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EPA’S Ocean Survey Vessel To Visit Savannah – Tours Will Be Open to the Public

Release Date: 04/03/2009
Contact Information: Davina Marraccini, (404) 562-8293, marraccini.davina@epa.gov

(ATLANTA – APRIL 3, 2009) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Ocean Survey Vessel (OSV) BOLD will make its first appearance in Savannah, Ga., next week. EPA's 224-foot research flagship will be docked at the Savannah Riverfront and will be open to the public. Free public tours will be conducted Apr. 9 and 10 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. by the U.S. EPA, the University of Georgia Marine Extension Service and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The OSV BOLD is equipped with state-of-the art sampling, mapping, and analysis equipment including side scan sonar, underwater video, water sampling instruments, and sediment sampling devices, which scientists use in various monitoring activities.

The vessel is a converted U.S. Navy T-AGOS class vessel and is 224 feet long and 43 feet wide. EPA acquired the OSV BOLD on Mar. 31, 2004. The ship, its crew and EPA scientists collect water quality and sediment samples, fish, and other organisms in the Pacific, Atlantic, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico.

During its tour of duty in the area, the OSV BOLD will be used to:

    Monitor ocean dredged material disposal sites in the southeast at four sites, including Savannah, Ga., Jacksonville and Tampa, Fl., and Mobile, Ala.;
    Conduct coral reef monitoring in the Dry Tortugas National Park and the surrounding Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary; and
    Investigate the ecological impact of an invasive coral species, Tubastraea coccinea, which may pose a threat to the health and biodiversity of Florida, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico reef ecosystems.

The EPA deploys the OSV Bold on numerous scientific surveys each year. The OSV Bold supports EPA's efforts to monitor and assess impacts on ocean and coastal waters from land- and ocean-based human activities and naturally occurring ecological disturbances. EPA began using the 224-foot OSV Bold as a research vessel in 2005 to perform extensive marine surveys along the Atlantic Coast and Gulf of Mexico. In 2008, the ship visited the Pacific Coast for the first time. It has returned to the east coast and will begin survey activities in the Southeast in April.

For additional information about the OSV Bold, visit www.epa.gov/bold