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Environmental Monitoring


December 2016 Issue

CAEM Gets Clean
Air Award for METS-1

Clean Air Engineering-Maritime (CAEM) has earned the South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) Clean Air Award for 2016 in the category of Innovative Clean Air Technology. The award recognizes CAEM’s efforts to reduce air pollution in the Port of Los Angeles through their Maritime Emissions Treatment System (METS-1), which captures and treats more than 90 percent of PM, NOx, SOx and related diesel pollutants emitted.

New Study Helps
Protect Florida Seagrass

Seagrass beds, vital habitat for Florida wildlife, may decline if poor water clarity obscures their sunlight. Now, resource managers in Charlotte Harbor have new tools to keep water clarity on target, thanks to a study by Mote Marine Laboratory and Janicki Environmental Inc. that provides new mathematical modeling tools for a Water Clarity Report Card to help safeguard Charlotte Harbor’s more than 62,000 acres of seagrass habitat.

The new study presents an Optical Model, which translates water quality sampling results—water color, turbidity and chlorophyll—into water clarity values, describing how much light will be blocked from seagrasses at a given depth. The model can estimate clarity more consistently than instruments can measure it in the field. The Water Clarity Reporting Tool by Janicki Environmental Inc. compares present and past water clarity, detecting improvements and declines.

Environmentally Friendly
Jellyfish-Inspired Lodge

A fleet of floating jellyfish purifying polluted rivers and streams is the idea behind Janine Hung’s Jellyfish Lodge, comprising trash-collecting tentacles, aquaponic gardens and water filtration systems. The idea received an honorable mention in this year’s Biodesign Competition.

The lodge’s solar-powered structures feature aquaponic gardens that grow food while purifying the air with an electrostatic system. The jellyfish design of the lodge has long tentacle arms to collect drifting trash, test water for toxicity and treat water though microbial digestion chambers before returning it to the surrounding environment.

First Ever Global
Compendium on HAB

UNESCO has published the first ever global compendium on harmful algal blooms (HAB), micro-organisms that deplete fish stocks, destroy fish farms and bring disease and death to humans and sea animals. “Toxic and Harmful Microalgae of the World Ocean” examines trends in the spread of HAB and evaluates policies to contain them.

HAB increase is closely coupled with the intensified exploitation of coastal zones for aquaculture, tourism and other human activities bringing people and resources in contact with toxic microalgae. An overload of nutrients from human waste and chemical runoff, overfishing and increased maritime transport promotes HAB growth.

Ghost Crab Pots Affect
Chesapeake Bay Harvests

A new NOAA study estimates that derelict or “ghost” crab pots catch more than 6 million blue crabs in Chesapeake Bay each year, with more than half these crabs—3.3 million—succumbing to captivity. Efforts to remove derelict pots have increased baywide harvests by 38 million lb. over six years, or $33.5 million.

Targeted pot removals in heavily fished areas would increase catch efficiency and reduce bycatch mortality. Removing even 10 percent of derelict pots from the five most heavily fished sites in Virginia and Maryland would increase the baywide blue crab harvest by 22 million lb. Minimizing overlap between crabbing and boat traffic and educating vessel operators to avoid pots would greatly reduce pot loss.

ICS Supports Decisions

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) applauded the agreement reached by the IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) to develop a comprehensive Road Map for addressing carbon dioxide emissions from international shipping, with initial reduction commitments to be agreed on by 2018.

The IMO Road Map will go much further than the Paris Agreement, with the final stage to be enacted by 2023 to establish a global mechanism for ensuring that the IMO reduction commitments will actually be delivered.

ICS also welcomed the adoption of the revised mandatory and more robust G8 Type Approval Guidelines for ballast water treatment systems, in advance of the entry into force of the IMO Ballast Water Management Convention in September 2017.

IMO member states also decided on the implementation date of the global sulphur cap, confirming that the requirement for marine fuel to have a sulphur content of 0.50 percent or less (outside of Emission Control Areas) will be implemented in 2020.

Bethany Fox Wins Poster
Prize at IWA Conference

Bethany Fox, a Ph.D. student at University of the West of England, attended the International Water Association (IWA) Diffuse Pollution and Catchment Monitoring conference at Dublin City University, alongside Chelsea Technologies Group’s (CTG) Justin Dunning, a keynote speaker at the conference.

Fox presented a poster on her research, undertaken as part of the NERC CASE studentship award in association with CTG. Her poster “Fluorescence technologies for water quality and ecosystem health monitoring” won second prize in the Royal Society of Chemistry poster awards at the conference.

OGCI to Invest $1 Billion
In Low-Emissions Tech

The Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI) will invest $1 billion over the next 10 years to develop and accelerate the commercial deployment of low-emissions technologies and identify ways to cut the energy intensity of transport and industry, Statoil reported. This investment represents an unprecedented level of oil and gas industry collaboration. The OGCI has identified two initial focus areas: accelerating the deployment of carbon capture, use and storage; and reducing methane emissions from the global oil and gas industry to maximize the climate benefits of natural gas.


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