Artificial Reefs

Constructed from Military Armored Vehicles

Project Overview

The U.S. Defense Logistics Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers asked Aquabio to evaluate the performance of their program to create artificial reefs from obsolete military armored vehicles (MAVs), such as tanks and armored personnel carriers.

Aquabio's Role

  • Developed and implemented a multiyear evaluation of over 60 offshore artificial reefs created from MAVs along the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean coast from Louisiana to New York
  • Aquabio conducted site surveys, field monitoring, interviews with artificial reef program managers, and surveys of end-users of the artificial reefs created from obsolete tanks and armored personnel carriers.
  • Aquabio compared the artifical reefs made from obsolete MAVs with adjacent bare bottom areas as well as nearby artificial reefs made from scrap materials or designed artificial reef units, and evaluated their performance


  • Aquabio identified 4 key success factors for artificial reefs made from MAVs: site selection, unit configuration and orientation, substrate composition, and reef management
  • Aquabio recommended cost-effective program improvements
  • Specific enhancements were validated through testing and evaluation
  • Aquabio identified and documented lessons learned from the military armored vehicle artificial reef program


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