Thursday, February 15, 2007

FLORIDA : The Vandenberg Project, a New World Class Artificial Reef in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.

A World War II troop carrier that saw duty in the Cold War and had a role in a movie is destined to become the largest artificial reef in Florida.

The 533-foot Gen. Hoyt S. Vandenberg, among the hulks in the ever-thinning James River Reserve Fleet, will be towed to waters off Florida’s Key West, probably in one year, the U.S. Maritime Administration announced Tuesday.

The Vandenberg began its nautical life in 1943 under a different name: the Gen. Harry S. Taylor. After duty in World War II and the Cold War, it was overhauled and became a sophisticated missile-tracking vessel in the Atlantic.

When christened for that assignment, in 1963, it was named after a former Air Force officer and CIA director. In the 1990s, the ship was repainted and stenciled with Russian lettering for its role in the Universal Pictures science-fiction film “Virus.”

A related web site, Sink the Vandenberg has a break down of the economic and ecological impact as well as photos.

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