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Petition for Action Regarding USS Thomaston LSD-28

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TO:  U.S. Maritime Administration

cc:  U.S. House of Representatives; U.S. Senate


We, the former crewmembers of USS Thomaston LSD-28 would like to see our ship begin a new life in service to our country as an artificial reef. She is currently included in a Maritime Administration (MARAD) Request for Bid to be scrapped, together with USS Point Defiance LSD-31 and USS Sperry AS-12, all three of which are currently moored in the Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet in California. 


 As an artificial reef, she would again serve the United States as an economic and environmental asset, 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, her continued service, for up to 100 years, would serve as a memorial to her active service and that of her crewmembers, our shipmates, who served in her.  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 (NRP) 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.


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