Go for a dive a mile offshore from downtown Fort Lauderdale and you might find an enormous pile of old car tires, and not much else. The original idea in the 1970s was to transform them into an artificial reef – creating homes for all sorts of marine life – but as you can see, it didn’t quite work out that way.
There’s clearly something about rubber tires that marine life doesn’t like – combined with the fact that the cables tying the tires together quickly corroded away, leaving a mobile mass of tires that pile up on natural reefs causing all sorts of trouble.
In 2007 a project began to pick up all the tires and recycle them. US Navy divers had been using the clean up operation as a training exercise (who knows when you might need to retrieve a whole bunch of tires from the sea, right?). But the project was halted in 2010 when it was decided there were other things the Navy should be spending their time on.
Read more at Reef Rescue.