In this week’s featured video, we check in with Emily Callahan and Amber Jackson, the team behind Rigs-to-Reefs.
The mission of Rigs-to-Reefs is to provide an alternative to the complete removal of oil rigs so that they can continue to support the marine life that comes to depend on the structure. Primarily focused on the oil rigs off the coast of California, the organization advocates for modifying the platforms to serve as artificial reefs. This is achieved through the process of decommissioning, in which the oil well is capped and the upper portion of the rig is removed.
Any conversation concerning oil rigs is controversial, as they no doubt have the capacity to wreak havoc on marine ecosystems in the event of an accident. While some advocate for the total removal of these eyesores, the team at Rigs-to-Reefs sees the complete removal of decommissioned rigs as both a risk to the ocean ecosystem as well as a missed opportunity in terms of their continued role as a home to marine life.
Emily, a PADI Divemaster with more than 1,000 hours of logged dives, and Amber began working together at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego, California. Together they have conducted research expeditions on seven of the 27 platforms off the coast of California. To learn more about the Rigs-to-Reefs program, visit rig2reefexploration.org/