industry, government and higher education colleagues to create a Shipboard Ballast Water Treatment Research, Development, Test and Evaluation Facility aboard the schoolâ€™s 500-foot Training Ship Golden Bear.
The $700,000 project is underwritten by a National Oceanographic and Atmospheric
Administration (NOAA) National Sea Grant, with additional funding from the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD), and the California State Lands Commission. It is designed to reduce the time and expense of testing and certifying ballast water treatment systems as compared with the current approach of using commercial ships of opportunity. Operational launch is set for the fall of 2009.
Bill Davidson, Chief Engineer for Golden Bear, Professor Capt. Dan Weinstock and J. KimMcNutt, Dean of Cal Maritime Sponsored Projects and Extended Learning (SPEL), will play key roles in facility installation and operation. Theyâ€™ll work with Senior Associate Kevin Reynolds of Seattleâ€™s The Glosten Associates (design/installation), and Research Associate Professor Russell Herwig and Research Scientist Jeffery Cordell of the University of Washington School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences and
Washington Sea Grant (facility testing/certification and Cal Maritime curriculum development.)
â€œShips routinely load and discharge large volumes of water to optimize vessel stability,â€ Davidson notes. â€œThis can spread non-native species to foreign waters such as the Asian mitten crab, which has burrowed into area Bay delta levees, weakening their flood-protection capabilities.â€
Government and private researchers are working to devise new ballast water treatment systems in advance of approaching regulatory deadlines for implementation. However, each system must be tested and independently verified and certified as meeting baseline standards set by the International Maritime
Organization (IMO), state of California, or other regulators. The new Cal Maritime facility is designed to simplify and streamline that process.