Through supplementing the California coast’s natural reef environments, California Ships to Reefs endeavors to increase the economic opportunities of all California coastal communities, and will provide increased economic benefit through sport fishing and scuba diving opportunities, and, once fully developed, become recreational attractions functioning in harmony with marine ecosystems.
"I think reefing ships is a fantastic win/win/win scenario for sport divers, sport fishermen and the environment. Natural wrecks break down into rubble piles over time and though they will continue to attract fish, the bigger the structure the bigger the attraction and the bigger the ecosystem it will hold and or attract."
-- Richie Kohler, Advisory Board, Ships to Reefs International                      
Quoted from California Diver Magazine
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

General Questions

  1. Does California Ships to Reefs support all the positions taken in external items posted on the website?
  2. What is your source of income – feds/grants/local?

Regulatory/Liability Questions

  1. Where is a City’s role in the Roadmap to Reefing?
  2. How does a city take the lead to get a ship?
  3. What can speed the regulatory process – 18-48 months is too long?
  4. Who has liability?

Site Questions

  1. What is the maximum practical depth of operation for the typical sport scuba diver?
  2. How much water must cover the ship per the relevant governmental agencies?
  3. What distance offshore for sinking?
  4. Do you have to cut off some of the tower to sink it in 120 feet?
  5. Can multiple ships be clustered to enhance a habitat?
  6. How soon will we have ships down?
  7. Have you looked at preferred locations and where are they located?
  8. Does the reef displace habitat?
  9. Why wouldn’t a local sink group just contact the government and do the work to sink their own ship?
  10. Who will be first in getting one of these ships?
  11. I don’t want to support this if I can’t get a ship in my own backyard, or if I can’t tell you where to put it…
  12. Presuming that the Federal Agencies will be “know-all”, what state agencies would have to be involved in the site selection process and what will their issues be?
  13. Please name every agency of the State and Federal governments that must approve of placement of a vessel reef.
  14. Does a city need a sea bottom grant ownership?

Cleaning Questions

  1. Is cleaning/diverizing done in the local area?
  2. Why diverize a ship – why spend that money? Why not just leave it as-is and save the money. Some people will go out of their way to hurt themselves no matter what you do.
  3. What happens to asbestos in ships?
  4. Which of the available ships have the lowest clean-up costs?
  5. What about hydrocarbons, CFCs, PCBs, wiring (copper), electronics, munitions, invasive species in tanks and on hull, antifouling paint (TBTO)?
  6. Where would the clean-up be done?
  7. How and when will cumulative impact be analyzed?"
  8. CSTR states it will clean all ships to at least the standards contained in the National Guidance: Best Management Practices for Preparing Vessels Intended to Create Artificial Reefs. Are there any other measures CSTR will take?

Questions Regarding the Basel Action Network’s Recent Report, “Dishonorable Disposal”

  1. In their report, the Basel Action Network (BAN) makes the claim that it “provides the first comprehensive analysis that makes it fundamentally clear that the environmental, human health and economic costs of dumping these ships at sea are too high”. It goes on then to strongly advocate for the recycling of these unwanted ships. What is CSTR’s response?
  2. In “Dishonorable Disposal” BAN states that “it is very important to note that vessels have short underwater life spans as artificial reefs, estimated at 60 years”. CSTR has consistently used the term “up to 100 years or more” for the lifespan of a reefed ship. Why the discrepancy?
  3. “Dishonorable Disposal” makes a concerted effort to point out that toxic substances leaching from ship-based artificial reefs pose a credible threat to the environment and to humans through the consumption of tainted fish. Is this really a problem?
  4. “Dishonorable Disposal” on several occasions makes an assumption regarding fish population growth on artificial reefs as if it is fact. Here is a good example of the statement from page nine of the report, it is immediately preceded by the word “suggest”: “..artificial reefs do not necessarily protect and enhance species of fish, but rather attract species of fish. The attracting nature of the artificial reef can, in fact, be detrimental to species populations as concentrated populations can lead to fishing targets and thus overfishing, leading to a probably decline of species with the vicinity”. Isn’t this the “Fish Attraction Device (FAD)” theory?

Vessel Questions

  1. What is the height and/or breadth of the California ship inventory?
  2. How are the vessels sunk?
  3. I understand you use explosives to actually sink the ship. Does this harm the fish or other marine life in any way?
  4. Given our balance of trade issues and energy costs in manufacture of steel, why not pursue domestic recycling on the West Coast?

Cost Questions

  1. How much does it cost to sink a ship?
  2. What is this “air tax” that I heard about?
  3. Who pays for the supervision, monitoring, buoys, etc?
  4. What is the current average annual maintenance costs of a ship reef buoy system?
  5. What are the costs to the local city/county jurisdiction?
  6. The estimated $800K for reefing a ship from the RAND Report – what does this include?
  7. Will any regional money be used for diverizing? What is the 1/3 cost amount we need to raise at the local level?
  8. Environmental monitoring, how long and how is it paid for?
  9. What could a City/County do to yield the most payback to the City/County?

Use Questions

  1. How many divers are there in California – US?
  2. Are the current or proposed reefs closed to fishing, a protection zone-moored boats & divers?
  3. Are there fisherman vs. diver conflicts with multiple use areas?
  4. Is there a mooring site or do you anchor up?
  5. How long will divers be in the area?
  6. Will they dock on weekends?
  7. Can one ship support multiple activities (sport diving, sport fishing, etc.)?
  8. Can zones be set (i.e., dive zone, habitat zone, etc.)?

Post-Sinking Questions

  1. Who controls the reef – sets the rules/regs/maintenance/monitoring?
  2. When does CSTR’s job end?

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