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Support the Rigs-to-Reefs Program in California!
In California, offshore oil and gas platforms - with their latticework superstructure of pilings, columns, beams and pipes - foster a habitat for a variety of economically and ecologically valuable marine life. But as the oils wells dry, these offshore platforms are expected to be decommissioned, or completely removed from the seafloor, carting off the ecosystems that have sprung up and flourished on these structures. Fortunately, there is another option, Rigs-to-Reefs (R2R), which enables oil companies to modify their platforms so that they may be left in place to continue to support the marine habitat found on and around the structure. Through the program, the upper 85 ft of the oil platform structure is removed, and the marine life growing on the lower platform structure is preserved. The Rigs-to-Reefs program provides a unique win-win alternative whereby the State of California, the marine life and the oil companies benefit. For the environment, re-purposing platform structures as reefs saves fuel emissions that otherwise would be expended transporting and disposing of the structure. The program also enriches the marine life in the area. For oil and gas companies, re-purposing obsolete structures saves them the costs of removing, transporting, and disposing of the platforms onshore. Although they will always maintain responsibility for the oil well itself. For the state of California, the artificial reefs produce marine life that enhances fisheries, and the cost savings retained from decommissioning costs are put into an endowment fund for marine preservation and program maintenance. Although California’s Rigs-to-Reefs law was passed in 2010, not a single platform has been reefed. By interpreting the essential principles and fundamental concepts of the Rigs to Reefs program, we strive to help the public and policy-makers make informed and responsible decisions regarding our ocean resources and the future of California’s platforms. As the world’s natural reefs are over-fished, over-trawled and polluted, we believe that re-purposing these structures, some the size of the empire state building, as artificial reefs may be the best decision for the future of our oceans. It's time to think creatively about the resources we have, and proceed forward boldly with radical new tactics for ocean management.