we like to see in Delaware: jobs,” Markell continued. “Our team at DNREC is working hard to protect our environment, promote incredible biodiversity through our extensive reefing efforts, and provide special recreation opportunities for families and explorers.”
The Radford reefing has been much-anticipated since Delaware took title to the decommissioned destroyer last year. “It’s not exactly the opposite of a ship’s christening but a celebratory occasion just the same – for the environment and for the economies in this region, for recreational anglers and divers, and most of all for marine life,” said DNREC Secretary O’Mara of the Radford’s reef deployment.
“While there’s been a run-up of great excitement toward the sinking, DNREC’s artificial reef program has really delivered in getting the Radford shipshape for deployment over a relatively short time,” Sec. O’Mara said. “Delaware took title from the Navy last year and after working through the winter, spring and now summer toward environmental readiness and making her more habitat-worthy, the Radford’s at last ready for reefing.”
The ex-destroyer, named for Navy Admiral Arthur W. Radford who served as the commander in chief of the U.S. Pacific Command and chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was commissioned in 1977 and decommissioned in 2003. The Navy announced the availability of the Radford for reefing five years later.
Delaware’s artificial reef program secured the former warship in collaboration with New Jersey and Maryland and contracted with the American Marine Group, a Virginia-based marine towing, salvage and reefing company, to prepare, tow and sink the Radford for deployment as an artificial reef. She will travel downriver on the Delaware, towed by tugs to her final destination, then have her hull and compartments flooded to accomplish the sinking.