New artificial reefs under way in British Columbia
The Artificial Reef Society of British Columbia (ARSBC) is pleased to announce the sinking of the first of four surplus vessels as an artificial reef in Powell River, BC. T The sinking of YOGN-82 is scheduled to occur on Saturday, 23 June between 11:00 and 12:00 noon
The ARSBC, which has sunk more ships and aircraft than any other non-profit group in the world to create marine habitat, has worked and consulted with Catalyst Paper for the sinking of the first vessel. In addition to the letters of endorsement from the Tla’amin Nation (Sliammon), the Regional District of Powell River and the City of Powell River, approvals have now been granted by the responsible federal government agencies.
The breakwater vessels are all American Second World War surplus which were purchased over time by the mill. Constructed from cast reinforced concrete, they have survived afloat and have been part of Powell River’s seascape acting as a breakwater system protecting the mill’s log pond and foreshore. Ranging from 109 to 128 meters long, and weighting between 6,000 to 8,000 tons, these historic relics are the last of their kind afloat anywhere in the world. Consequently, this project has the potential to become a significant scuba dive tourism attraction for the City of Powell River.
Four vessels to be sunk
ARSBC President Howie Robins believes this exciting new project will build on the organization’s successful record of accomplishment of converting ships into productive long-term reef habitat. “This will be the most unique and creative marine habitat project ever undertaken by our Society. The challenge will be to place up to four of these large vessels in a group formation at variable depths ranging from 25-35 meters. Divers of all skill levels seek novelty, and this will be a dive back into maritime history for adventure divers worldwide” said Mr. Robins.