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Retired Navy Destroyer Radford Now Part of Artificial Reef

August 17, 2011


New Jersey's Artificial Reef Program marked an historic achievement on August 10, 2011, with the reefing of the Arthur W. Radford. The decommissioned destroyer is the first warship ever sunk off our coast. All modifications performed on the Arthur W. Radford to ensure it sank in a slow controlled manner performed perfectly and the vessel now sits upright on the ocean floor. The Arthur W. Radford is now located 28 nautical miles southeast of Cape May at the Del-Jersey-Land Reef in 130 feet of water at the following coordinates:

N  38  30.850'
W  74  30.656'
The Arthur W. Radford measures 563 feet in length, 55 feet in beam and displaced more than 9000 tons. Placement of a vessel of this magnitude on an artificial reef provides immediate ecological, recreational and economic benefits. The reef supporting structure is expected to last more than 100 years, providing essential marine habitat and recreational angling and diving opportunities for generations to come.

The Radford Reefing Project was a collaborative effort between the U.S. Navy and the states of New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland. The vessel was prepared in such a way that it will immediately become a world class scuba diving and fishing destination. The Radford is a one-of-a-kind artificial reef and its colossal size and diversified structure will appeal to scuba divers of all skill levels. The vessel's numerous compartments and tens of thousands of nooks and crannies will provide habitat for more than 150 species of fish and marine life and will quickly become a premiere recreational fishing destination

The Division of Fish and Wildlife thanks the Ann E. Clark Foundation for providing New Jersey's entire share of the expenses for this historic project.

For information on past and planned deployments see the Artificial Reef Deployments page.

Preparation of the Radford - Story and Video

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Department of Environmental Protection
P.O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Updated: August 17, 2011