Cummings to Join Kick-Off of MERC

Monday, July 21, 2008

On July 22 Congressman Elijah E. Cummings (Md.-7), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, will join the Maryland Department of Transportation, the Maryland Port Administration, the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, and the U.S. Maritime Administration aboard the MV Cape Washington to announce the kick-off of an important new research and testing project, the Maritime Environmental Resource Center (MERC).

MERC has been organized to help prevent the spread of invasive aquatic species into the Chesapeake Bay and other water bodies in the .  Specifically, the scientists at MERC will test the effectiveness of systems designed to safely treat ballast water before it is discharged from ships' ballast tanks.  There are now more than 150 invasive species in the , most of which are believed to have been introduced through international shipping.

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