|Re: Ships to Reefs|
Posted by Patrick on August 16, 2007 at 15:33:38:|
In Reply to: Ships to Reefs posted by Ed Biaggini on August 16, 2007 at 13:51:58:
The obvious answer, Ed is “yes”.
The question is “would a project of that sort be cost effective?” Previous dive boat operations in places further down coast (Avila Beach/Port San Luis) have not proven profitable due mainly to the poor weather and water conditions that are commonly found along shore and the relatively small (dive ) population from which to draw. The typical “moderate” sea conditions of the area, and the speed with which conditions change would make it a dicey choice as a dive destination for a visiting diver wanting to get the most when spending hard-earned $$. Someone will of course mention Monterey whose weather and sea conditions are also often problematic. The difference is that Monterey is closer to a larger population to draw dive customers from (less travel time, less travel costs) and even in moderate weather, given the configuration of the peninsula, there are usually protected places to dive. Even so, it is my understanding that the charter boats up there have a tough financial row to hoe.
Now, this disclaimer: Given the amount of less productive sand/silt/mud areas along the California coast, and the number of mothballed vessels MARAD has available for artificial reef use, I think they all should be placed in suitable locations along the coast. However given the pressure on many of the dive sites from Santa Barbara to the Mexican border, I feel that the best and most efficient use of these vessels would be to provide additional sites within this stretch of coastline. Artificial reefs placed between the boarder and Santa Barbara along with take restrictions on natural reefs and sites that have been “rode hard” for many years, would, I believe, be an economic boon for the business of diving (including dive boats) and benefit the coastal ecology as well. As an example one need only look at the artificial reef program supported by the state of Florida.
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