Artificial Tire Reef Is Now An Ecological Disaster

Date: February 19, 2007

Source: News Room

An artificial reef of used tires created in 1972 off Fort Lauderdale, Fla. has become an ecological disaster. Tires frequently wash up on beaches and become wedged under natural coral reefs, killing the coral. Coastal America, a conservation group, is coordinating a cleanup where Navy divers will to retrieve the tires as part of their training and Broward County will manage their disposal. "We've literally dumped millions of tires in our oceans," said Jack Sobel, a senior marine scientist. "I believe that people who were behind the artificial tire reef promotions actually were well intentioned and thought they were doing the right thing. In hindsight, we now realize that we made a mistake." It was hoped that the used tires would create new marine habitats to ease pressure on natural reefs, however, little life has established on the artificial structure in the last three decades. The complete salvage operation is expected to run through 2010 at a cost of about $3.4 million.

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