A new artificial reef off the coast of South Carolina is boosting ocean wildlife sustainability, and Metal Trades is proud to have played its part!
Artificial Reef projects are a major component of ocean sustainability efforts worldwide. In “dead spots” where a natural reef is not present or is not vibrant enough to support plant and animal life, artificial reefs are employed. It so happens that the South Carolina coast, in its natural state, is one of those dead spots.
“Avid offshore fishing enthusiasts know that the state of SC suffers from a lack of natural habitat to attract and hold fish. Thanks to the South Carolina Memorial Reef projects, what was a desert is now one of the most productive areas off our coast…” SCMemorialReef.com
Decommissioned Ships Become Wildlife Reef Habitats
The SC Memorial Reef Project has been working to bolster ocean wildlife, as well as provide improved opportunities for sport fishing. Often these efforts involve sinking decommissioned sea vessels.
“Large, complex structures…create ideal habitats for a diversity of species. For example, the numerous internal compartments will provide refuge for smaller juvenile fish, while the extensive cargo holds will be useful to larger fish. The vast amount of surface area will allow for expansive invertebrate settlement and growth, which can serve as sanctuaries for larval fish, provide food for juvenile and adult fish, and improve overall water quality.”
M/V Coastal Venture Gets a New Lease on Life
Such a “large, complex structure” is the M/V Coastal Venture, a 250-foot, recently decommissioned cargo vessel. Coastal Venture was something of a Metal Trades alum, having graced our railway in the recent past. In fact, at one time she was one of the heaviest vessels we had docked. As we have grown, however, we have hosted vessels her size or larger in our drydock, including Rail Car Barges, Crane Barges, and multiple dredge vessels.
Promoting Life, and Memorializing It
In addition to its new function as wildlife habitation, the M/V Coastal Venture also furthers the mission of the SC Memorial Reef: to “forever honor the men and women we’ve loved and lost in South Carolina’s sport fishing community.” To that end, memorial plaques were affixed to the hull, as well as a steel cross on the stern of the vessel built by the Metal Trades team.
With holes strategically cut in the hull and the aid of water cannons, it still required ten hours to sink the M/V Coastal Venture. Take a look at the following photos of the process!
The South Carolina Memorial Reef is an ongoing project. Metal Trades encourages you to learn more about their sustainability efforts by visiting https://www.scmemorialreef.com/.