MURRELLS INLET, SC (WBTW) – Friends and family honored the life of Murrells Inlet business owner, Jessica Perry, on Friday by dropping an artificial reef into the inlet at Pawley’s Island Reef.
Claire Collins, an employee of Perry’s at Perry’s Bait and Tackle Shop, organized the reef dropping.
“We felt it only appropriate. She loved marine life, and she loved all of her fishermen, so it gives them a place that they can go and fish or dive, or just to know that it’s there,” Collins said.
The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources dropped the concrete barrels, which will eventually grow into an ecosystem. The artificial reef will attract marine life by providing them shelter and food, but Collins says it will do even more.
“It was something that I did for the community, but mostly these young people, and for family and friends and all of the fisherman that loved her so desperately because it gives them a little piece of her in a sense,” Collins said.
Collins says dropping the reef was a chance to turn a loss into something positive.
“It was all around a great moment, what was honestly a tragedy, to bring something beautiful and joyful to the community from it, I just thing it was a joyful thing.”
Perry’s Bait and Tackle Shop will host another reef dropping next year, honoring the late owner of Dave’s Bait and Tackle Shop, David Altman, better know as ‘Big Dave.’
Perry’s Bait and Tackle is selling shirts at their store to raise money to buy the artificial reefs. They are available for purchase for $20 at their Murrells Inlet location.