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January 18, 2017 12:40 am EST
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State removing buoys that are no longer needed at artificial reefs

MOREHEAD CITY – Over the next few weeks, the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries will remove the buoys from several artificial reef sites along the coast.

Staff plans to remove buoys from 11 artificial reef sites that are already accurately depicted on federal navigation charts or soon will be changed on the charts.

Technology has advanced to the point that the buoys are no longer necessary for safe navigation, and it is no longer cost-effective to maintain them, said Craig Hardy, chief of the division’s Habitat and Enhancement Section. GPS receivers are readily available at a low enough cost that nearly all boats that go offshore are equipped with them.

The buoys will be removed from:

North of Cape Hatteras

·         Artificial Reef-130 (no official name) 12.5 nautical miles north of the Oregon Inlet sea buoy

Hatteras to Cape Lookout

·         Artificial Reef – 230 ( Mr. J. C. Reef) 3.5 nautical miles south-southeast of the Hatteras Inlet sea buoy

Cape Lookout to Cape Fear

·         Artificial Reef – 320 (Clifton Moss Reef) 7.3 nautical miles west-southwest of the Beaufort Inlet Fort Macon jetty

·         Artificial Reef – 330 (Howard Chapin Reef) 11.8 nautical miles southwest of the Beaufort Inlet Fort Macon Jetty

·         Artificial Reef -345 (Swansboro Rotary Club Reef) 8.1 nautical miles southeast of the Bogue Inlet sea buoy

·         Artificial Reef -355 (New River Reef) 9.7 nautical miles south of the New River Inlet sea buoy

·         Artificial Reef -360 (Topsail Reef) 2.5 nautical miles east of the New Topsail Inlet sea buoy

·         Artificial Reef -362 (Tom Boyette Reef) 8.7 nautical miles east-southeast of the New Topsail Inlet sea buoy

·         Artificial Reef – 364 (Billy Murrell Reef) 6.2 nautical miles northeast of the Masonboro Inlet sea buoy

·         Artificial Reef – 372 (Bruce Barclay Cameron Memorial Reef) 5 nautical miles south-southeast of the Masonboro Inlet sea buoy

South of Cape Fear

·         Artificial Reef – 430 (Jim Knight Reef) 3.8 nautical miles east-southeast of the Lockwood’s Folly Inlet sea buoy

Buoys on another 25 artificial reefs will remain on station for two to four months longer until staff can verify that navigation charts accurately reflect their locations.

These Artificial Reef sites are:

North of Cape Hatteras

·         Artificial Reef – 140 (no official name) 8.9 nautical miles north of the Oregon Inlet sea buoy

·         Artificial Reef – 145 (no official name) 8.1 nautical miles northeast of Oregon Inlet sea buoy

·         Artificial Reef – 160 (Oregon Inlet Reef) 4.0 nautical miles south-southeast of the Oregon Inlet sea buoy

Cape Hatteras to Cape Lookout

·         Artificial Reef -220 (no official name) 4.9 nautical miles east-southeast of the Hatteras Inlet sea buoy

·         Artificial Reef – 225 (no official name) 6.2 nautical miles east-southeast of the Hatteras Inlet sea buoy

·         Artificial Reef - 250 (no official name) 5.1 nautical miles south-southeast of the Ocracoke Inlet sea buoy

·         Artificial Reef – 255 (no official name) 6.1 nautical miles south of the Ocracoke Inlet sea buoy

·         Artificial Reef – 275 (Billy Smith Reef) 2 nautical miles southeast of the north end of Drum Inlet

·         Artificial Reef – 285 (George Summerlin Reef) 4.4 nautical miles north-northeast of the Cape Lookout Shoal buoy R”2”

Cape Lookout to Cape Fear

·         Artificial Reef – 315 (Atlantic Beach Reef) 3.5 nautical miles West from Beaufort Inlet Fort Macon jetty

·         Artificial Reef – 342 (Onslow Bay Sport Fishing Club Reef) 3 nautical miles east-southeast of the Bogue Inlet sea buoy

·         Artificial Reef – 340 (J. Paul Tyndall Reef) 7 nautical miles east-southeast of the Bogue Inlet sea buoy

·         Artificial Reef – 366 (no official name) 30 nautical miles southeast of the Masonboro Inlet sea buoy

·         Artificial Reef – 368 (no official name) 15.5 nautical miles southeast of the Masonboro Inlet sea buoy

·         Artificial Reef – 370 (Meares Harris Reef) 3.5 nautical miles east of the Masonboro Inlet sea buoy

·         Artificial Reef – 376 (no official name) 9.9 nautical miles southeast of the Masonboro Inlet sea buoy

·         Artificial Reef – 378 (Phillip Wolfe Reef) 2.6 nautical miles south of the Carolina Beach Inlet sea buoy

·         Artificial Reef – 386 (Lennon / Hyde Reef) 17.8 nautical miles south-southeast of the Masonboro Inlet sea buoy

South of Cape Fear

·         Artificial Reef – 420 (Tom McGlammery Reef) 3.1 nautical miles north-northwest of the Cape Fear River sea bouy

·         Artificial Reef – 425 (Yaupon Beach Reef) 5 nautical miles north of the Cape Fear River sea buoy

·         Artificial Reef – 440 (Brunswick County Fishing Club Reef) 4.5 nautical miles south-southeast of the Lockwood’s Folly Inlet sea buoy

·         Artificial Reef – 445 (Dale McDowell Reef) 9.3 nautical miles south of the Lockwood’s Folly Inlet sea buoy

·         Artificial Reef – 455 (Dale Ward Reef) 10.6 nautical miles west of the Cape Fear River sea buoy

·         Artificial Reef – 460 (Jolly Mon Reef) 3.0 nautical miles south of the Shallotte Inlet sea buoy

These sites were first charted in the 1970s using the now antiquated LORAN radio navigation system. Since LORAN coordinates do not always accurately translate to GPS coordinates, the navigation charts need to be verified before the buoys can be removed.

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