Abandon ship!

Ship to become fish habitat

Private contractors are prepping to sink a retired 563-foot naval destroyer in the Atlantic Ocean—a move that will attract marine life and tourism and will take the decades-old ship off the U.S. Navy’s hands—but environmentalists are skeptical, according to The Washington Post.

The USS Arthur W. Radford (pictured) will go to the ocean floor 20 miles east of Fenwick Island, Del. In mid-July, the $945,000 project to clean, strip and sink the vessel was nearing completion. Wiring, ductwork and gaskets that could contain carcinogenic polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were removed, as per U.S. Environmental Protection Agency guidelines about levels of PCBs, which can contaminate fish.

The practice of sinking ships as reefs has long been controversial among environmentalists, who worry the artificial reefs concentrate fish where they’re more likely to get caught, and about remaining toxic chemicals on the ships, such as oil and asbestos. A recent report by the Basel Action Network highlighted those concerns, and criticized the cost of the practice. To view that report, visit www.ban.org.