No I'm not getting crazy...
The tug boat in the picture above is bringing tens of old New York City subway cars to the Redbird Reef off the coast of Slaughter Beach, Delaware to dump them into the Atlentic, almost 700 are already in the ocean bed... and all of this is actually a wonderful thing for nature!
Marine biologists have confirmed without a shadow of a doubt that huge metal structures at the bottom of the ocean gradually end up becoming a part of the ocean and they are amazing homes for a variety of ocean life. Now that is really wonderful and while that does not mean we fill the ocean floor with metal, it is a proper way it dispose a few Subway cars of that are now useless. The cars end up being a wonderful home for that beautiful marine life. "They’re basically luxury condominiums for fish." said Jeff Tinsman, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control's artificial reef program manager, to the New York Times
Who would have thought that subway cars on the ocean floor would encourage fish to congregate? Rather than abandon the structures, fish are moving in at such a rate that the program is trying to provide more cars. What's more, the program is also facing competition from other states after its impressive success, as the city of New York offers the cars for free.
In the last several years, the artificial reefs have drawn swift, open-ocean fish, such as tuna and mackerel, that use the reef as a hunting ground for smaller prey.
The American Littoral Society and other environmental groups opposed the use of the Redbird cars because they have small levels of asbestos in the glue used to secure the floor panels and in the insulation material in the walls.
State and federal environmental officials approved the use of the Redbirds and other cars for artificial reefs in Delaware and elsewhere because they said the asbestos was not a risk for marine life and has to be airborne to pose a threat to humans.
If you are interested in this story, you can read this SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN article:
The Submerged Subway Reef
All pictures by Tim Shaffer for New York Times