These ships would create artificial reefs, bringing wildlife and tourist dollars in equally large quantities. The Eastern Carolina Artificial Reef Association has received a barge and a sailboat, and has its eyes on a large, decommissioned destroyer or cruiser.
"Tourism is the world's largest industry, and ecotourism is the fastest-growing segment of that industry," said professional ship-wrecker Joe Weatherby, of ReefMakers Inc.
However, it can be costly to sink a ship, because they must be thoroughly cleaned and prepared. There is also a lot of paperwork to be done in order to get permission. "These are all things involved. This is a very complicated process," said Jim Francesconi, artificial reef coordinator for the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries. :: ENN
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