Students speak: Artificial reefs
As part of their AP U.S. Government studies, Marshfield High School students researched and compiled information on an issue they cared about and wrote letters to the editor. Hub City Times will publish a collection of their letters.
Artificial reefs may be a valuable investment, and the public should be made aware of their possible benefits. They reduce waste in junkyards and improve the image of the country. Artificial reefs may improve the tourism and fishing industries in America due to the fact that they attract fish and other life to an area. The organisms that live in reefs often attract tourists, and the artificial reefs would look aesthetically different to natural reefs, possibly attracting further tourists looking for a new experience in diving.
Artificial reefs are structures made by humans in an attempt to form some replacement for natural reefs, in which many organisms live and depend upon to feed and breed. These are made of anything from decommissioned ships to unused cars. For example, the Florida Keys Marine Sanctuary contains several ships, sunk on purpose in specific areas to promote the growth of corals and the immigration of fish. These reefs may also be vital to the preservation of some species whose habitats have been destroyed or seriously deteriorated.
I think that more people should be aware of the benefits of artificial reefs and that the creation of artificial reefs should be supported. Ships that are no longer seaworthy or out of date could be sunk as could cars and certain types of trash that would stay in one place and hold no risk to sea life.