Construction started earlier this week on the four-acre expansion of the Independence Island Artificial Reef located northeast of Grand Isle, according to a news release from CCA Louisiana.

The original reef, which was built in 2011, has become a favorite fishing destination in the area, and will be expanded by the addition of 7,000 tons of large limestone.

“This is a great project for Grand Isle, and we appreciate CCA and their partners for making it happen,” Grand Isle Mayor David Carmadelle said.  “Anytime we can build habitat in Louisiana and create new fishing spots for anglers and their families to enjoy, that’s a win-win situation.”

Phase II construction on the Independence Island Reef is the 18th reef of its kind to be built by CCA Louisiana since 2002.

“CCA Louisiana is pleased to bring another reef project to the Grand Isle area,” CCA Louisiana’s John Walther said. “The innovative design of Independence Island Reef Phase II will take advantage of the natural tidal flow moving in and out of Barataria Pass, making the site an even more attractive habitat for fish, and a better spot for anglers.”

Funding for the project was provided through the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Artificial Reef Development Fund and CCA’s Building Conservation Trust, including a lead gift from Shell and the support of Bertucci Contractors. 

“We frequently hear from Grand Isle anglers who have had tremendous success fishing on the original Independence Island Reef site,” CCA Louisiana CEO David Cresson said. “If history is any indication, we would expect speckled trout and redfish to populate the site as early as Spring 2016.”

Upon completion, marker buoys will be placed on the site so that anglers can locate the reefs. The location of the new addition is at GPS coordinates 29° 18' 29.40", 89° 56' 00.24".