Turning Over a New Reef. . .

A Florida man has solved two problems for his state. Not only has he figured out what to do with junk tires, hes using them to make safe, new homes for sea life.I

Inventor Ben Mostkoff's artificial reef uses junk tires that are shredded and mixed with concrete. The mix is poured into pyramid-shaped molds and allowed to harden. About 50 to 200 three-foot-tall pyramids are dropped to the seafloor and roughly stacked. Spaces between the shapes become cozy homes for marine life, and the coarse surfaces of the pyramids attract coral.

"The dark color from the bits of tire also seems to attract lobsters", says Mostkoff. Four small reefs have been built in the waters off Ft. Lauderdale.After two years, they are teeming with life.

"The shapes are very stable", says Mostkoff, "and sea creatures like them."

Ocean Planet Exhibition Floorplan

gene carl feldman (gene@seawifs.gsfc.nasa.gov) (301) 286-9428
Judith Gradwohl, Smithsonian Institution (Curator/Ocean Planet)