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Already the largest in the country, if not the world, Alabama’s man-made reef areas recently got even bigger with the addition of 110 square miles of the Gulf of Mexico bottom.

As part of an overall $ 8.135 million expansion of Alabama’s artificial reefs program, the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Division of Marine Resources (MRD) recently received approval two additional US Army Corps of Engineers permit areas.

Craig Newton, MRD’s artificial reefs coordinator, said grants from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund, established with criminal fines after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, will also allow MRD to deploy reefs. artificial in coastal and offshore reef areas.

“We widened the reef area from 6 to 9 miles,” Newton said. “We originally had about 30 square miles in this area of ​​reefs. We are expanding 23 square miles near Gulf Shores and Fort Morgan and another 24 square mile area off Orange Beach, 8 to 15 miles offshore.

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