POMPANO BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - Artists are working to put the finishing touches on a ship that will be sunk to form an artificial reef.
Named the Okinawa, this vessel will be the next artificial reef to settle east of the Pompano Beach pier.
“The vessel is a tug. It was manufactured in 1953. It’s 107 feet long and although we haven’t been able to get a lot of history of it, we believe it did most of its service work with the Army Corps of engineers,” said Rob Wyre, the chairman of Shipwreck Park, Inc.
The Okinawa is set to sink to the bottom of the sea a mile away from Lady Luck — another artificial reef created last year.
Divers can explore the reefs to enjoy the sea life and artistic features.
“Fun for the avid diver and fisherman alike are taking advantage of the fact that she is attracting such a diversity of fish,” Wyre said.
With a 12-foot mermaid and serpent statues, the Okinawa is an eco-friendly art piece.
“The artificial reef is going to be allowing us the opportunity to take the pressure off the natural reefs,” said artist Dennis MacDonald.
Natural reef ecosystems will thrive — new ones will soon emerge.
“We’re going to start to see some fish appear. They’re going to start to investigate the environment, they’re soon going to be calling it home,” said MacDonald. “We’re going to be watching soft coral growth; we’re going to be watching all kinds of sea growth.”
Crews are scheduled to sink the ship this Saturday.
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