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NCDOT donates damaged concrete pipe to bolster artificial reefs off NC coast

artificial reef ncdot pipe cont
​​Damaged culvert piping that had been replaced and hauled from Bladen County is dropped off at the Port of Wilmington on Feb. 17, 2022. The pipe will be used to enhance artificial reefs.

The N.C. Department of Transportation is partnering with the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries to enhance two artificial reefs off the Brunswick County coast. More than 1,000 tons of damaged concrete pipe was recently transported from the NCDOT’s maintenance yard in Columbus County to the Port of Wilmington where it will be temporarily stored. NCDOT said in a news release that last week, the Bladen County maintenance yard sent more than 100 tons of similarly damaged pipe to the port. This spring, a marine contractor will use a barge to transport and unload the pipes at artificial reefs offshore from Oak Island and Shallotte.

The release said the donated pipes will help create habitat for fish by creating three-dimensional structures that replicate the ecological functions of food and refuge fish and other marine life need to survive. Artificial reefs also provide spawning areas for many recreationally and commercially valuable fish species.

NCDOT said disposing of the damaged concrete pipes in a construction and demolition landfill would have cost $65,000 in tipping fees.

Jared Brumbaugh is the Assistant General Manager for Public Radio East. An Eastern North Carolina native, Jared began his professional public radio career at Public Radio East while he was a student at Craven Community College earning his degree in Electronics Engineering Technology. During his 15+ years at Public Radio East, he has served as an award-winning journalist, producer, and on-air host. When not at the station, Jared enjoys hiking, traveling, and honing his culinary skills.