delware environmental institute

Ferry as research vessel: Monitoring system on MV Twin Capes measures Delaware Bay water quality data

Ferry as research vessel: Monitoring system on MV Twin Capes measures Delaware Bay water quality data

During the summer, the University of Delaware College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment (CEOE), with the cooperation and assistance of Delaware River and Bay Authority (DRBA), launched a unique research project using a complex, automated measurement and sampling system on the MV Twin Capes. The SeaKeeper 1000, manufactured and installed aboard the ferry vessel by YSI, Inc. of Yellow Springs, Ohio, collects water quality data while the vessel transits the Delaware Bay.

“Although historically it did not suffer the extreme pollution of the urban Delaware River, the Delaware Bay does suffer from more subtle ‘pollution,’ habitat destruction and overfishing,” said Jonathan Sharp, oceanography professor in CEOE who has been studying the estuary of the Delaware River and Bay for more than three decades and is assisted in this project by doctoral student Yoana Voynova. “A research understanding is necessary to eventually provide a routine monitoring capability to assist in managing the valuable resources of the Delaware Estuary.”