November 5, 1997

For more information contact:
Carol Nash at 609-292-9450

Special marine life sweatshirts are now available from the New Jersey Artificial Reef Association (ARA). The ARA is a group of 40 party and charter boat captains and marina owners dedicated to raising funds for the construction of artificial reefs along the New Jersey coast.

"Funds generated through the sale of these shirts and other specialty items are earmarked for the New Jersey Division of Fish, Game and Wildlife's Artificial Reef Program," said division Director Bob McDowell. "For the past five years, proceeds from this merchandise have helped enable the Division to build dozens of ocean reef sites from old ships and other structures."

Sweatshirts are $29 each, available in sizes medium through xx-large and are the perfect holiday gift for anglers, divers or anyone with an interest in the sea. A wide variety of colors is available. Each shirt depicts an underwater reef scene on the back with an ARA logo on the front. Shirts are a heavy 80% pre-shrunk cotton/20% polyester blend, and are generous in size and length. They are available in person only at two Division of Fish, Game and Wildlife office locations: the Trenton office at 501 East State Street (third floor) and the Nacote Creek Research Station on Rt. 9 in Port Republic.

Artificial reefs provide feeding areas and refuge from predators for certain species of marine fish and shellfish, and offer attachment surfaces for mussels, barnacles and other organisms that form the basis of the reef food chain. Once marine life is established, reef sites attract thousands of anglers and scuba divers on party, charter and private boats.

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