MarAd Awards Contract to Battle Invasive Species

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration has awarded a $350,000 contract to the Northwest-Midwest Institute’s Great Ships Initiative to develop appropriate protocols for ballast water discharge sampling. 

Ballast water has been a major factor in the spread of invasive species.  Proper and standardized ballast discharge sampling protocols are fundamental to verifying that ballast water treatment technology is effective aboard a working ship, as well as in the laboratory.  The new contract is for targeted, empirical, engineering and biological research to design and validate a ballast sampling method that is reliable, replicable, and cost-effective for both the ship owner and the regulatory community.

The contract complements a cooperative program being conducted in the , for which the Maritime Administration provided vessels to test treatment technologies; and past support for the Great Ships Initiative construction of a world-class land-based ballast treatment testing facility in Duluth-Superior Harbor of Lake Superior.

The Great Ships Initiative is a collaborative effort to end the problem of ship-mediated introductions of invasive species in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway System. 

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