In the early 1970s, when conservation efforts and the idea of recycling were new, the Osborne Reef, aka Tire Reef was created. However, the idea of dumping two million tires into approximately 36 acres of ocean floor in an area just off the Fort Lauderdale, FL coast soon turned into a conservation nightmare.
New corals never managed to attach to the old rubber in the tires, the ropes used to tie the tires together were quickly deteriorated by saltwater, no new marine life habitat spew out of this idea, and the tossing around of the tires eventually caused unimaginable destruction to other coral reefs in the area. Some of the tires were discovered as far north as North Carolina.
The Osborne Tire Reef is an artificial reef off the coast of Fort Lauderdale, Florida constructed of concrete jacks in a 50 feet (15m) diameter circle. In the 1970s, the reef was subject to an ambitious expansion project utilizing old and discarded tires. The project ultimately failed, and the “reef” has come to be considered an environmental disaster. It was speculated that corals would attach and grow on the tires, but it is evidently clear today that this has hardly happened. Instead a great number of the tires have started migrating across the sandy bottom, over and onto the natural reef causing great damage there.
What was meant to do good for nature is causing more harm. We have explored means and best avenues of tire removal procedures and are monitoring the status quo and further development. Our tire removal project begins in 2019. This is a huge project and undertaking, but we are keen on making a real difference and see if we can be part of a solution for remedying the problem.