Maritime Administrator Sean T. Connaughton and Robert D. Somerville, Chairman and CEO of the American Bureau of Shipping, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to coordinate research efforts on major marine transportation environmental issues and to share information to promote the development of a vital and environmentally responsible merchant marine.
ABS and the Maritime Administration have agreed to coordinate portions of their respective maritime environmental research efforts undertaken for the public good, undertake to coordinate areas of research, avoid duplication of effort, and to achieve research synergies, all to promote the development of a vital and environmentally responsible maritime industry. The products of the collaborative research conducted within the scope of this agreement will be disseminated as widely as possible to the public through the joint and separate means available to the Parties.
“Marine transportation is of vital importance to the United States of America and the entire world and its future is Green,” said Connaughton. “In order to be successful, we need to be collaborating and cooperating on research to address environmental issues currently impacting our industry and be able to anticipate future issues.” "Although marine transportation is the most efficient and environmentally friendly means of moving world trade, we face a constant challenge of developing and applying new technologies that will further reduce this industry's environmental footprint," said Somerville. "This agreement will help us to expand our environmental research in pursuit of those new technologies."
Research efforts expected to be undertaken within the scope of this agreement shall focus on important maritime environmental issues such as port and vessel air emissions, invasive species associated with ballast water or hull biofouling, vessel impact on climate change and greenhouse gases, ship generated noise, environmental impact and energy efficiency use of alternative fuels in maritime settings, environmental impacts of vessel operations on the Arctic and Antarctic Oceans, and vessel waste management programs. In addition to these areas, researchers from the Maritime Administration and ABS will work together to find areas for future collaborative research.
(Source: Maritime Administration Office of Congressional and Public Affairs)