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Sinking the Ship: North Carolina Plans New Artificial Reef

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Sinking the Ship: North Carolina Plans New Artificial Reef


JJF Reef Project

North Carolina may be adding a new dive site to its famed Crystal Coast — but to descend on it, divers are being asked to donate.

The North Carolina Artificial Reef program is planning to sink a former Menhaden boat this July to honor the late North Carolina Reef Coordinator James J. — “JJ” — Francesconi. A long-time supporter of the state’s artificial reef program, Francesconi lost his battle with Leukemia in July 2014, but the positive impact he made on the state’s marine environment will be seen for generations to come.

Dubbed the JJ Reef Project, this ship sinking will help support growth of the local marine ecosystem and serve as a memorial to Francesconi’s legacy. The 180-foot ship is scheduled to sink the week of July 13, 2015 and will lie nearby the USS Indra at a rec-friendly depth of 60 feet. Creating an artificial reef from a ship is a costly endeavor, but one that friends of Francesconi believe is attainable. Thanks to the sale of North Carolina license plates bearing the “diver down” flag, the Department of Motor Vehicles was able to donate $70,000 to help support North Carolina's offshore artificial reefs. The Menhaden boat was provided at cost by Tim Mullane of American Marine Group, and now the Artificial Reef Program is working to raise the final $50,000 to fund for the sinking.

The JJF Reef project is more than optimistic that the memorial will be downed in time for Francesconi's memorial on July 18th, 2015, but encourages divers and conservation to support the effort by donating at GoFundMe.com/JJF-Reef-Project. For more information about this Francesconi's legacy and this worthy cause, please visit the JJF Reef Project Facebook page.

North Carolina may be adding a new dive site to its famed Crystal Coast — but to descend on it, divers are being asked to donate.

The North Carolina Artificial Reef program is planning to sink a former Menhaden boat this July to honor the late North Carolina Reef Coordinator James J. — “JJ” — Francesconi. A long-time supporter of the state’s artificial reef program, Francesconi lost his battle with Leukemia in July 2014, but the positive impact he made on the state’s marine environment will be seen for generations to come.

Dubbed the JJ Reef Project, this ship sinking will help support growth of the local marine ecosystem and serve as a memorial to Francesconi’s legacy. The 180-foot ship is scheduled to sink the week of July 13, 2015 and will lie nearby the USS Indra at a rec-friendly depth of 60 feet. Creating an artificial reef from a ship is a costly endeavor, but one that friends of Francesconi believe is attainable. Thanks to the sale of North Carolina license plates bearing the “diver down” flag, the Department of Motor Vehicles was able to donate $70,000 to help support North Carolina's offshore artificial reefs. The Menhaden boat was provided at cost by Tim Mullane of American Marine Group, and now the Artificial Reef Program is working to raise the final $50,000 to fund for the sinking.

The JJF Reef project is more than optimistic that the memorial will be downed in time for Francesconi's memorial on July 18th, 2015, but encourages divers and conservation to support the effort by donating at GoFundMe.com/JJF-Reef-Project. For more information about this Francesconi's legacy and this worthy cause, please visit the JJF Reef Project Facebook page.