Diver’s delight: From oil rig to teeming fish habitat

The Rigs to Reefs program has transformed 450 oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico into reefs that host teeming fish populations. CNET Road Trip 2014 dove a rig for an up-close look.

Credit-CNET-Daniel TerdimanHundreds, if not thousands, of fish call the interior of this former oil rig, known as the High Island 389, home. The rig, technically a production platform, may one day be part of the Rigs to Reefs program, which converts decommissioned oil rigs into artificial reefs.Daniel Terdiman/CNET

FLOWER GARDEN BANKS, GULF OF MEXICO — The warning was clear: Go anywhere you want inside the long, long legs of the oil rig, but stick your head outside the perimeter of the platform and you risk getting brained by tools plummeting from above.

Far below the rig, known as High Island 389, it was a marine paradise. Everywhere you looked, barracuda, spadefish, gray triggerfish, Spanish hogfish, and much more marine life swam in abundance. A few sharks lurked farther down. And then, of course, there were….READ MORE from Daniel Terdiman’s CNET article.

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