Artificial reef created off East Sooke

Divers are discovering plenty of new sea life

Weeks after large rocks were sunk off East Sooke, divers are discovering plenty of new sea life.

The rock will create a small artificial reef in Moonlight Bay, between Possession and Pike points.

Divers kept a close eye on the new reef for signs of life, and it took only a few days.

RELATED: Claremont students help build reef balls for Inner Harbour

“I was stunned,” said diver Michael Thornton.

“I went down thinking I was going to see the rocks, and there was so much sea life. It was like a whole bunch of people moved in.”

The reef, constructed by the proponent of the proposed Silver Spray Marina, was constructed to offset impacts to fish habitat that will result from construction of the marina.

SookePoint Ocean Cottage Resort donated the rock, which was used to raise the ocean floor about 20 feet, so the reef would sit at a depth of about 25 feet – perfect to grow an undersea garden of kelp forest.

The stacked rock also creates walks, channels, caves and passage way for sea life and other vegetation.

“It is expected that kelp and other marine life will establish on the reef to enhance habitat for fish,” said Dan Bate, acting regional director for communications with the federal Fisheries Department.

The area of the reef is small – about 80 feet long and 20 feet wide – but it creates habitat in a once barren portion of seabed.

So far, sea urchins, ling cod and star fish are populating the reef, Thornton said.

And there’s more to come.

The Fisheries Department will monitor the area over the next five years, and plan to seed bull kelp in the area.

“It’s really quite exciting to see how well [the reef] is doing already,” said Thornton, a proponent of SookePoint Ocean Cottage Resort.

Thornton said he shouldn’t be overly surprised on the early success of the artificial reef since it was built by the same volcanic rock that graces the ocean floor.

Fisheries Department officials are not aware of any other small reef projects in the area.



editor@sookenewsmirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Province buys Paul’s Motor Inn to house Victoria’s homeless population

Inn is the second hotel the province has purchased to support vulnerable community

Sidney blocks off parking spaces to create more sidewalk

Additional measures to create more outdoor space for restaurants and cafe on way

Gift card scam email nearly dupes Oak Bay resident of $300

Fraud attempt posed as familiar friend

Telus headquarters to come to Victoria in ‘landmark building’ development

City sells land on coroner of Douglas and Humboldt streets for $8.1 million

B.C. records four new COVID-19 cases, Abbotsford hospital outbreak cleared

Four senior home outbreaks also declared over, eight still active

Friendly Cove and Kyuquot will remain closed until further notice

Transition of other B.C. communities will be monitored before a decision to ease restrictions

Gold River organizes a shop local initiative to creatively boost economy

Local purchases can earn shoppers $200 gift certificates to be spent on businesses within Gold River

Young killer whale untangles itself from trap line off Nanaimo shore

DFO marine mammal rescue unit arrived as whale broke free from prawn trap line

About 30% of B.C. students return to schools as in-class teaching restarts amid pandemic

Education minister noted that in-class instruction remains optional

Trudeau avoids questions about anti-racism protesters dispersed for Trump photo-op

Prime minister says racism is an issue Canadians must tackle at home, too

B.C.’s Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics goes virtual

The annual event partnering RCMP with Special Olympians is dramatically altered by COVID-19

Most Read