The U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) has announced that the retired fleet oiler, USS Kawishiwi will not become an megapolis cheats artificial reef in California.

California Ships to Reefs (CSTR) had been working hard to obtain the ship so it could become an artificial reef on a site south west of Dana Point Harbour and encourage more tourists to take scuba diving holidays in the region.

The vessel, which is docked in Suisun Bay, was withdrawn from the list of ships after MARAD announced that it had revised its policies and the Kawishiwi will now be part of the ship recycling programme. The agency is now excluding all ships that are likely to contain Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs).

Fortunately, California Ships to Reefs have found a ship in the Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet that is suitable to become an artificial reef. Plans are now in place to scuttle the USS Willamette at the original site near Dana Point Harbour.

揑t抯 disappointing that we won抰 be able to use the Kawishiwi,?explained Ron Springer, CSTR抯 project team leader for the Dana Point reefing site. 揃ut on the other hand, the Willamette will require less work to prepare for sinking. It抯 also a little longer, which is exciting to me. I hope MARAD and the CDFG (California Department of Fish and Game) can work with us to get this project done.?br />
California Ships to Reefs is a non-profit organisation that creates artificial reefs using surplus ships. The reefs help attract scuba diving and fishing tourism to the local ports in California; enhance the ocean environment; and boost the tourism industry by encouraging divers to explore the underwater vessels during scuba diving holidays.

The creation of artificial reefs enables marine species to live in new habitats which in time enhance the overall marine environment.
The artificial reefs also lure divers away from natural reefs so they can be replenished while providing exciting wreck diving adventures.

The CEO of Check our website California Ships to Reefs, Joel Geldin said: 揥e have always made ocean safety the top priority in our reefing plans and we抮e willing to move forward with MARAD, working with whatever standards they require.?br />
He added: 揅STR抯 mission to create new ocean life along the California coastline continues.

揥e will pursue other opportunities for reefing whether they are ship-based, or using other materials, such as our rigs to reefs program.?br />
California is one of America抯 top scuba diving destinations and the crystal clear waters are home to an abundance of beautiful marine species, reefs, wrecks and underwater gardens.

Popular diving sites in California include Latigo Canyon, paradise Cove, Christmas Tree Cove, Little Corona, La Jolla Canyon, Star of Scotland and Sue Jac.