The T/S Golden Bear is owned by the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) and is operated by CSU Maritime Academy (Cal Maritime) as a cadet training vessel. In collaboration with MARAD, NOAA, California State Lands Commission, and numerous academic and marine industry partners, the Golden Bear Facility now also serves as a ballast water treatment test facility.
Protecting Our Coastal Waters, Domestically and Abroad
The inadvertent transfer of aquatic invasive species in the ballast water of ships has resulted in adverse impacts to many of the world’s coastal regions. Without additional regulations and treatment options, the threat will continue to pose even greater risks. Ballast water treatment systems, designed and installed in accordance with approved standards, have been accepted by the international marine industry as an effective method of mitigating the movement and discharge of invasive species through ballast water. The challenge was to design a shipboard platform that could objectively test the efficacy of a variety of treatment systems, and execute the testing in a cost-effective manner.
A Unique and Flexible Test Facility
With support of maritime industry partners and state and federal agencies, Cal Maritime developed the Golden Bear Facility (GBF) for testing ballast water treatment systems. Glosten served as the technical consultant for the engineering and design, and helped develop the facility’s standard procedures and quality control practices. GBF has the unique ability to conduct both land-based and shipboard testing, which are both required for a treatment system to gain U.S. Coast Guard and international approval. With the facility’s plug-and-play platform, industry partners working to tackle ballast water issues are able to test systems tailored to meet specific requirements, configurations, and applications.
Golden Bear Facility Awarded USCG Approval
GBF is one of only four subcontracted test facilities in the world approved by the U.S. Coast Guard to perform ballast water management system testing in accordance with domestic and international environmental standards. GBF provides access to researchers working on ballast water treatment solutions, reduces the high costs of testing, and sets the example for standardization and quality control of shipboard experiments. As a training ship, it will also educate merchant marine cadets and general student populations on marine environmental issues and the technologies being implemented as solutions.
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