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Any new info on this can't seem to find any updates ?

Published: June 27, 2007
New York State wants to expand its network of artificial reefs in the Atlantic Ocean and add another that would be the largest and deepest off Long Island.

According to plans the state?s Department of Environmental Conservation has filed with the Army Corps of Engineers, the state might sink decommissioned naval ships and other vessels to create a patchwork of reefs on an 825-acre site 12 miles south of the Hamptons. That reef, if approved by the corps, would be the 12th built by the state to give fishermen access to reef fisheries and divers sites to explore.

?The driving force is to provide additional fishing and diving facilities for folks,? said Christopher LaPorta, the coordinator of the department?s artificial reef program.

David O. Conover, the dean of the Marine Sciences Research Center at the State University at Stony Brook, said that as long as all potential pollutants were removed from the materials used for the reefs, the negative impact on the ocean should be ?virtually nil? and the reefs should attract black sea bass and blackfish.

?If it?s done properly, artificial reefs can be a positive influence, a way of altering the fish community to enhance those species that people like to catch,? Mr. Conover said.

The earliest synthetic reefs contained automobile tires and wooden ships. But Mr. LaPorta said the department no longer used those materials. Its reefs would be created and expanded mostly with rocks and steel-hulled fishing boats and ships.

?There is some talk about the possibility of naval vessels becoming available,? Mr. LaPorta said. He added that the program could also use old freighters or even retired subway or train cars.

Cars from the New York City subway system and the New Jersey Transit commuter railroad have been sunk to create reefs off the coast of New Jersey, but they have not made it to the bottom of New York waters yet, Mr. LaPorta said.

Before the department can collect material to dump, it must first obtain permits from the corps to expand its network of reefs, which sit at varying distances offshore from the Rockaways east to the Shinne**** Inlet. The corps has published a public notice about the permit application and will accept public comments on it until July 23.

The application proposes a significant expansion of the two easternmost reef sites, known as Shinne**** and Moriches. They contain an assortment of old ships, armored vehicles, concrete pipes and rocks. Combined, they now cover 49 acres of the ocean floor. The state wants to expand them to 413 acres each.

The state also seeks to create a new reef site that would be twice as big ? 825 acres ? and eight miles farther offshore. Designated as ?12 Mile Reef,? it would sit as much as 143 feet beneath the ocean surface, allowing it to hold much bigger ships than the others can
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