- Inhabitat – Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building - http://inhabitat.com -

Sunken Subway Cars To Replace Eroding Barrier Reefs

Posted By Mike Chino On April 22, 2008 @ 9:30 am In Green Transportation,Landscape Architecture,New York City,Recycled Materials,social responsibility,Water Issues | 16 Comments

MTA, subway, oceans, artificial reef, coral reef, Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environment, reef1.jpg [1]

It’s a condo boom for sea creatures [2] as retired New York subway cars are being hurled into the ocean deep. The initiative, headed by the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control [3], has deposited hundreds of the vacant vessels in an effort to jump start a new reef 16 miles off the state’s coast. The concept has already shown great promise, transforming “a barren stretch of ocean floor into a bountiful oasis, carpeted in sea grasses, walled thick with blue mussels and sponges, and teeming with black sea bass and tautog.”


MTA subway oceans artificial reef coral reef Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environment, reef2.jpg

Coral reefs are currently facing a bleak future as trends in global warming and human activity threaten their existence. As ENN reports, “More people means more of everything that damages coral reefs, including fishing, sewage, coastal construction and human activities that contribute to warming oceans. [4]” There have been many efforts to combat this decline by creating artificial reefs out of a wide [5] range [6] of substances [7]. These structures are essential since reefs can’t spring up just anywhere and need to attach to some sort of solid surface.

Strange as it may sound, old MTA subway cars happen to make perfect starters for these underwater ecosystems. The undersea residences are 100% recycled, prefabricated [8], and the rent is right since New York is giving the cars away free of charge. The reef is currently composed of 714 cars and continues to grow, creating “a thriving community in what was once an underwater desert”.

+ New York Times [9]

Photo credit: Tim Shaffer


Article printed from Inhabitat – Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building: http://inhabitat.com

URL to article: http://inhabitat.com/sunken-subway-cars-form-new-reef/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://www.inhabitat.com/2008/04/22/sunken-subway-cars-form-new-reef/

[2] sea creatures: http://www.inhabitat.com/2008/03/15/crochet-coral-reef/

[3] Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control: http://www.dnrec.delaware.gov/Pages/default.aspx

[4] More people means more of everything that damages coral reefs, including fishing, sewage, coastal construction and human activities that contribute to warming oceans.: http://www.enn.com/ecosystems/article/28876

[5] wide: http://www.ecoreefs.com/artreefs.php

[6] range: http://www.reefball.org/index.html

[7] substances: http://www.dnr.sc.gov/marine/pub/seascience/artreef.html

[8] prefabricated: http://www.inhabitat.com/2008/03/28/prefab-friday-zerohouse-shows-nothing-is-everything/

[9] + New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/08/us/08reef.html?_r=3&oref=slogin&oref=slogin&oref=slogin

Copyright © 2011 Inhabitat Local - New York. All rights reserved.