WASHINGTON—U.S. Representative Scott Franklin (R-Fla.) joined a bipartisan letter to Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas W. Harker to consider preparing and sinking the USS Bonhomme Richard off the coast of Florida. Rather than scrap the ship at an estimated $30 million, sinking it would save taxpayers millions of dollars and allow the ship to serve as an environmental and economic benefit to the local community and state—as an artificial reef.

“We are writing to you about the United States Navy's plan to scrap the USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), an 844-footlong Wasp-class amphibious assault ship that sustained major fire damage last year and is unable to return to service,” stated the members.

“We respectfully ask that the United States Navy consider preparing and sinking it off the coast of Florida where, as an artificial reef, it could become an environmental and economic benefit to the local community and state. The USS Bonhomme Richard is an ideal candidate for artificial reefing and would be welcomed by the people of Florida,” the letter continued.

“Finally, based on the state's experience, we believe that the U.S. Navy will spend significantly less than $30 million and be able to proceed in an expedited timeline to sink it in Florida as an artificial reef. It is our hope that you will send the USS Bonhomme Richard to Florida where its story and legacy can continue,” the letter concluded.

To view the full letter, click here.