NOAA to Conduct Environmental Study of Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet

July 9, 2008

NOAA will assess the potential environmental impact of more than 70 federally owned obsolete and decommissioned vessels moored in Suisun Bay, Calif., during a series of field tests in July and August.

Scientists with NOAA’s Damage Assessment, Remediation and Restoration Program will test bay sediment and bivalve tissue for heavy metals and other contaminants that may have been released into the marine environment from the vessels of the Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet.

The sampling plan was developed with input from California state agencies and local organizations in response to concerns about the potential release of hazardous materials for the ships.

“NOAA is pleased to provide scientific expertise to determine what impact the reserve fleet vessels may be having on the natural resources of Suisun Bay,” said Rob Ricker, regional manager, NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration, “We look forward to sharing the results of this study with federal, state and local officials and the public.”

Researchers expect to release preliminary results of the field studies later this year. Monthly reports on the Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet Assessment Project are available online.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and information service delivery for transportation, and by providing environmental stewardship of our nation's coastal and marine resources. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with its federal partners, more than 70 countries and the European Commission to develop a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it observes, predicts and protects.