Warship Sinks in the St. Lawrence

    OTTAWA, Dec. 6 /CNW Telbec/ - EOARA, the Eastern Ontario Artificial Reef
Association, a non-profit group plans to sink a 372 foot decommissioned
warship in South Eastern Ontario.
    On Friday, December 7, 2007 at 7 pm at the Country Squire Resort in
Gananoque, the press conference presented by EOARA will outline their project
to create a new tourism attraction for scuba divers and the long range
ecological benefits for marine life in the St. Lawrence River.
    The group's objectives for this artificial reef are to increase and
improve Eastern Ontario's economic situation and tourism industry by
attracting an additional 10,000 recreational scuba divers to the region in the
first year following the sinking. These visitors will contribute an additional
$8M in direct tourism revenues. A recent project in Pensacola, Florida, the
sinking of aircraft carrier, "Oriskany", has made headlines and the county
reportedly made it's investment of $1M back in the first 3 days.
    The reefing of the warship will relieve pressure on historic wrecks in
the region. The wooden wrecks have deteriorated at an alarming rate over the
last 5 years due to increased diver traffic in the region. The new dive site
will relocate a majority of the diving activity away from the historic wrecks
and on to the steel wreck of the artificial reef.
    Decommissioned warships are more complex in design and layout than any of
the existing heritage shipwrecks in the region, offering far more niche
opportunities for colonization of marine life. With the presence of
environmental science programs at Queen's University, Royal Military College
and St. Lawrence College, the 1000 Islands region could therefore become a
center of excellence for the study of freshwater aquatic communities on the
artificial reef.
    The location of the artificial reef will divert diver traffic from
popular sites that are currently in or near the St. Lawrence commercial
shipping channel, reducing the chances of an accident.
    Over the past 2 years EOARA has met with numerous government agencies and
municipalities to reach this stage in the project. There has been tremendous
support from the Ministry of Natural Resources, Department of Fisheries &
Oceans, St. Lawrence Seaway Authority, Transport Canada Navigable Waters
Protection, and neighbouring communities.
    The city of Brockville Economic Development Director, David Paul, "thanks
for your presentation to city council, there is tremendous support and
enthusiasm for your artificial reef project."

    Michael Ryan, EOARA

    December 4, 2007

For further information:

For further information: Michael Ryan, michael.ryan@eoara.org, (613)

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