The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources has completed the so-called Pass Christian Key, an artificial reef built from material from the old Bay St. Louis Washington Street Pier, the agency reported today (Dec. 21).

The "key" is located just more than a half mile south of the beach and a mile east of the Pass Christian Harbor, the MDMR said.

The reef, built from concrete rubble donated to MDMR for the purpose of creating a new artificial reef in the Mississippi Sound, is lighted.

Since April 2007, the MDMR Artificial Reef Bureau has conducted 141 inshore material deployments in the three coastal counties, using 24,000 cubic yards of crushed concrete and limestone.

In addition, since September 2006, the Artificial Reef Bureau has conducted 115 offshore deployments using materials such as retired fishing vessels, concrete culverts, missile ballasts and even a 107,000-gallon tank donated by Stennis Space Center.

"We're extremely proud to be able to say that over 100 percent of Mississippi's pre-Katrina artificial inshore and offshore reefs have been restored," MDMR Artificial Reef Bureau Director Kerwin Cuevas said.