“One by one, they became Maryland’s most-ambitious offshore artificial reef project to create homes for fish and an underwater playground for divers,” The Sun reported in May 2008, as a massive front-end loader wrestled more than 40 stainless steel New York City subway cars off a barge, swinging them one by one over the gray, choppy water before releasing them with a splash.
For the Ocean City Reef Foundation and local officials, the deployment of the retired subway cars at a once-popular fishing spot known as the “Jackspot” has been nearly a decade in the making. False starts and modest financial contributions limited efforts to a series of much smaller projects.
But when the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority offered a barge-load of cars and Jack Power, a retired Baltimore businessman and passionate fisherman, the project’s No. 1 patron, wrote a check, things clicked into place. He spent $25,000 to send the cars beneath the seas 19 miles off Ocean City, and he is ready to drop another $25,000.
In 2008, transporting each barge-load of 40-plus cars costs $25,000, which puts the Ocean City Reef Foundation in constant fundraising mode.
Power, 63, who retired to a waterfront home in southern Anne Arundel County, bought the first barge-load in honor of his wife, and said he was picking up the bill on the next one to honor his daughter, Lindsey, who lives in New York and commutes by subway.
(h/t New York Daily News) Reporting from The Sun archives.