Former Floating Casino Becomes Part of Artificial Reef


With a slow splash, the 180-foot long Texas Star, originally outfitted as a floating casino and repurposed as a commercial fishing vessel, recently became part of Delaware’s artificial reef system.

The reef site is 16.5 miles off the Delaware coast.

“With today’s sinking of the Texas Star on Redbird Reef, one of 14 separate reef sites in the Delaware Bay and along the Atlantic Coast, we continue to enhance and expand the recreational fishing and diving experience in Delaware,” Delaware Natural Resources Secretary Shawn Garvin said on June 29th. “When we sank Twin Capes four years ago as a centerpiece of Delaware’s artificial reef system, it was unmatched, providing fish habitat and a spectacular dive with its five decks for underwater exploration. Now anglers, the fish they are pursuing, and divers all will have another new destination.”

Marine contractor Colleen Marine of Norfolk, Virginia carried out the sinking of the Texas Star. Like all vessels that have been sent to the watery grave, the Texas Star was approved for sinking by the US Environmental Protection Agency and the US Coast Guard for environmental cleanliness and safety.

The DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife, which oversees the reef program, utilized $325,000 in federal Sport Fish Restoration Funds to purchase the Texas Star after it settled onto Redbird Reef.

More information about Delaware’s artificial reef program can be found at according to DNREC

Reefing of the John S. Dempster (DNREC video)