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Photo of the Week (7/6/10)

 

From Wreck to Reef
US flag on wreck of USS Spiegel Grove
Matthew D. Potenski, MDP Photography/Marine Photobank
For the many people who head to the coast in the summer, the ocean provides an inviting environment for recreational activities, including scuba diving. Wrecks like the USS Spiegel Grove in Key Largo, Florida, (pictured here) not only serve as underwater museums but also provide habitat for marine life. The Spiegel Grove is a 510-foot U.S. Navy landing dock ship that was intentionally sunk in 2002 to serve as an artificial reef. A five-year fish monitoring study conducted from 2002 to 2007 found that the number of fish species in the area increased greatly over time: 46 species were documented on the wreck less than a month after it was sunk, an average of 76 species were documented during later monitoring events and a total of 191 species were documented during the duration of the study. Fish species commonly found at the wreck site included various species of snapper and grunt, and Blackcap Basslet, which are rare in the Florida Keys, were also spotted.

Read about the fish monitoring study at the Reef Environment Education Foundation (REEF) website. For more information on diving the Spiegel Grove wreck, see the Key Largo Florida Keys Tourism Site.

Back to July 2010 Photo of the Week Archive >>