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New Environmental Research Ship Docks in Baltimore


BALTIMORE - EPA Regional Administrator Donald S. Welsh today hosted a tour of the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency’s new Ocean Survey Vessel (OSV) Bold. The 224-foot ship, docked in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor today, is a floating scientific laboratory that helps EPA monitor public health and environmental threats to our oceans, bays, and estuaries.

“EPA is very proud and excited about our newest tool to use in protecting marine environments. The Bold is a state-of-the-art survey ship, equipped with the latest technology to support the various monitoring and educational tasks necessary to preserve the quality of our oceans and coasts,” said Donald S. Welsh, EPA’s mid-Atlantic regional administrator.

The Bold is equipped to support EPA’s ocean monitoring and educational tasks, carrying an array of sophisticated instruments to collect data on the state of our nation’s oceans and coastal waters. The converted Navy vessel has onboard laboratories, an operating crew of 19 and can accommodate 20 scientists. EPA initiated surveys on the Bold in August.

The OSV Bold is EPA’s only coastal and ocean monitoring vessel. The vessel is 43 feet wide, has a cruising speed of 11 knots, and a range of 3,000 nautical miles.

EPA uses the Bold to help scientists assess marine resources and how they are affected by human activities.

The vessel is used to collect data on oceans and coastal areas in the waters of the Atlantic, Pacific, Carribean and Gulf of Mexico. Policymakers use information gained from ocean and coastal surveys to implement programs to protect our ocean and coastal environments.

In September, the Bold conducted water quality assessments in the Gulf of Mexico in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

The Bold helps EPA monitor areas experiencing degradation from excessive nitrification, as well as monitoring the health of coral reefs and the impacts of ecological disturbances, such as harmful algae blooms. Other projects include monitoring the impacts of disposal of dredged material and wastewater discharges.

Beginning Dec. 6, the Bold will begin monitoring the impacts of dredge disposal from the Baltimore Channel.

The Bold serves as a platform for scuba divers in EPA’s dive program, supporting monitoring, enforcement, and survey efforts.

The Bold also serves as a floating classroom, holding tours and demonstration surveys to educate the public about ocean and coastal environmental issues.

Today’s tour coincided with the beginning of EPA’s Emergency Preparedness, Prevention, and Hazmat Spills conference taking place at the Inner Harbor Hyatt and Sheraton Baltimore, Dec. 5-7.


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