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Tires used to create coral reef?

In the 70s, across the coastal United States, someone decided that tires could be ideal places to start new coral reefs and rebuild the ocean's reefs. Thirty years later, officials realized that dream would never happen, and they need to start thinking about removing the tires from the oceans. The latest plan is to use navy divers to remove the tires, as part of their training and free of charge to Florida.

Many papers, including The New York Times, picked up the AP coverage of this story. The Miami Herald wrote its own version of this story.

The challenge with this story is explaining the rationale of the 1970s that thought that tires could be a marine lifesaver, instead of just garbage. The Miami Herald chose to focus on the latest plan to remove the tires, while the AP story focused more on the back story, the how did we get here. The Herald does this as well, but uses the plan to use Navy divers to remove the tires as a lead.

The Miami audience is more familiar with the tire story than most of the nation is, I'm assuming, therefore they can chose a more specific lead than the AP. The AP chose the broader story to interest the nation, which is, of course, what the heck, and why. It worked, because it got picked up in papers from Minneapolis to Beijing to France.

I love the photos that the papers use, an ocean floor covered with tires.