Cal ships to reefs to to sink 50-footer in Catalina harbor

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Posted by on February 02, 2009 at 18:35:09:

A nonprofit group that sinks ships to create artificial reefs has a 50-foot steel hull that may be sunk at Avalon's Casino Point Dive Park on Santa Catalina Island, a spokesman said today.

"Our goal is to be able to complete the project this year," said Kevin Sullivan of California Ships to Reefs.

The Ocean Harvest, an old kelp cutter, is sitting in Morro Bay, but the group plans to clean it up and have it towed to Avalon sometime this spring.

"The ship has to be made environmentally safe," said Eleanor Rewerts, another member of the group who has been working with Catalina officials to get the project approved.

The next step in the process is to obtain the Avalon City Council's approval, she said. The old hull, which will be made diver-safe, could be sunk as early as late March or early April.

The steel hull -- a material to which kelp easily attaches -- will be the first large boat added to the dive park, which includes a smattering of small crafts and boat parts.

The group is also about to receive some 1,200 pier ilings from renovations to docks in Dana Point Harbor and is working to identify a good site near that harbor, Sullivan said.

Anyone trying to dispose of vessels larger than 50 feet is urged to call Rewerts at (530) 633-4855.

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