"Suisun Bay's Ghost Fleet May Finally R.I.P."

"The federal government and environmental groups reached an agreement Wednesday that will mean the end of the ghost fleet of retired ships in Suisun Bay.

The vessels were once part of a mighty reserve fleet of warships and freighters, but time and neglect has turned them into what one environmental advocate called "a floating toxic waste dump."

Only 52 ships remain of a fleet that once was as big as a good-size Navy, and these rusting old vessels will be removed and cleaned up for an ocean voyage to Texas, where they will be scrapped. The fleet will be reduced gradually, with 25 ships in the worst condition taken out within two years and the remainder by fall 2017. The settlement, which must be approved by a federal court in Sacramento, ends a long dispute over the ships, which have been a fixture in the bay just east of Benicia for generations."

Carl Nolte reports for the San Francisco Chronicle April 1, 2010.

Thursday, April 1, 2010