AR 430, the newest artificial reefs constructed by the Long Bay Artificial Reef Association in conjunction with the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, was dedicated two weeks ago as the Jim Knight Reef.
Knight, is one of the original members of the Long Bay Artificial Reef Association from its formation in 1984. He has worked tirelessly on project after project; LBARA members requested that NCDMF name the reef in his honor.
AR 430 is approximately 2.5 miles off Oak Island, approximately halfway between the mouth of the Cape Fear River and Lockwood Folly Inlet.
“Jim Knight is the kind of guy that you want as a friend – and on any committee you volunteer or are volunteered for,” said Bob Black, LBARA’s project coordinator. “He just makes things happen and gets things done. Jim doesn’t care to be up front in the lights; he just wants things to be done right. Every time we have come to him with a problem, he has known what to do or who to see about getting it taken care of.
“Jim has been a major part of all the reefs and renourishment projects we have done since I have been a part of the reef association, and it is time, actually really beyond time, that a reef was named to honor him.”
The Jim Knight Reef is the ninth reef created by the LBARA in close association with NCDMF. Seven are nearshore reefs and two are more than 30 miles offshore. The Knight reef was positioned near the McGlammery Reef (AR 420) and the Yaupon Reef (AR 425), reducing the pressure on those reefs while allowing fishermen using Lockwood Folly Inlet a shorter trip.
The Jim Knight Reef (AR 430) is located about 2.5 miles off Oak Island. It is slightly west of Ocean Crest Pier and east of the water tower at Middleton Street. The reef is comprised of 4.5 million pounds of assorted concrete pipe from 24 to 48 inches in diameter and up to 8 feet long. The reef site is dedicated for a mile and extends approximately a half-mile in all directions from the buoy, which is at 33.52.190N and 078.09.623W.
The Jim Knight Reef is subdivided into four smaller reef sites. Two are considered high-density areas and two are low-density areas. The centers of the four areas are: High Density East 33.52.258N/078.09.906W; High Density West 33.52.267N/ 078.10.115W; Low Density East 33.52.117N/ 078.09.904W; Low Density West 33.52.116 N/078.10.113W. The pipe, which was deployed last winter, came from North Carolina Products of Raleigh; funding was supported with a grant from the Marine Conservation Fund, which receives its funding from the sale of Coastal Recreational Fishing Licenses.