A Sunken Ferry Finds New Purpose as An Artificial Reef For Sea Life

Monday, 18 June 2018 - 6:21PM
Earth
Monday, 18 June 2018 - 6:21PM
A Sunken Ferry Finds New Purpose as An Artificial Reef For Sea Life
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There's lots of things you can do with a boat once you decommission it. Intentionally sinking the boat isn't an intuitive option, but it has its uses. 

This is what happened to a recently retired Cape May-Lewes ferry, which has been designated as a new "artificial reef" and was intentionally sunk about 26 miles off the coast of Delaware this past weekend. According to Delaware's Department of Natural Resource and Environmental Control, the ferry is joining a collection of other ships in the area which were sunk for the same reason.

After the ferry was retired, it was bought from the Delaware River and Bay Authority by the marine contractor Coleen Marine, who then sunk the boat themselves. Naturally, a drone was there to record the entire event:



Creating an artificial reef out of a sunken ship has a number of benefits, including providing a home for coral and fish in an otherwise bare portion of the seafloor. While building new homes for marine life is a good in itself, the state of Delaware is also expecting to see benefits in a few years once more life has returned to the waters and more humans will begin fishing and diving there.

As pollution and global warming kill off natural habitats for sea life, creating man-made habitats will offer some temporary solutions, but they may not solve many longterm problems that will ultimately have to be solved by cutting down on said pollution/climate change. Delaware may not be a famous coral habitat like the dying Great Barrier Reef, but it's becoming an impressive locale for artificial habitats, a.k.a. sunken ships.

Some of the other ex-boats in the area include a former destroyer named the USS Arthur W. Radford, and an older U.S. Coast Guard cutter called Tamaroa, which was used in the Battle of Iwo Jima during World War II.

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