The Gulf of Mexico has a thriving Rigs-To-Reef (RTR) program that is a great benefit to both the resource and fishermen. With that valuable program, portions of the underwater offshore oil structures are left in place to provide important marine habitat long after the oil production operation is removed.
California has no such program. Currently when offshore oil rigs are decommissioned in California, all of the underwater materials and habitat are removed. Not only are hundreds of thousands of fish and other sea creatures killed in the process, but so are the home sites for future generations of similar life.
Milt Shedd found this situation ridiculous. In 1995 he joined with UASC board member Dan Frumkes to encourage the state to examine the wisdom of removing thousands of tons of marine habitat without understanding the damage of doing so. Shortly after, son Bill Shedd and AFTCO attorney Mike Duffy were brought onto the team. In partnership with the American Sportfishing Association (ASA) and United Anglers of Southern California (UASC), the group formed the UASC-ASA Conservation Coordinating Committee, and the process to take a rational look at RTR was underway.