Backlash builds against Brazil’s artificial reef plan


Scientists worry that material used to create artificial reefs will contain sun coral, furthering the invasive exotic’s spread in Brazil. (Photo courtesy of Reef Conservation Project)

Brazil’s plan to create artificial reefs by sending old ships and other large objects to the ocean bottom is drawing opposition from scientists and environmental groups who fear the effort will harm natural reef ecosystems. Last November, Brazil’s tourism agency, Embratur, announced the government would create an artificial-reef-building initiative called National Program to Revitalize Marine Ecotourism. The announcement drew little media notice and did not prompt immediate pushback from conservationists, who say they were preoccupied at the time by an unexplained oil spill then affecting the coast of nine northeastern states. (See "Mysterious oil spill sending crude ashore in Brazil" —EcoAméricas, October 2019.) The program, a joint effort of Embratur, the Navy and the Environment Ministry, calls for submerging a range of jumbo-sized junk including ships, planes, railway cars, tanks, oil platforms and even large statues... [Log in to read more]

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