Mallows Bay is an area on the Potomac River that houses nearly 200 warships dating back to the Revolutionary War and Civil War periods. These are ghost vessels and were either deliberately sunk or left to decompose. These have gradually become a vibrant ecosystem and habitats for a wide variety of wildlife because of the dense shrubs and nutrient-rich soil on them. Environmentalists value these ships that are home to different species of fish, birds, deer, and beaver. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has described the area as “one of the most ecologically valuable” sites in the state of Maryland.

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Daily Mail UK reports a team of researchers has revealed that some of the ghost vessels have moved out and have gone nearly 20 miles away. They studied relevant maps of the region to arrive at this conclusion and attribute this to climatic disturbances like storms, erosion, and floods. A group of schoolchildren was a part of this exercise.

Environmentalists are worried

The warships of that era were made of wood and written off once done with. The Mallows Bay was a convenient location for the final resting place of these ships.

This fleet of rotted ships is the largest group in the Western Hemisphere. The team of researchers wants to study this in depth and undertake further evaluation of the site. They want to deploy underwater vehicles in order to get an idea of how such movement could affect wildlife in the area.

In the opinion of experts, each ship has transformed into a mini eco-system that provides a platform for different forms of life to survive.

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Don Shomette, a marine archaeologist in his 70s, has created a document that contains details of each ship. It is a massive document and runs into 500 pages. Joel Dunn is president of the Chesapeake Conservancy and he is keen to see Mallows Bay designated a national marine sanctuary.

An ecosystem that needs to be preserved

According to Live Science, there is an area of the Potomac River identified as Mallows Bay, which is the graveyard of nearly 200 warships. These were ships from the era of the Revolutionary War, the Civil War and both the World Wars.

Their sinking was a deliberate action and these wooden ships, in due course of time, became habitats for local wildlife. A team of four researchers accompanied by students of a local school studied the physical shifting of the ships. They compared visuals of different periods and established that the ghost ships had moved to newer locations, which in some cases were 20 miles downriver.