West Coast
A diver examines marine life at the Eureka oil platform about 8.5 miles offshore of Huntington Beach. While such oil rigs are largely despised by environmentalists, there is talk of maintaining at least the underwater portions when the rigs are decommissioned because of the positive marine habitat they create. Photo by Ken Kurtis, Reef Seekers Dive Co.

CA - Offshore oil rigs could turn into windmills and dive hotels

A Long Beach conference explores new uses for oil rigs at the end of their life cycle.

Long a scourge to environmentalists, California’s offshore oil rigs may be transformed into ecological trophies.

A dozen or more of the state’s 27 offshore platforms could be decommissioned in the next decade. Rather than tearing them down, many would like to preserve the incidental artificial reefs – and the enriched marine habitat – that have formed on their underwater pilings.

And up top?

How about windmills? Dive hotels? Sea farms? Marine research centers? Or simply lop them off 85 feet below the ocean surface, leaving the base for fish and the recreational fishermen who hunt them?

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