New N.C. Ferry-Linked Water Monitoring Generates Data

For the first time in its history, marine scientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH) and Duke University have begun monitoring surface water quality in the Neuse River with the assistance of the Neuse River and its North Carolina Department of Transportation staff.

The effort, which will be called Ferry- Mon, is expected to become a model for ferry-based water quality monitoring throughout the U.S. Co-directed by Drs.

Hans Paerl and Joseph S. Ramus, professors at the UNC-CH and Duke marine laboratories in Morehead City and Beaufort, respectively and project co-directors, will expand their monitoring to the Swan Quarter-Ocracoke and Cedar Island-Ocracoke ferries next spring.

The goals of this program consist of learning how excessive naturally produced nutrients and those resulting from agriculture, industry, municipalities and domestic sources affect the environment and providing information needed for long-term water quality management.

In order to properly implement the system, Ramus and Paerl consulted with colleagues in Finland, where a comparable monitoring system already is operating.

The Finns coerced the two, who commenced work on the N.C. version three years before last year's disastrous effects of Hurricane Floyd, which prompted the state's financial support.

The FerryMon equipment, which is reportedly one of the most sophisticated in the world, was constructed at EndecoYSI of Marion, Mass. According to Paerl, one of the product's major advantages is its cost savings, which results from its placement aboard the ferries.

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Maritime Reporter Magazine, page 28,  Jan 2001

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