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Environmental Monitoring


July 2015 Issue

CIMAS Receives Renewal, Increase in Funding
NOAA awarded the Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies (CIMAS) up to $125 million to fund the consortium’s activities over the next five years.

CIMAS, based at the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, brings together the research and educational resources of 10 partner universities to increase scientific understanding of Earth’s oceans and atmosphere.

The renewal award, and increase in funding, was based upon an “Outstanding” rating CIMAS received during the current award period’s performance review.

Under the new cooperative agreement, Florida Institute of Technology (FIT) has joined the Florida and Caribbean-based university consortium, which includes: Florida Atlantic University, Florida International University, Florida State University, Nova Southeastern University, University of Puerto Rico, University of Florida, University of South Florida and University of the Virgin Islands.

The cooperative institute’s current research priorities—improved hurricane forecasting, facilitating the implementation of ecosystem-based ocean management, prediction of climate on increasingly short time scales and support of the Global Ocean Observing System—are expected to continue over the next five years.

AUV Surveys Complete in West Africa
UTEC NCS Survey has recently completed three months of AUV operations for a number of Saipem projects located in West Africa.

UTEC NCS performed pre-lay and as-laid surveys using their Gavia AUV systems on the Mafumeira and Litchendjili fields, offshore Angola and Congo. An anchor pre-lay side scan sonar survey was carried out in the Mafumeira field to clear the way for barge operations alongside the Mafumeira Norte Platform. Pipeline route and barge anchor corridor pre-lay surveys were carried out in Litchendjili in water depths of 3 to 12 m utilizing the Gavia’s multibeam and side scan sonar. Post-lay operations along the pipeline corridor were conducted via AUV to inspect for free spans and other anomalies.

FastOcean Monitors Carbon in East Australia
Dr. David Suggett and his team at the University of Technology, Sydney have been using a Chelsea Technologies Group FastOcean to monitor coastal health along the east coast of Australia.

FastOcean is a tool to better understand the control of nutrient availability on carbon fixation in waters off the coast of Sydney.

The team has been adopting incubation approaches to better predict CO2 uptake capacity from FastOcean-determined electron transport rates. These data will feed into predictive models of environmental regulation of CO2 fluxes.

The team has also been developing novel functional-trait-based approaches based on photobiological signatures produced by FastOcean to discriminate “healthy functioning” among closely related microbes. They have applied this to the symbiotic algae of corals and are evaluating how this can provide an improved means to determine the susceptibility of corals to stress.

Center to Improve Maritime Security in Philippines
A new National Coast Watch Center (NCWC) for maritime security has opened in the Philippines.

The center is a major milestone in the support provided by the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency to the Philippine Maritime Agencies.

Raytheon Co. designed, implemented, and equipped the center and its coastal system using the company’s integrated border security solutions.

The NCWC is the hub of the Philippines’ National Coast Watch System for maritime security.

The system vastly improves the ability of the country’s maritime forces to detect, prevent and deter threats and security risks across its territorial waters.

Ballast-Check 2 Part of Validation Study
The U.S. Coast Guard Research Development Center (USCG RDC) and the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) co-sponsored a validation study of the effectiveness of variable fluorescence-based instruments as compliance tools for ballast water checks. The study began in June in Key West, Florida. Blind testing of field and lab samples will be conducted through September 2015 at three different sites.

The Turner Designs Ballast-Check 2 is one of three fluorometers included in the validation study. Ballast-Check 2 is a small, lightweight, highly durable, battery-operated PAM fluorometer ideal for quick compliance checks of the ballast water regulation for living algal organisms in the 10-50-micrometer size class.

LR to Test BWTS To Meet USCG Regulations
Lloyd’s Register (LR) has been approved as an independent laboratory (IL) and will begin testing of ballast water treatment systems (BWTS) to meet the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) requirements. All vessels that trade in U.S. waters will be required to have an approved BWTS from the first dry-docking after 2016. LR has signed a memorandum of understanding with the ballast water test facility at DHI Denmark and the electro/technical testing company DELTA to conduct testing as part of the collective IL.

GHG Emissions Rating Tool For Vessel Efficiency
Charterers representing 20 percent of global shipped tonnage now have policies in place to avoid using the most inefficient ships based on the GHG Emissions Rating, a tool developed by RightShip, the maritime risk-management specialist, and Carbon War Room, a nonprofit founded by Sir Richard Branson.

The tool is available for free at ShippingEfficiency.org and allows charterers and other stakeholders to assess the efficiency of vessels. It utilizes an A to G scale, where A represents the most-efficient ships and G the least efficient.

The data held on each individual ship are also used by some companies as a guide for calculating their carbon footprint from maritime shipping.


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