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Florida Keys might get new artificial reef

Posted: 5:07 AM, Feb 15, 2019
Updated: 2019-02-15 05:07:58-05

MARATHON, Fla. (AP) — Another marquee ship scuttling to create an artificial reef may be destined for the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.

Marathon city officials began planning to file for permits Wednesday with the sanctuary, Army Corps of Engineers and other agencies to execute a signature artificial reef project off Marathon.

The Marathon City Council voted Tuesday to support the permit application process. The vessel and exact site have yet to be identified, and the endeavor, if permitted and funded, is likely to take several years.

The 524-foot (160-meter) Vandenberg was scuttled almost 10 years ago off Key West. The 510-foot (155-meter) Spiegel Grove was positioned off Key Largo in 2001. In between the two regions, other ships have been sunk, but there has never been a major artificial reef project off Marathon.