DEPLOYS DECOMMISSIONED SUBWAY CARS IN ARTIFICIAL REEFS
Next Round of 50 Cars Splashed at Garden State North Reef
(03/121) TRENTON --- The New Jersey
Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) dropped a fourth
round of 50 subway cars today at the Garden State North
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 enhance our understanding of marine
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, followed by 50 cars at Deep Water
Reef off Ocean City on July 16 and 50 cars at the Atlantic
City Reef on July 25. The remaining 50 subway cars will
be allocated to the Shark River Reef off of Monmouth County.
The 1.1-square mile Garden State North
Reef Site is approximately 6.5 miles offshore from Harvey
Cedars in Ocean County and currently is comprised of almost
37,000 cubic yards of vessels, tanks, specially-designed
"reef balls" 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,
and grease to avoid contamination of the marine ecosystem.
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.