From car to artificial reef

MALIBU—The California Department of Fish and Wildlife instituted a study of artificial reefs in April 1958, to evaluate if old automobile bodies could attract more fish in areas generally barren of sportfish. On May 26, 1958, an artificial reef of 20 old car bodies was placed in 50 feet of water at Paradise Cove, near Malibu. On Sept. 25, 1958, six wooden streetcars were placed in 60 feet of water approximately one mile offshore from the Redondo Beach-Palos Verdes coastline. This photo shot by biologist-diver Charles H. Turner shows what one of those cars in Paradise Cove looked like in October 1960. According to an article titled “Artificial Habitat in the Marine Environment,” which was published in CDFW’s Fish Bulletin 124 in 1963, the fish population on the Paradise Cove reef built up to a peak of 24,000 semi-residents.

US San Diego Library – Scripps Collection photo


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