Sunday, March 30, 2008

2008 year for artificial reefs


The Daily Times
By Laura D'Alessandro
March 30, 2008

Navy ship could join subway cars on materials list

OCEAN CITY -- According to members of the Maryland Artificial Reef Initiative, 2008 may be the resort's year for huge reef developments.

Marty Gary, a member of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Service, said more than $1 million was invested into artificial reefs in the Chesapeake Bay last year and two developments are currently on the horizon for Maryland's Atlantic coastline.

"This could be a very exciting year for Ocean City," he said. "I think 2008 is the year of the coast between the subway cars and the Radford."

The Ocean City Reef Foundation is currently raising funds to sink New York City subway cars off the coast.

"We have got about two barge loads or close to that," said Greg Hall, the group's president. "We've raised $40,000 and the people have been wonderful about donations."

But as far as the Radford, a 600-foot Navy destroyer ship goes, Hall and Gary can only hope for the funds to be raised in time.

Hall said the Ocean City Reef Foundation is hopeful the state can acquire the Radford but they are busy with their subway car endeavor. Still, Gary is hopeful.

"I think the chances of getting the Radford are excellent," he said.

The project is being bid as a multi-state effort, combining funding from Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey to sink the ship in the Delaware Bay in an area designated "Deljerseyland."

The location is 30 nautical miles from the Ocean City inlet, 28 from the Indian River inlet and 32 from Cape May, N.J.

The spot chosen for the Radford is adjacent to a wreck called the U.S.S. Moonstone. Gary said the Moonstone is much smaller and the Radford will make the area even better for fishing and diving.

"If you take a vessel of this size and put it down on the ocean floor you will immediately get colonial organisms like mussel and anemones on there," Gary said. "And with that it becomes attractive to various fish species and they'll literally set up camp there."

He said fish such as black sea bass and flounder usually frequent the reefs, but one the size of the Radford has the potential to attract different species of tuna, amber jack and other large fish.

Though Hall thinks the cost is high, Gary said it is low compared to the recent investment in the Chesapeake. The total cost has been estimated at $600,000, split between three states.

"It could get higher," Gary said. "And there is a definite need from donations."

He hopes the state will receive large corporate donations to fund the project, but even individual donations can be made by visiting



At 7:35 PM, Blogger John said...

Hi there Pedro, looks like 2009 isn't going to be too bad either. Here are details of Annapolis announcement for a 2009 reefing.


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