Petition for Action Regarding Artificial Reefing vs Scrapping
We, citizens of the United State would like to see decommissioned ships currently stored in the National Defense Reserve Fleet begin new lives in service to our country as an artificial reefs.
As artificial reefs, they would again serve the United States as economic and environmental assets, providing income through SCUBA diving and/or fishing tourism for local ports, and habitat for marine creatures, many of which are depleted or endangered. In addition, their continued service, for up to 100 years, would serve as memorials to their active service and that of their crewmembers, who served in them. This is a much higher purpose than going to a scrap yard and merely becoming razor blades and rebar, and of much greater benefit to the Nation.
We support the efforts of California Ships to Reefs, Inc, a non-profit public benefit corporation seeking to use retired military vessels as artificial reefs, and other reefing organizations. We would ask that you support the adoption of a National Reefing Program such as those used in Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia. A National Reefing Program would make reefing the preferred method of ship disposal for retired military vessels, enabling these vessels that have served our nation with honor to continue to do so as living communities of marine life and memorials to their crews. As part of this NRP, we also ask that you direct MARAD to change its policy of allowing States to only receive one ship at a time. This allows States to quickly move more ships from the National Defense Reserve Fleet.
For more information on this issue, please go to either http://californiashipstoreefs.org or http://shipstoreefsinternational.org.
Thank you for your consideration and support of this important program.