The Baltimore Sun recently featured an interesting article and accompanying images on an unusual project designed to provide new habitats for fish and other sea creatures in the north Atlantic. As one of the state of Maryland’s most ambitious artificial reef projects in history, retired New York City subway cars were brought out to sea on a massive barge where they were off-loaded to sink to the ocean floor. These stainless steel cars are being recycled to make new homes for sea-life as well as a new playground for interested scuba divers. Here are some photos from the day the subway cars were thrown overboard, with the help of some formidable construction equipment:
Artificial reefs are human-made underwater structures, typically built to promote marine life in areas with a generally featureless bottom, to control erosion, block ship passage, or improve surfing. Cinder-blocks, sunken oil rigs, and tires are often used to create these underwater habitats. Building them is often controversial because it draws sharp opinions from environmentalists, fishermen, and the public.