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Underwater legacy

NOV. 14 — For the right price you could own the naming rights to an artificial reef project off Key West, Fla.

A weeklong online bidding window, on auction site eBay , has been set for the naming rights to the project, a press release says. The starting bid is $900,000 and a reserve price has been set for $1.3 million. The money raised is expected to help offset some of the $5.7 million needed to fund the project.

“This is for someone who is looking for a legacy,” Joe Weatherby, a project organizer with Artificial Reefs of the Keys, says in the release. “It’s something for an individual or a company that is permanent and positive for the environment.

The sinking of the retired U.S. Air Force missile-tracking ship, the 524-foot General Hoyt S. Vandenburg, will create the artificial reef, according to the release. From 1963 to 1983 the vessel monitored NASA space launches, and has been sitting decommissioned since then in Virginia. Organizers hope to sink the vessel about seven miles off Key West in early 2008.

The proposed artificial reef would attract marine life and increase tourism, the release says. Bidding on the naming rights is expected to continue until Wednesday, Nov 15.

— Jason Fell