A 47-foot-long hoseshoe crab replica slated to become part of an inshore artificial reef is scheduled to be sunk off northern Ocean County on Thursday morning.
After months spent planning and building his sculptor Chris Wojcik’s ultimate plan – to put the crab on the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean – was postponed due to weather last month.
It was supposed to have been placed at the Axel Carlson reef – located about 2.5 miles off Bay Head and Mantoloking – July 25.
On Monday, the state Division of Fish and Wildlife's Bureau of Marine Fisheries, which oversees the state's artificial reef system and the deployment of materials and structures onto its 15 sites, said Thursday has been chosen as the new deployment date.
According to Wojcik and the state Department of Environmental Protection, the crab, which is welded to two 50-foot barges, is to be towed through Manasquan Inlet at approximately 6:30 a.m. and arrive at its spot on the reef thereafter. The sinking is scheduled to take place at 9 a.m.
The GPS coordinates for the target location for the deployment on the reef are:
73 59.300' 40 01.700'
A map of the Axel Carlson site itself and a map of the state's entire artificial reef network, from the Division of Fish and Wildlife's artificial reef program website, are attached to this article.
For more on Wojcik, who lives on Howe Street in Point Pleasant Borough, and his creation, as well as the artificial reef program in New Jersey, published earlier this month on Patch.