Artificial Reef Made from US Destroyer

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Was interesting when I read the other day that the 563-foot Destroyer Vessel USS Arthur W. Radford was planning on being sunk 28 miles to the northeast the Ocean City Inlet.  This is not the first vessel to be converted into a man made reef but it is the largest in U.S. history that will be deliberately made into an artificial reef.

The USS Arthur W. Radford sits in the Philadelphia Navy Shipyard while being dismantled. The former Navy destroyer is being stripped down to be sunk and made into a reef in the Indian River Inlet at the end of the summer. The boat was commissioned in 1977 and was taken out of service in 2006. It had more than 300 men serving onboard when it was in operation. Ameican Marine Group have 110 days in a contract to ready the ship for preparation to the bottom of inlet.


The ship was stripped of most of its infrastructure and had extra holes cut into the vessel to better attract the sea creatures that make up the ecosystem around a reef.  It is expected years after being sunk it will cause the sea life to thrive and eventually become a popular scuba diving attraction as well as serve to help foster the ocean ecology.

According to the Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife’s website they have done studies that have shown placement of durable, stable reef materials can result in as much as a 400-fold increase in the amount of small sea life and fish inhabiting an area.

I think it’s pretty cool that they are turning old vessels no longer needed in service or fit for a museum into artificial reef’s, it is kind of like giving a home to the ocean community.

Original article was read from

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Updated: April 21, 2011 — 10:30 am