Monday, March 13, 2006

Mauna Kea Artificial Reef?

There is a proposal to sink a retired vessel off Kona as an artificial reef.
The boat would be in 100 feet of water on a sandy bottom. As long as the vessel is drained of any hazardous fuels or chemicals, artificial reefs can be a beautiful addition to the health of the marine environment. I am reminded of the wrecks in Truk Lagoon. While these boats went down in tragic wartime conditions, they now are blooming with life: corals, anemones, and fish nurseries. The wrecks give the life a structure to adhere to, and lift the corals towards the sunlight, providing a reef home in a sandy spot that would not otherwise support life.
From a selfish diving point of view, this wreck would add to the Scuba tourism in this County. It would also offer a place for wreck dive certification and technical diving training. And as much as I personally tend to smack coral-crawling tourists about the head, mostly scuba tourism increases ecological awareness.

My Brother took these photos in Truk Lagoon:

This is the kind of life we could look forward to on an artificial reef:

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