DEPLOYS DECOMMISSIONED SUBWAY CARS IN ARTIFICIAL REEFS
Next Round of 50 Cars Splashed at Deep Water Reef Site
(03/100) TRENTON --- The New Jersey
Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) dropped a second
round of 50 subway cars yesterday at the Deep Water Reef
Site for use in the state's artificial reef program. The
decommissioned subway cars are part of 250 acquired from
the New York Transit Authority (NYTA).
"Our artificial reef program provides
tremendous benefits to fishermen, divers, and our shore
economy," said DEP Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell.
"As a pilot project, research at reef sites that include
these subway cars will also enhance our understanding of
The subway car program coincides with revisions
to New Jersey's artificial reef policy, creating robust
standards for materials to be used at reef sites and establishing
New Jersey as a leader in artificial reef management. Currently
there is no uniform national standard for reef material
DEP has formed an independent committee
to oversee a multi-year monitoring program at the subway
car sites that will study water quality, fisheries and biota,
and the durability of the reefs. The committee will convene
early this fall for an initial review of the subway car
Prior to the committee's final report,
the state is implementing a moratorium on placement of any
additional artificial reef material, with the exception
of rock, concrete, and ships and barges.
Past studies of artificial reefs suggest
that subway cars may be colonized by up to 200 species of
fish and invertebrates. Reefs have 800 to 1,000 times more
biomass than open ocean. Artificial reefs can also form
important nurseries for juvenile fish.
DEP deployed the first 50 subway cars at
Cape May Reef on July 3. The remaining 150 subway cars will
be allocated to Atlantic City Reef, Garden State North Reef,
and Shark River Reef. The next deployment will be Wednesday,
July 23, at Atlantic City Reef.
The 0.72-square mile Deep Water Reef Site
is approximately 25 miles offshore from Ocean City and currently
is comprised of over 13,000 cubic yards of vessels, tires
and other materials.
Since 2001, NYTA's artificial reef program
has deployed over 1,000 decommissioned "Redbird"
subway cars at reefs in Delaware, South Carolina, Virginia
and Georgia. NYTA bears all costs associated with cleaning
the cars and transporting them to the reefs.
Each Redbird car is approximately 51 feet
in length and nine feet in width and height. Prior to deployment,
NYTA strips each car of all tanks, plastic, degradable materials,
floatables and grease to avoid possible contamination of
the marine ecosystem. NYTA also removes the wheel assemblies
and undercarriages to be sold as scrap metal.