Chevron Donates Equipment For Offshore Marine Habitat

PASCAGOULA, Miss. (AP) — Surplus equipment from Chevron's Pascagoula Refinery is getting a new purpose.

Five carbon-steel structures from a recent refinery project were slated to be recycled. That’s until a Chevron worker suggested repurposing the equipment as artificial fishing reefs.

The company has partnered with Mississippi Gulf Fishing Banks to help make that a reality.

“When you have an artificial reef, you’re giving fish an opportunity to live and grow and sustain,” Chevron Pascagoula Refinery Operations Manager Christine Haswell told WLOX-TV. “And so we’re very, very excited to be part of this."

The structures underwent an extensive environmental evaluation and will now be deployed by MGFB after receiving clearance from the Department of Marine Resources.

“Not everyone is aware of it, but the bottom out there is bare of life,” Mississippi Gulf Fishing Banks President Ralph Humphrey said. “It’s all mud and sand. There is nothing living out there. The only reason we have snapper, and other fish and those types of species is because of the artificial reef program.”

“We’ve wanted to do something like this before in the past, so it’s great to see it actually come out right now,” Haswell added. “What it means to the environment is fabulous. Fishing is a way of life, obviously, around here.”

Wyatt Field donated fabrication services to prepare the equipment for transportation and Barnhart Crane & Rigging lifted the structure for relocation.

“We can’t thank Chevron enough for not only donating the reef but also donating the resources to get it out there in the water as well,” Humphrey said. “It will have a huge environmental boom for everybody that uses it.”

Chevron also presented a $30,000 check to MGFB on Monday. That money goes directly toward the deployment of the reef, the television station said.