Alabama has the most extensive artificial reef program in the United States, with 15,000-plus artificial reefs. This may come as a surprise to some, considering the state’s coastline is only 60 miles long. With few natural reefs, the government of Alabama and its residents had to be creative when trying to increase fishing opportunities. Since the 1950s when artificial reef building began in the state, many different types of materials have served as reefs—bridges, army tanks, ships, cars, school buses, barges, pyramids, rubble, and oil platforms—making Alabama the perfect place to study how artificial reef types affect reef species.
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This journal review originally appeared in the June 2015 issue of Fisheries magazine.