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Reef next stop for NY subway cars

wave2.jpgChucking rubbish into a body of water has long been a favourite pastime of Britain’s adolescents. Anthropologists haven’t exactly been able to nail why teens are so fond of hurling trolleys, tyres and Coke cans into rivers, canals or the sea, but have hypothesised that it’s because they’re largely idiotic.

While we can only have them to thank for creating community service work, it would seem that they have inspired an environmental project to form artificial reefs off the coast of Delaware. As The New York Times reports, since 2001, Delaware’s Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control has overseen the planned dumping of more than 660 retired NY subway carriages to transform the once barren seabed into the piscine equivalent of downtown Manhattan.

The reef, named after NY’s Redbird tube carriages, already supports fish species such as summer flounder, bass tuna and mackerel. Its success in attracting sea life means that it is now a popular spot for hobby and commercial fishermen alike, with its amount of marine food per square foot increasing by 400-fold in the past seven years.

The project has been something of a success for all concerned; NY has been spared the cost of disposing of their old carriages, and Delaware has copped a free reef. In fact, its success is starting to bite back for Delaware. From this summer, NY will stop supplying the cars to Delaware and New Jersey, who have also been in on the act, and use them to build their own reefs. Delaware has already sunk an old tug and navy tanker as an alternative to the carriages and other states have experimented with dumping cars, fridges, washing machines, tanks, and yes the good old shopping trolley.

Greenbang wonders if she’s got teens all wrong and they’ve actually been working to conserve the marine life of Britain.

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