France cleaning up tire sea sanctuary
Funny that throwing garbage into the sea didn't restore marine life.
FRANCE — France has begun removing 25,000 car tires it dumped into the Mediterranean in the 1980s off the French coast.
The move comes after officials failed to restore marine life and instead began polluting the water.
According to the AFP, beginning last week, divers and a specially rigged boat have begun hauling out hundreds of old rubber tires about 500 meters from the coastline between Cannes and Antibes.
The original idea was to have the tires serve as a sanctuary for marine life and as a foundation for coral to grow.
According to Denis Genovese, head of an association of local fisherman, talking to the AFP, sedentary creatures did not use them, while "grouper fish, conger eels and sea bream swim around them."
A University of Nice study in 2005 discovered that the tires were leaching toxic chemicals, including heavy metals, into the water.
Another concern now is that after 40 years, the tires will break down into smaller pieces putting nearby seagrass meadows at risk.
In 2015, 2,500 tires were removed to show that the clean up could be done safely.
Around 10,000 tires are scheduled to be removed over the next few weeks, with the remaining 12,500 set to be pulled in the second quarter of 2019.
The tires will be sent to recycling centers where they will be broken down into smaller pieces to be used in construction.
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