Why New York Dumps Old Trucks (And More) Into the Ocean – Cheddar Explores

by birtanpublished on August 28, 2020

Today 2400 decommissioned subway cars line the ocean floor from New Jersey all the way down to Georgia back in 2008 photographer Steven Malone documented the dumping of 44 of these decommissioned cars into the Atlantic when I ran across these photos I

Couldn't help but wonder why why were all of these old vehicles being dumped and why specifically subway cars so I began to dig into the story and lo and behold I found that the list of materials being dumped didn't stop at

Subway cars if you look below the water surface along the East Coast you'll find trucks vessels and even bridge materials I started to get even more curious as to why these materials were intentionally left at the bottom of the ocean

so the big question is why is narrow city of dumping all of these materials into the harbor so I was doing research before and I figured out why and it's because they want to create artificial

Reefs so now I have other questions first one being why create artificial reefs in the first place the second one is why are they dumping these specific materials into the harbor to do that so now we are taking the Long

Island Railroad to capture State Park in order to talk to someone from the Department contribution in order to find out why before we get to meet the marine biologist let me catch you up on a brief

History behind the de seas artificial reef program to start we have to go all the way back to the mid to late 1920s when members of the boatman's Association of Great South Bay would sink wooded Buttertubs that were half

Filled with concrete they sank these tubs in several locations throughout the Great South Bay marking the first documented artificial reefs in the state of New York then in the late 1940s and early 1950s

Some of the ocean reefs began to develop like those on the McAllister grounds and the Shaffer grounds jump forward to 1962 and the artificial reef program was officially launched in New York then in 1993 the Dec wrote the first artificial

Reef plan and GE is these blueprints allowed the state and the US Army Corps of Engineers to issue permits to develop artificial reefs as long as the materials used meet program goals outlined in the GE itis fast forward to

2018 New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo announced his artificial reef initiative today we are implementing something that is out-of-the-box which is the creation of artificial reef sites this turned out to be the largest

Expansion of the reefs in state history over the past couple of years the collaborating agencies have built 12 reef sites along the coast of Long Island and continue to add new materials to all 12 sites On January 8th of this

Year Governor Cuomo reaffirmed his plans to expand the stretch of these artificial reefs in his State of the State address and with that we are all cut up back to the ler step over the gap with

The Train now we're gonna get off at babylon stop and we're gonna call it blue bird to get to the park your drop-off at half three folks ages after about an hour and a half of traveling we finally made it to

The cap tree boat basin which is about a five minute boat ride away from one of the artificial reefs off the coast of fire island we met up with Jesse Hornstein from the Dec we got the opportunity to spend some time with him

And ask him some of our burning questions like why are these artificial reefs created so the artificial reef program itself is there to provide new fishing and diving opportunities to the public and also to enhance marine

Habitats the reef program uses what the Dec calls the patch reef method of construction with this method clean materials made from rock steel and concrete are placed in discrete areas of the reef sites the specific patch

Placements are what provide a variety of marine habitats and in turn enhances species diversity you can think of this process as kind of a cycle the artificial reefs are specifically built to encourage complex habitats in areas

That lack intricate hard bottom structures in these complex habitats provide food and shelter for a variety of marine organisms the materials are dumped into the ocean they sink to the flat sand or silt bottom of New York

Shores and over time the hard structures are covered with organisms like algae particles and then manie's and corals sooner or later different species of fish and crustaceans like black sea bass and lobsters are attracted to the reefs

And look for food and shelter this helps the reefs flourish then as they mature they gave the public more opportunities for saltwater fishing and scuba diving as we were walking around the dock at the

Capture boat basin jesse showed us this sign it's the map from the Dec that shows each individual location of all 12 artificial reefs along with each of their coordinates – here in Great South Bay and we're right here right now

There's eight on the south shore of the island one similarity among all 12 reefs comes down to the types of materials used many of the reefs are built with what the Dec calls secondary use materials that are being repurposed

Specifically to benefit these marine habitats the materials placed on the reefs are chosen based on four key components function compatibility durability and stability so each material is selected based on how well

They're going to function as a strong habitat that will not harm the environment that will last for years and will not move from the location they were originally placed the Dec has sunk boats to concrete from for example like

The Tappan Zee Bridge that was just taken down old army tanks were used at one point the overall goal of the artificial reef program is essentially twofold to enhance our expand diverse marine habitats and to provide more

Opportunities for fisherman and divers the latter goal can then help improve the local economy and the reef sites are doing just that so people are out there they're utilizing them so that means that people

Are putting money into to going out there so it's helping to boost the local economy I was surprised by how much marine life was down there and one of the videos that we have there's so many fish that you know it's hard to

Count all of them you know it really attracts the life and turns into these really productive and biologically diverse areas

You

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