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Archive for the ‘ocean’ Category

Seattle firm plans Pacific Coast’s first offshore wind farm

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Windfloat-large_03The nation’s first offshore wind farm on the Pacific Coast cleared a crucial federal hurdle when Seattle’s Principle Power received approval to move forward on a commercial lease for the proposed $200 million, 30 Mw project.

Principle Power received the go-ahead last month from a Department of the Interior agency to lease 15 square miles of federal waters 18 miles from Coos Bay, Oregon. If the lease request gets final approval, the WindFloat Pacific project would anchor the first offshore turbines in federal waters on the West Coast. It also would be the first in the nation to use triangular floating platforms instead of single piles driven into the ocean floor. Read the rest of this entry »

Climate change whack-a-mole

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALarge water desalinization plant installations that will replenish water supplies hit by shrinking aquifers are good and necessary things, but those plants require a tremendous amount of energy produced from heavily polluting coal-fired plants, a story in the March 18 New Yorker reported.

Uh-oh.

Devouring a passel of “mega-crabs” from the Chesapeake Bay is pretty great if you’re a big fan of the Maryland Blue Crab, but not so good if that enjoyment comes at the expense of the Bay’s oyster population.

Uh-oh again.

It’s hard not to get the feeling that addressing climate change and pollution is often a case of one step forward and two steps back. Or like a perverse game of whack-a-mole. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by William DiBenedetto

April 22, 2013 at 3:00 am

Maritime Industry Goes Sustainable

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Shipping lines, shipbuilders, banks, insurers and shippers are joining forces on a major sustainability initiative that’s “designed to help the industry make long-term plans for future success.”

They call it the Sustainable Shipping Initiative/Vision 2040. They even assert that “radical changes” are needed to make the global shipping industry more energy efficient, environmentally-friendly and sustainable for the long haul.

The initiative unites maritime-related companies from across the industry with the NGO’s Forum for the Future and WWF, including:

Written by William DiBenedetto

November 10, 2011 at 2:00 am

Staxxon: Folding the box inside the box

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Containerization revolutionized the maritime freight transportation industry more than 50 years ago; those ubiquitous 20- and 40-foot steel intermodal boxes seen in ports and on truck and rail chassis have made cargo handling faster, easier, safer and more efficient.

The next revolutionary phase of containerization might well reside in the vertical folding container from Staxxon Technologies, a clever solution to the old trade imbalance problem of moving and repositioning empty containers from where the freight isn’t to where the freight is. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by William DiBenedetto

November 1, 2011 at 2:00 am

IMO’s “Mandatory” Vessel Emission Reduction Regime

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An International Maritime Organization panel adopted what it is called “mandatory” design and operational measures to reduce greenhouse gases from international shipping.

According to the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee, which has met 62 times on this issue, last month’s action is the “first ever mandatory greenhouse gas reduction regime for an international industry sector.”

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Written by William DiBenedetto

August 9, 2011 at 2:00 am

Can Supply Chains Reduce Emissions and Costs?

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It’s not necessarily an either/or proposition. Logistics managers trying to optimize supply chains for sustainability and emissions reductions face a tough question: how to implement those goals without breaking the bank.

The conventional thinking is that there’s always tradeoff: A transport company can reduce its CO2 emissions along a supply chain, but at a higher operating cost. Often much higher.

Findings released last month during a webinar sponsored by Finished Vehicle Logistics magazine suggest that in certain cases at least the best of both worlds is possible. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by William DiBenedetto

June 7, 2011 at 2:00 am

Maersk Triple-E Ships Get “E’s” for Effort, Expense and Extravagance

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Maersk Line, the world’s largest container ship operator, is building a fleet of the world’s largest container vessels—in a deal that includes 10 firm orders and another 20 on option for a total potential cost of $5.7 billion—to transport freight in the Asia-Europe trade.

The Danish company is calling these mega-ships—each capable of carrying the equivalent of 18,000 twenty-foot containers—the Triple-E. Maersk says that is for economy of scale, energy efficiency and environmentally improved.

The latter item is a major marketing point, especially for shippers with sustainability and environmental commitments for their products and supply chains. Maersk contends that the ships will bring significant environmental improvements in terms of reduced emissions to the shipping table. Think of it as a more is less approach. The company claims the vessels will produce “the lowest possible amount of CO2 emissions — an astonishing 50 percent less CO2 per container moved than the industry average on the Asia–Europe trade.” Read the rest of this entry »

Written by William DiBenedetto

March 3, 2011 at 2:09 am

The July wave: Ocean policy in DC and the Plastiki in Sydney

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Here’s a long one for Blog Action Day 2010 and change.org.

July was a big month for ocean policy and global attention on polluted oceans.

On July 19 President Obama signed an Executive Order establishing a National Policy for the Stewardship of the Ocean, Coasts, and Great Lakes. His order adopted the 96-page Final Recommendations of the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force and directs Federal agencies to take the appropriate steps to implement them.

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Written by William DiBenedetto

October 15, 2010 at 2:00 am

Recycled Plastic Boat Arrives in Sydney

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A short update on the Plastiki: The 60-foot catamaran made out of more than 12,000 recycled plastic water bottles  arrived in Sydney, Australia Monday after sailing some 8,000 nautical miles in 130 days.

The journey’s intent was to show that trash – mainly in the form of plastic water bottles – can be made useful, to publicize the huge area of plastic trash and other debris known as the Great Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch and to demonstrate a new approach to boat-building, namely one sans fiberglass.

A major goal on the voyage from San Francisco to Sydney was to draw attention to the health, mostly the lack of it, of the world’s oceans. The vessel’s itinerary brought it close to Hawaii, the Bikini Atoll, and the Tarawa Islands. Its course also followed the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, where floating plastic covers an area twice the size of Texas.

David de Rothschild, the youthful heir to the European banking fortune, environmentalist, adventurer and head of Adventure Ecology, lead the Plastiki Expedition. The expedition was launched in March.

Plastiki’s crew also included Skipper Jo Royle, Co-Skipper David Thomson, Olav Heyerdahl, Graham Hill, Luca Babini, Matthew Grey, Max Jourdan, Singeli Agnew and Vern Moen.

Its hull is made entirely out of recycled plastic bottles filled with carbon dioxide. Nearly everything on the boat from the hull to the sails is made from recycled materials.

Solar panels, wind and sea turbines generates power. It also has an on-board exercise bike to provide extra power for electronics, including a laptop. An onboard hydroponic garden provided fresh greens for the crew, including

The catamaran’s frame uses a new plastic product called self-reinforced polyethylene terephthalate, or srPET. Developed in Europe, it is similar in strength to fiberglass, but unlike fiberglass it is made of 100 percent recyclable plastic.

A photo slideshow that the crew published illustrated an ancillary benefit of the expedition: That  an 8,000 catamaran-trip across the Pacific is a great way to lose weight.

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Written by William DiBenedetto

July 27, 2010 at 10:37 am

Sinking feeling: The infrastructure challenge of water

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Among the usual suspects that make up U.S. infrastructure challenges, including land development, roads, bridges and a host of other transportation needs, add water systems to the list, according to a report released this month by the Urban Land Institute and Ernst & Young.

In fact we are way too profligate with the way we use our water, which will soon turn into a major environmental and infrastructure problem, the report, Infrastructure in 2010: An Investment Imperative, says.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by William DiBenedetto

April 21, 2010 at 11:36 am

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