Save Our Shipwrecks (SOS) Proposes a Artificial Reef/Underwater Research Monitoring Centre

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SOS, which has recently been responsible for a number of enhancements to Brockville’s waterfront, is proposing an artificial reef and is hoping for assistance from Brockville city hall. The idea is to sink a decommissioned Coast Guard ship in the river near Reynolds Park and outfit it with sensors to monitor the aquatic ecology. Two previous attempts to build an artificial reef near Brockville have fallen through for a variety of reasons, including the inability to meet standards from the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR), the project’s scale, and financial constraints.

However, because Brockville owns the harbour, the city must approve the proposal before SOS can submit it to the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) and the Canadian Coast Guard for approval.

SOS has had success in recent years with smaller-scale initiatives that have improved dive tourism on the Brockville waterfront, such as the dive sculpture park off Centeen Park, concrete stairs to reach the water at Centeen Park, and, most recently, diving steps at Reynolds Park.

Read The Scuba News Canada article on Reynolds Park, Brockville, Water Access Project Completed

For generations, Brockville, Ontario, on the St. Lawrence River, has been a major transportation route where hundreds of ships have met their demise, from grain or coal-carrying wooden schooners. The riverbed is littered with warships from the early 1800s to today’s modern-day freighters, all waiting to be investigated. Because of its location, diving in Brockville can be deemed warm(er). Warm surface water from Lake Ontario flows and mingles among the numerous islands, causing the water temperature to “equalize” throughout the entire depth range! Brockville is recognized for its absence of thermocline, mild summer seas, and superb visibility, all of which contribute to a more comfortable diving experience. Because of the high quantity of Zebra muscles in the St. Lawrence River, diving gloves should always be used.

This third attempt for an artificial reef may be the winner for SOS!

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Kathy is the owner of Kirk Scuba Gear, a passionate Scuba Diver, Ocean Advocate and Managing Editor of The Scuba News Canada

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