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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Assessment of out-of-kind mitigation success of an artificial reef deployed in Delaware Bay, USA

Published source details

Burton W. (2002) Assessment of out-of-kind mitigation success of an artificial reef deployed in Delaware Bay, USA. ICES Journal of Marine Science, 59, S106-S110


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Offset habitat loss from human activity by restoring or creating habitats elsewhere Subtidal Benthic Invertebrate Conservation

A study in 1990–1994 of an offset site in Delaware Bay, USA (Burton et al. 2002) found that a 0.7 ha artificial reef created to offset 57.4 ha of lost soft-sediment habitat had higher annual secondary production/unit area from sessile invertebrates, but lower total annual secondary production, compared to habitat similar to that lost. Annual secondary production/unit area at the offset artificial reef was 11–67 times higher than at soft-sediment habitat similar to that lost (2,000–12,000 kcal/m2/year vs 177 kcal/m2/year), but total annual secondary production was 1.3–7.6 times lower (13–77 million cal/year vs 100 million cal/year). The authors concluded that the artificial reef improved secondary production, but not enough reef was created to fully offset the lost habitat. An artificial reef was created in 1989 to mitigate the loss of mudflats elsewhere following the creation of a dredged material disposal site. Twice per summer in 1990–1994, sessile invertebrates growing on the artificial reef were identified and their biomass measured (see original paper for methods). As the mudflat habitat had already been lost, data for comparison were collected from similar soft-sediment habitats in 1990–1993 by the US Protection Agency and the Chesapeake Bay Program. For each habitat type, biomass data were used to estimate annual secondary production.

(Summarised by Anaëlle Lemasson)