New York state governor Andrew Cuomo has announced the new initiative to develop artificial reefs on Long Island's coast and increase the biodiversity of marine life.

In addition to the bridge material, about 4,500m3 of jetty rock and 260m3 of steel pipes will be used in the construction of the six artificial reefs off the shores of Smithtown, Shinnecock, Moriches, Fire Island, Hempstead and Rockaway.

Cuomo said: “As the largest artificial reef construction programme in state history, these efforts will increase New York's marine biodiversity, provide new habitats for a variety of coral and fish, and support a growing tourism industry that brings thousands of anglers and travelers to Long Island's pristine waters every year.”

Multi-agency coordination will see recycled materials from the Department of Transportation, Canal Corporation and the Thruway Authority brought in to develop the sites.

Beginning next month, state agencies will start to deploy resources including 33 barges of recycled materials from the bridge.