Navy League honors Cal Maritime for BWTS research

The following is text of a news release from the California State University Maritime Academy (Cal Maritime):

(VALLEJO, Calif.) — The United States Navy League has named California State University Maritime Academy’s Golden Bear Facility as the recipient of its 2018 Albert A. Michelson award. The award is given in recognition of “scientific or technical achievement that results in a significant improvement in the strength of our maritime forces or the enhancement of our industrial technology base.”

The Golden Bear Facility is the only land- and sea-based facility on the U.S. West Coast designed to test and evaluate large ballast water treatment systems (BWTS) to remove planktonic organisms from ballast water to help end the aquatic invasive species problem.

The Navy League recognized the facility as a “fundamental force for research, development, testing, and evaluation of ballast water treatment systems.”

Golden Bear is Cal Maritime’s 500-foot training ship, owned by the U.S. Department of Transportation, Maritime Administration (MarAd) and operated by Cal Maritime. It houses and trains Cal Maritime cadets during the academic year while remaining at dock at the academy’s Vallejo, Calif., campus. Each summer, cadets at Cal Maritime who — in addition to their bachelor’s degrees — are pursuing a U.S. Coast Guard license to become a credentialed merchant mariner embark on an extended training voyage aboard Golden Bear.

Golden Bear is also an operational vessel with purpose-built laboratories for the research, development, testing and evaluation of technologies and practices that reduce marine vessel environmental impacts. 

The academy’s campus provides both fresh and brackish waters, offering developers and vendors of large ballast water treatments systems two of the three salinity requirements specified by the International Maritime Organization’s guidelines for ballast water treatment.

“Everyone at Cal Maritime is extremely proud of the important work being done by the staff and scientists in the Golden Bear Facility,” said Cal Maritime Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Susan Opp. “It is exciting for all of us that they are being recognized nationally for being true innovators in a field that has global impact and implications.”

Key Cal Maritime personnel for the Golden Bear Facility include Bill Davidson, director; Rich Muller, associate director; and Chris Brown, scientific program manager. Dr. Nick Welschmeyer, lead scientist, provides science testing and technical methods development.

The Cal Maritime facility has saved ballast treatment stakeholders’ time and installation costs, by simplifying treatment systems installations due to a plug and play platform. Prototypes can be mounted on the facility’s platform and tested portside or at sea. This static testing platform has reduced the high costs associated with current shipboard testing.

The Golden Bear Facility is a U.S. Coast Guard-certified laboratory for both land-based and ship-based testing of ballast water treatment systems. It has performed testing and evaluation programs for treatment vendors, both domestic and international, seeking regulatory approval to enter the commercial market.

The Navy League of the United States honors outstanding individuals and organizations who have excelled in their areas of expertise at its Sea-Air-Space Exposition. This year, the event is being held at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor Maryland.

By Professional Mariner Staff