on the proposed work (file # NAE-2012-00311) should be forwarded no later than July 11, 2013 to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, Regulatory Division (ATTN: Richard Kristoff), 696 Virginia Road, Concord, MA 01742-2751. Additional information is available from Permit Project Manager Richard Kristoff at 978-318-8171 or toll free 800-343-4789 or 800-362-4367 (if calling from within Massachusetts) or by email to:

Tim Dugan

Release no. 2013-048