Redbird Reef

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Coordinates: 38°35′20″N 74°06′43″W / 38.589°N 74.112°W / 38.589; -74.112

Location of Redbird Reef

Redbird Reef is an artificial reef located in the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Slaughter Beach, Delaware,[1] 16 miles (25.7 km) east of the Indian River Inlet.

Established by the Maryland Reef Initiative[2] in 2001, this reef covers 1.3 square nautical miles of ocean floor[2] and is located 80 feet (24.4 m) below the surface.[3]

Retired Redbird subway cars pass under the George Washington Bridge on the way to being sunk.

The reef comprises 714 Redbird (R26R36 World's Fair series) New York City Subway cars,[2] 86 retired tanks and armored personnel carriers, eight tugboats and barges, and 3,000 tons of ballasted truck tires.[2][4]

The amount of marine food has increased 400 times over 7 years.[3]

The site is the most visited reef site off Delaware's coast, receiving more than 10,000 fishing parties annually, and is home to numerous marine species, including black sea bass, flounder, blue mussels, sponges, barnacles and coral.[2] Also, tuna and mackerel hunt at the reef. The site has become so popular that fishermen steal from each other, and other states apply for the next subway cars to be dumped in their waters.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ (Anonymous), Noreen (1 April 2010). "From Trash To Treasure- Artificial Reefs Uncovered". AquaViews (blog). LeisurePro. Archived from the original on 18 January 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d e DNREC Sinks Three Tugboats Off Delaware Coast to Enhance Artificial Reef; Vessels Recycled on “Redbird Reef” As Home for Fish and Sea Life
  3. ^ a b c Urbina, Ian. Growing pains for a deep-sea home built of subway cars New York Times, 2008. Accessed: 10 March 2011.
  4. ^ Red Bird Reef sinkings

Further reading[edit]

  • Raineault, Nicole A.; Trembanis, Arthur C.; Miller, Douglas C.; Capone, Vince (2013). "Interannual changes in seafloor surficial geology at an artificial reef site on the inner continental shelf". Continental Shelf Research. 58: 67–78. doi:10.1016/j.csr.2013.03.008.

External links[edit]