- Brief Overview
- The Project
- The Sussex Marine Trust
- Socio-Economic Impact
- Environmental Impact
- Contact Us
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The Sink One 4 Sussex project aims to sink a large ship to create an artificial reef off the Sussex coast to enhance the marine environment by providing a habitat that will encourage marine bio-diversification and attract scuba divers to the area, so that the local economy will benefit from dive tourism.
The concept of artificial reefs is not new, mankind has been purposefully creating them in seas around the world for several hundred years. They have been shown to benefit the marine environment and generate economic growth.
Australia, New Zealand, the USA and many other countries have established artificial reef programmes, which utilise unwanted 'scrap' vessels as new reefs to attract scuba divers and marine life.
The inspiration for Sink One 4 Sussex comes from Europe's first ship based artificial reef; HMS Scylla, which was scuttled in 2004 off Plymouth.
The ideal location for the Sink One 4 Sussex artificial reef would be on the Meridian line at a suitable location for diver access without obstructing shipping. Appropriate locations have been identified and investigated.
Ideally one of the Royal Navy's decommissioned Type 42 Destroyers will be used for the Sink One 4 Sussex project.
Once the ship has been acquired, it will be towed from the Royal Navy dockyard at Portsmouth to a more local port for cleaning, then onto the scuttling site ready to be sunk.
Cleaning the ship will need to be done to meet the requirements of any scuttling licence granted by the Marine Management Organisation as well as satisfying the Environment Agency.
The scuttling will be achieved with the use of explosive cutting charges. The aim is to use minimal explosives so as to achieve the desired result in a more environmentally friendly way than may otherwise be possible.
Once the ship has been scuttled there will be an on-going maintenance programme that will require funding into the future.
The Sussex Marine Trust
A charity called the Sussex Marine Trust has been established to oversee the Sink One 4 Sussex project.
Four charitable objects have been established to guide the charity in its completion of the Sink One 4 Sussex project and onward through the continued maintenance programme required once the artificial reef is in place.
Socio – Economics
The local area will benefit from the placement of the artificial reef, both socially and economically.
It is estimated that the artificial reef will generate in excess £606,320 per annum, for the local economy in direct scuba diving related revenue alone.
The local community will benefit through improved communal areas and events associated with the artificial reef, in addition to learning about the marine environment through the planned educational programmes.
The placement of the artificial reef will provide hard surfaces which will attract algae and invertebrates such as barnacles, muscles and corals. The presence of these basic forms of marine life will draw in larger marine creatures as they start feeding on the other inhabitants. The structure of the artificial reef will provide an excellent habitat and act as a nursery for many fish species.
The chosen location for the artificial reef has a bottom composition of sand and pebbles and is a fairly featureless.
Depositing the artificial reef will cause some damage to a small area of the existing featureless seabed.
The artificial reef will provide a huge amount of prime marine 'real estate' that is ideal for habitation by a host of different marine species.
In order to purposefully scuttle a ship and leave it on the seabed in British waters a number of authorities need to be satisfied and grant their permission for the sinking to occur.
There are three main bodies that need to be satisfied; Crown Estates, the Marine Management Organisation and the Environment Agency. In addition there are other stakeholders that need to be consulted in order to realise the project.