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National Guidance Issued to Prepare Ships as Artificial Reefs

Release Date: 05/09/2006
Contact Information: Dale Kemery, (202) 564-4355 /

(5/9/06) EPA and the Maritime Administration have jointly released guidance recommending environmental best management practices (BMPs) for cleaning ships that are to be sunk as artificial reefs. This guidance will promote consistency and help to ensure that obsolete and decommissioned military and commercial vessels sunk for this purpose will be environmentally sound.

The guidance identifies materials or categories of materials that may be onboard ships, where they may be found, general clean-up performance goals, and information on how to achieve those goals. Verifying that the BMP goals were met can help support permit and certification decisions for vessel-to-reef projects.

Reaching the clean-up goals, along with strategic site selection, will set the scene for these vessels to benefit the environment as artificial reefs.

Guidance on artificial reefs: