NOAA 2004-R927
Contact: Aja Sae-Kung

NOAA News Releases 2004
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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration granted $1,700,000 to an applied ozone research firm, Nutech-03, Inc. to study invasive species of marine animals and plants that get relocated via ship ballast water. NOAA is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The grant will finance a project to test the effects of ozone on invasive species in ballast water. The technology consists of pumping ozone into the ballast water in hopes of killing the organisms sucked into the ballast tanks via ballast water uptake. Once the ozone enters the ballast water it reacts with naturally occurring elements in seawater to create chemicals toxic to bacteria, viruses and invasive species in the ballast. Soon after this reaction takes place the chemicals break down to their harmless counterparts. Funding from the grant will be used in a four-step process including design and protocol development, fabrication and assembly, installation, and testing and reporting. The project is expected to take place within a one-year period.

“Each year, aquatic invasive species cause billions of dollars in damages on the U.S. economy, much of which is passed on to the consumer,” said retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Ph.D.,
undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “NOAA and the Bush Administration are working to improve the understanding of our environment and to strengthen local and regional research like that of Nutech-03.”

Nutech-03 is a second stage water recycling and pollution control technology developer headquartered in Arlington, Va. The company was developed in 1997 and approached by British Petroleum in 1998 to conduct tests to kill aquatic nuisance species in ballast water. Full scale testing of the ozone system has been extensively tested on board a vessel, the S/T Tonsina, on the West Coast. The work was funded by the Ballast Water Technology Demonstration Program, NOAA Sea Grant, British Petroleum and others.

Each year, NOAA awards approximately $900 million in grants to members of the academic, scientific and business communities to assist the agency in fulfilling its mission to study the Earth’s natural systems in order to predict environmental change, manage ocean resources, protect life and property, and provide decision makers with reliable scientific information. NOAA’s goals and programs reflect a commitment to these basic responsibilities of science and service to the nation for the past 34 years.

The Commerce Department’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of our nation’s coastal and marine resources.

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