Coastal Conservation Association of Louisiana, Shell Oil Company, The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, D&L Salvage and Marine and Roadrock Recyclers will begin construction this week on a much anticipated artificial reef in Vermilion Bay, to be named the “Leon and David Ortemond Reef.” A media site visit will be conducted Friday, July 12, at 10am at Quintana Landing in Cypremort Point.
The project, conceived by CCA Louisiana’s four Acadiana area chapters, honors Leon and David Ortemond, a father and son who perished in a boating accident in Iberia Parish in 2012.
“Our entire family grew up fishing and boating in Vermilion Bay, so it is very fitting that we can honor my dad and my brother in this way” said Lance Ortemond. “The chance to be part of this project while helping to enhance the bay’s habitat and create fishing opportunities for other families is very special to us.”
The reef is being built using recycled material taken from one of the oldest sugar mills in the state of Louisiana, the Adeline sugar factory, in Baldwin.
“The Adeline sugar factory is a part of our history in this area of the State,” says CCA Vermilion Chapter President Joey Russo of Abbeville. “Using recycled material from the factory not only gives extra meaning to the project, it also allows us to build a bigger reef at a lower price.”
Approximately 10,000 tons of recycled concrete and brick from the factory will be broken into chunks up to 12″ in diameter, and placed strategically over an 8-acre area roughly one mile off the shoreline from Cypremort Point State Park. The close proximity to shore will make the reef accessible to anglers in kayaks and canoes as well as traditional fishing boats. The official coordinates are 29° 44′ 19.7” N, -91° 52′ 45.8″W.
Funding for the Leon and David Ortemond Reef was provided by Shell Oil Company, CCA’s Building Conservation Trust and LDWF’s Artificial Reef Trust Fund. In-kind support of the project is being provided by D&L Salvage and Marine as well as Roadrock Recyclers. Continuing support of CCA’s Artificial Reef Program is provided by the Paul Candies Family.
After completion, mooring buoys placed around the perimeter of the site will mark the reef. Anglers will have the option to tie off to the specially designed buoys if they choose.
“We are so pleased to team up with Shell, Wildlife and Fisheries and our other partners on such an important effort,” said CCA’s Conservation and Habitat Chairman John Walther. “The opportunity to honor the Ortemond Family with this reef while using material from an historic landmark makes this an exceptional project. We are thankful to everyone who made this possible.”
Walther says he expects that marine life could begin to appear on the reef in a matter of months.