PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A decommissioned navy destroyer is en route to her final resting place some 26 miles out in the Atlantic Ocean, where it will serve as an artificial reef for the next century.

The state of Delaware took possession of the USS Radford with plans to save her from the scrap heap at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. She’s being towed to an area equidistant from the shores of New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland where she will be sunk next week some 130 feet to the ocean floor. Delaware Governor Jack Markell expects the vessel to take on a new aquatic crew in short order.

“Within a matter of days of its being sunk, blue mussels, sponges, barnacles and soft corals will attach to the structure. Within a year, it’s going to be fully productive, essentially resembling a natural habitat.”

A natural habitat that scuba divers can take in, and where anglers can go fishing. The navy is picking up the bulk of the nearly million dollar cost of this project.

Reported by David Madden, KYW Newsradio

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