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JUST when the folks from the New Jersey Reef Program thought it was safe to put things back in the water, it looks like they're going to face another battle.

The permit for New Jersey to continue its Artificial Reef Program is currently under review by the Army Corps of Engineers. One would think this should be a no-brainer; after all, it has already created 14 reef sites and is considered one of the best in the country.

New Jersey anglers have benefited from these reefs and so has the ecology and the environment.

Many fishing clubs and diving organizations have supported the reef program and also made suggestions on how it could be improved. However, Clean Ocean Action has taken the stance that the permit should be denied based on extensive deficiencies in the application.

This has put the New Jersey Reef Program at risk of being terminated. Clean Ocean Action has stated that they would like to work with fishing groups in the spirit of cooperation. Yet COA has managed to alienate the anglers of New Jersey with their stubborn position on the artificial-reef issue.

You remember all those New York City subway cars that were supposed to go to New Jerseys Reef Program, but because of COA they wound up off the coast of Delaware.

It is obvious that COA does not care about New Jerseys anglers or those from surrounding states who fish off the Jersey coast. The New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife has successfully run the reef program for 20 years without disturbing the marine environment.

These reefs only help the ocean floor to become a healthy place for marine life. The reefs are a nursery ground for many species of mollusks, crustaceans and fish.


The Conservation Alliance of New York (CANY) is sponsoring a series of youth fishing and hunting clinics during its annual meeting on Saturday at the SUNY Cobleskill auditorium in Bouck Hall from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Highlights include youth workshops, fly-tying and casting and turkey hunting and calling techniques.

Scheduled guest speakers include Dr. Jack Ward Thomas, first wildlife biologist to serve as chief of the U.S. Forest Service; Robert Monacchio, chair of the Conservation Fund Advisory Board; and Dr. Gary Alt, former Pennsylvania deer biologist responsible for Quality Deer Management/Antler Size Restrictions.

For more information contact Mike Zagata at (607) 432- 4416 or go to their Web site at
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