Redondo Beach Looks into Establishing Artificial Reef

Byline: Ambrosia Brody

REDONDO BEACH — The potential of sinking a 230-foot former Coast Guard vessel off the coast of Redondo Beach is being further examined, following Redondo Beach City Council members’ authorization of city staff to enter discussions with California Ships to Reefs at a July 2 meeting.

At a July 2 meeting, Mayor Steve Aspel explained that Bob Meistrell, co-founder of Body Glove International, who died June 16, had approached him with this plan just days before his passing.

“Bob quoted to me, days before he passed, that scuba divers spend $480 a day when they travel to a place to scuba dive,” Mayor Aspel said. “It doesn’t cost us any money (to look into establishing a reef off the city) — we just have to authorize for our people to meet their people and get it in motion.”

City council members approved a motion to have city staff members initiate discussions with California Ships to Reefs, a nonprofit organization that is working in partnership with various government entities to establish a regional system of sunken ships as artificial reefs along the California coast.

According to a staff report, the proposed artificial reef would be a certified clean vessel sunk approximately 1 mile off Redondo Beach. The reef could provide marine science researchers with new information on aquatic habitats and serve as a destination for recreational divers.

“It would be a great opportunity,” said Councilman Matthew Kilroy. “I’ve dived on my share of wrecks, and they are a big attraction.”

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