Vandenberg Artificial Reef | Key West, Florida

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On May 27, 2009 at 10:21 AM Vandenberg was sunk to become the largest artificial reef in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, and the second largest in the world. The ship settled upright on her keel in 1 minute 44 seconds, exactly as predicted by the many model tests performed to design the sink plan. Marine life began colonizing immediately and the ship is now home to pelagic and reef fish, and many other species of marine plants and animals.

At 522 feet in length and ten stories tall, the Vandenberg is the largest ship intentionally sunk in a marine sanctuary anywhere in the world. Deployed six miles off the coast of Key West, Florida, the Vandenberg complied with all environmental requirements (including the Liberty Ship Act), stringent permitting requirements by a multitude of organizations (including the National Marine Sanctuary) and has proven to be successful in generating jobs and revenue for Key West and surrounding Florida communities in a very tough economy.

Economically – The Vandenberg has surpassed all economic projections


Tourism – The draw of the Vandenberg Artificial Reef has increased the ecotourism portion of the local economy as illustrated in visits to the Vandenberg and adjacent reefs and increase in dive shop operations.


Read the full report

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