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Luxurious ferry sunk for artificial reef off Atlantic coast

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Staff Writer |
Twin Capes
Nature   The sinking of the 2,100-ton ferry will expand and enhance the fish habitat

A ferry that has served more than 30 years on the east coast of the United States has been sunk on purpose to become part of the artificial reefs off the Atlantic coast.

The sinking of the 2,100-ton ferry, named Twin Capes, will expand and enhance the fish habitat of the Delaware Bay water area and offer extraordinary opportunities for deep-sea diving, according to the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, which bought the ship for $200,000.

Built in 1974, the Twin Capes was the biggest vessel on the 17-mile (27.4-km) run crossing the Delaware Bay, with a capacity of 895 passengers. The vessel was retired in 2011.

The sunken ferry will join other submerged ships that formed the artificial reefs along the Atlantic Coast, including the ex-destroyer USS Arthur W. Radford, which went down in 2011, and the Zuni/Tamaroa, the one-time harbor tug and Battle of Iwo Jima survivor that later became a U.S. Coast Guard cutter.

The development of artificial reef sites in Delaware Bay started in 1995. The reef construction helps to provide food and physical protection for reef fish along the Atlantic coast, where near shore bottom is usually featureless sand or mud.


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