The creation of inshore reefs provide two main benefits: they assist in reducing coastal erosion and restore hard bottom and essential fish habitats where it had previously existed.
The genesis of this program was to provide the roadmap to a long-term statewide inshore artificial reef plan. To that end, in 2003 the RFRI was awarded a grant from the Shell Marine Habitat Program through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. The 11-acre reef Bay Ronquille Habitat Restoration Project was established with this grant ($49,900) and was matched through a fundraising effort ($77,992) totaling $127,892. This pioneering reef was so successful that it has been copied 12 times along Louisiana’s coast since. In fact, in 2014 the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries released the Louisiana Inshore Artificial Reef Plan, and it was this project that started it all!