During the 1970s, between 1 million and 2 million tires were put in the ocean off Broward County in an effort to create additional fish habitat. Over the years, many of the tires were mobilized by tropical storms and hurricanes, the movement of which caused damage to nearby existing coral reefs. The threat is serious, but the complexity and magnitude of the challenge of removing these tires has prevented any individual government agency from doing so.
The NOAA Marine Debris Program funded a reconnaissance project that was conducted in August 2006. The scope of work for this project included the development of a potential strategy for removing and properly disposing of the tires. It was decided that a pilot program was needed to test diver retrieval productivity, loading and transportation methods, and tire processing and disposal. For more information, please read the full project summary.
Tire removal work is continuing under Agency Contract SW348, which was renewed on February 17, 2023 and expires on February 16, 2028.
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The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is the state’s lead agency for environmental management and stewardship – protecting our air, water and land. The vision of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is to create strong community partnerships, safeguard Florida’s natural resources and enhance its ecosystems.