The ship graveyard with hundreds of sunken ships is moving
Storms and floods cause nearly 200 sunken wooden warships.
The underwater skeletons of 185 wooden ships, also called ghost ships, have been sunk deliberately or have been demolished for hundreds of years.
Over time, the wrecks, including revolutionary and civil war ships, have transformed an area of the Potomac River, called Mallows Bay, into a vibrant ecosystem.
Environmentalists have come to appreciate the ships because an abundance of wildlife makes their homes aboard their wooden remains, dense with bushes and nutrient-rich soil.
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One of the wooden ships in an area of the Potomac River, called Mallows Bay, in Maryland, USA.
The wooded bay is home to many species of fish, birds, deer and beaver, among others.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) previously described the 14-square mile area as “one of the most ecologically valuable” locations in the state of Maryland.
But researchers, accompanied by school children from J.C Parks Elementary School, studied aerial maps of the area, which showed that the ships shifted to the east, some up to 20 miles, as reported by Live science.
Environmentalists have come to appreciate the ships because an abundance of wildlife makes their homes aboard their wooden remains, (pictured) closed with bushes and nutrient-rich soil
Storms, erosion and flooding have all led to the movement of the ships and can significantly disrupt the vibrant ecosystem.
A further evaluation of the site will be conducted with the help of underwater vehicles to see how the future movement could affect nature in the area.
The rotten fleet is the largest group of historic watercraft that is visible in the western hemisphere.
Marine archaeologist Don Shomette sits on the remains of a decaying sunk ship left over from the First World War in Mallows Bay near Nanjemoy, Maryland on November 17, 2015
Don Shomette, a 72-year-old marine archaeologist, collected and analyzed ship data and compiled a 500-page file in which each member of the fleet was documented in detail.
In 2015, he said, “It’s hard to say what my favorite projects are because all the discovery is exciting,”
“But of course Mallows Bay is incomparable.”
Joel Dunn, president of the Chesapeake Conservancy, said earlier: “Every ship has become a mini-ecosystem.
“So whether it’s an osprey to build a nest, a striped bass to survive in, or an oyster to hold on to, the ships provide structure for life to survive.”
The non-profit organization of Dunn is one of the groups that insist on Mallows Bay to become a national marine reserve, a process that is currently ongoing.