Vancouver gets its first major artificial reef as the former HMCS Annapolis is scuttled in Halkett Bay Provincial Marine Park on Gambier Island, British Columbia.
The ship was purchased from the federal government of Canada through Crown Assets Distribution in 2008 with the intent of making this the first artificial reef in the Greater Vancouver area.
Leading up to the sinking, the Annapolis has been meticulously cleaned of hazardous and pollutant materials in compliance with federal regulations and an estimated 250 tons of materials (almost everything but the steel hull and aluminum super structure) has been recycled.
Annapolis has been the most complicated and most controversial project ever undertaken by the Reef Society. Starting with the stock market correction in 2008 and the rapid fall of recycled metal values, the project also encountered changing federal government regulations. Then the impacts arising from emerging environmental concerns and legal challenges all forced the project timelines and costs to be extended. To date, the project has consumed over 17,000 person-hours on the part of over 1,000 volunteers who came out to complete the preparatory work on the ship.
The story of the Annapolis Project is a complicated one on many levels and the Reef Society has kept working diligently to make this project a success for Vancouver.
SOURCE: Artificial Reef Society of British Columbia President Howie Robins.