Myrtle Beach, SC–A recent presentation made by Ron McManus, Executive Director of the Jim Caudle Artificial Reef Foundation, along with Marc Jordan, President and CEO of the North Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce, has honored County Commissioner, Brent Schulz, along with other civic-minded leaders for their work in keeping the Intracoastal Waterway free of abandoned vessels.
“Not only does the work of these folks keep our waterway beautiful and safe for fellow boaters, but it plays an important role in growing our local economy,” said McManus. “These vessels, otherwise useless, find a second life as part of our artificial reef system.”
Schulz was praised for his sponsorship of a new ordinance that allows vessels deemed abandoned by the SCDNR to be removed in a timely manner and either sunk on the Jim Caudle Reef or sent to local landfills.
Along with Schulz, McManus praised ‘Chuggie’ Vereen of Vereen Construction, Brian Coggeshall, Towboat USA, and Ron Webber and Bobby Steele of Argos Ready Mixed Concrete of Socastee, whose companies and ongoing contributions have led to the success of the reef.
Located just 2 ½ miles off South Carolina’s Little River shoreline, the Jim Caudle Artificial Reef, also known as PA-01, is truly a South Carolina success story. “In 1993, this was South Carolina’s least visited reef,” said McManus. “Today it is the most visited! Since our early beginning over 200,000 visits have been made to the reef by fishermen as well as divers who enjoy its vibrant habitat.”
South Carolina’s artificial reef system not only benefits the fishermen, but also is a boon to the state and local economy. According to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, artificial reefs generate over $83 million annually and create in excess of 1,000 jobs in and around the communities in which they are located.
Speaking in regard to the addition of the abandoned vessels, the always good-natured McManus had this to offer: “These vessels find themselves in good company. The Jim Caudle Artificial Reef currently contains a reef buoy, over 700 concrete cones, 175 steel pup tents, 6 deck barges, 8 BK barges, a concrete mixer, tanker trailer, the dredge Orion, 50 armored personnel carriers, and several hundred tons of concrete rubble.”
For those who know Ron McManus and are familiar with his passion for the project, they know that the list above is just the beginning!