Forum focuses on changing 'airscape' for ship emissions

The following is text of a news release from the North American Marine Environment Protection Association (NAMEPA):

(VALLEJO, Calif.) — The North American Marine Environment Protection Association and California State University Maritime Academy (Cal Maritime) co-hosted the “What’s in Your Stack?” conference on Jan. 11 on the Cal Maritime campus. This marine industry forum focused on the rapidly changing “airscape” for ship emissions as requirements to change operational practices to meet regulatory and societal demands come into force.

Sponsored by Chevron, Holland America Line, Hornblower Cruises & Events, Matson, and The Viswa Group, the conference was a unique and informative experience for students, regulators, industry representatives and conservationists to foster meaningful discussion on the future of the regulatory framework for shipping challenges facing the industry, and options to reduce environmental impacts.

Alex Parker, professor of oceanography at Cal Maritime, welcomed the diverse crowd of over 60 industry leaders, conservationists, and cadets. He emphasized that the goal of this event, and the commitment to academic rigor at Cal Maritime, is to create an ocean literate group of cadets charting their future in the maritime work force.

The event was led by industry and academic experts including Chris Brown, manager regulatory affairs and advocacy at Chevron Shipping; Carleen Lyden Walker, NAMEPA’s co-founder and executive director; Gordon Loebl, senior vice president, maritime and engineering, Hornblower Cruises & Events; Joe Servidio, senior vice president, safety, environmental and management services, Holland America Group; Alistair Johnson, owner and designer of Dasivedo Design; Keir Moorhead, assistant professor of engineering technology at Cal Maritime, and Ryan Storz, assistant professor of engineering technology at Cal Maritime. The expansive list of experts spoke on evolving issues and solutions within the marine industry and the necessary balance between commerce and conservation. The event concluded with a leadership roundtable and networking reception.

“Sustainability in shipping is as disruptive as sail to steam and the invention of the container," Lyden Walker said. "Adverse environmental and public health effects from air emissions, the imminent sulfur cap, increased automation, shortage of trained mariners, shrinking ice caps, cyber attacks, and a demand for alternative energy sources are some of the dynamic challenges facing the maritime industry today. We must all work together to save our seas."

“What’s in Your Stack?” addressed these issues by bringing all voices to the conversation. Forum topics included the decarbonization of ports, electric and wind technologies, liquefied natural gas (LNG), and strategies to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

The necessity to balance commerce with conservation is more apparent with each passing day. The shipping industry is vital to global society and trade, transporting 90 percent of all goods and energy across the world. Equally vital is environmental conservation as overpopulation continues to jeopardize our marine environments and natural resources.

To learn more about the event, or to view the presentations and photos, go to

By Professional Mariner Staff