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.

Learn more:

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.

Conference Materials

Below are the conference materials issued before and during the event.

Speaker Presentations: We’ve received permission to post the individual speaker presentations as PDF documents.

Dr. Sylvia Earle (Keynote)

Who Attended?

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.

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Read about the 2010 Rigs to Reefs? Conference

Read about 2007 Rigs to Reefs Conference

Check out 2007 Rigs to Reefs Conference Report