U.S. officials are assessing the feasibility of retrieving millions of tires dumped into waters off Fort Lauderdale during the 1970s.
The tires, with government approval, were thrown into the water to create a huge artificial reef to attract fish by providing a protected breeding space. But not only did fish fail to use the 36-acre ocean floor "reef," but many tires broke free of their bonds and, to this day, are continuing to damage corals, sponges and other marine life, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported.
Now under consideration is a plan to use the project as a means of providing young Navy divers in training with experience in deep dives that require precise execution to be safely conducted.
So far, the project has drawn the support of the Navy, Florida county and state officials, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Experts say even if the divers could recover as many as 800 tries a day, it would take about seven years to retrieve them all.
Copyright 2006 by United Press International