Rigs to Reefs
On September 30, 2010 Governor Schwarzenneger signed AB 2503 into law. Coastkeeper has worked on this issue for several years, and believe that the science shows the benefits of rigs as habitat.
What does this mean? The law allows certain oil rigs off the coast of California that are shown to produce life to be left in tact once they are decommisioned. The program will identify rigs with high environmental benefit, and cut them off at 80 ft for navigational purposes. A portion of the money saved by not removing the entire rig will go towards an endowement to manage the state’s marine resources.
- Governor Signs Rigs-to-Reefs Bill- Santa Barbara Independent, October 1, 2010
- Coastkeeper’s Letter to the Governor on AB2503
- Read on for presentations and materials from our 2010 Rigs to Reefs? Conference!
Rigs to Reef Conference 2010
On Friday, July 23, 2010, Orange County Coastkeeper, California Artificial Reef Enhancement Program, Coalition for Enhanced Marine Resources and the Coastal Conservation Network hosted the Rigs to Reefs? Options for Platform Decommissioning Conference. With 125 guests from diverse backgrounds, including federal and state agencies, non-profits, local elected officials, and interested individuals – we fielded a variety of questions and discussions topics from participants. Thanks to all who made this event possible and for those that attended it.
A heated debate over oil platform decommissioning is underway in California. Converting the rigs to reefs has been the subject of a two-year study by the California Ocean Science Trust, and a bill to establish a Rigs to Reefs program (AB 2503) is under consideration in the California Legislature. The 2010 Rigs to Reefs? Conference discussed the scientific, economic and legal underpinnings of the issue.
This year’s conference picked up where our 2007 Conference on Rigs to Reefs left off. Presentations focused on the results of the Ocean Science Trust Study and provided a forum for discussion by stakeholders on both sides of the issue. The Ocean Science Trust Study is the most comprehensive review of decommissioning for offshore oil platforms ever conducted in California.
The Ocean Science Trust looked at all relevant research, reports and data in the public record and did independent work on key issues. The study includes a comprehensive inventory of impacts, both beneficial and adverse, that are expected from decommissioning California’s offshore platforms. Participants heard the latest information on the decommissioning of oil platforms, the options surrounding this issue, and formulated their own opinions.
Below are the conference materials issued before and during the event.
- Conference Program (PDF – 559 KB)
- Speaker Biographies, Photos and Abstracts (PDF – 221 KB)
- Executive Summary of the OST Study (PDF – 809 KB)
Speaker Presentations: We’ve received permission to post the individual speaker presentations as PDF documents.
- Dr. Brock Bernstein (Overview of Study) (PDF – 948 KB)
- Dr. Dan Pondella (Fish Populations) (PDF – 5.05 MB)
- Peter Cantle (Air Emissions) (PDF – 997 KB)
- Dr. Robert Byrd (Decommissioning Costs) (PDF – 3.58 MB)
- Dr. Brock Bernstein (Other Impacts) (PDF – 962 KB)
- Michael Genest (California’s Financial Status) (PDF – 1.61 MB)
Dr. Sylvia Earle (Keynote)
- Slideshow on Gulf Oil Spill (PDF – 4.72 MB)
- A Scene from Mission Blue (Video – 16.2 MB)
- Slideshow on the World’s Oceans (PDF – 7.04 MB)
The Conference drew a multi-disciplinary audience of scientists, educators, regional, state, and federal agencies, researchers, stakeholders, recreational and commercial fishers, students, environmentalists and policy-makers all interested in discussing the emerging information of Rigs to Reefs.
Read about the 2010 Rigs to Reefs? Conference:
- Newport Beach Independent, August 6, 2010
- Page 1- ”Ending Well?: Conference Eyes Decommissioning Offshore Oil Rigs”
- Page 9- Editorial Cartoon, “What do you think is the best use for an old platform?”
- Page 20- “Planning for the End,” Green Stories
- “Rigs to Reefs Discussion Continues” – Santa Barbara Independent, July 29, 2010)
- “Ocean Legend Sylvia Earle Says Keep Oil Rigs As Reefs” -The Deseret News, July 26, 2010
- “Rigs to Reefs Conference Held in Huntington Beach” – The Orange County Register, July 25, 2010
- “Ocean Legend Says Keep Oil Rigs as Reefs” – The Orange County Register, July 23, 2010
- “Take it or Leave it: Ocean Scientist Recommends Oil Rig Sanctuary” – The Orange County Register, July 23, 2010
- “AM Alert: Rigs to Reefs?” – Capitol Morning Report, July 23, 2010
Read about 2007 Rigs to Reefs Conference:
- “Rigging up new reefs off California Coast “ – The Orange County Register, April 16, 2007
- “Experts explore best fate for O.C. oil rigs” – The Huntington Beach Independent, April 4, 2007
- “A Platform for Debate” – The Orange County Register, March 31, 2007
- “Oil Rigs to Reefs Along Coast?” – The Orange County Register, March 30, 2007
Check out 2007 Rigs to Reefs Conference Report