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During the summer of 1999, 700 Reef Ball habitats were deployed on the Barnegat Light and Garden State North Reefs. The concrete habitats, resembling small igloos, were fabricated by inmate laborers at Southern State Correctional Facility, located in Cumberland County. Transportation from the prison to the ocean reef sites was provided by the Ocean County Bridge Department. The Reef Ball Program is ongoing, with 700 more habitats scheduled for deployment in 2000. In most cases, the strategy for deployment is to disperse the Reef Balls far apart on the reef site. The distance between habitats makes them harder to fish and thus, provides a refuge for fish and shellfish. These small sanctuaries will then provide additional fish to help replenish larger reef structures that are subject to greater fishing effort.


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