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EPA Ocean Survey Vessel Debuts in Puerto Rico -- Open to Public

Release Date: 01/27/2006
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(#06008) SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will welcome its new Ocean Survey Vessel, the OSV BOLD to the Caribbean next week. EPA will open its 224-foot research flagship to the public in both Ponce and San Juan. When docked, scientists will lead guided tours of the ship and its equipment. In the coming weeks, the ship will be operating off the coast of Arecibo, Mayaguez and Yabucoa, Puerto Rico.

"We are delighted to welcome the OSV BOLD and its crew to the waters of the Caribbean. During her stay here scientists will use her to take samples and conduct surveys," said Alan J. Steinberg, EPA Regional Administrator. "The OSV BOLD is EPA's flagship and our floating lab. This is a great opportunity for the public to get a firsthand look at how we protect the ocean and coastal waters."

The vessel will be open to the public in Ponce on Friday January 27 and in San Juan on Monday January 30 from 2:30 P.M. to 5:00 P.M. at Frontier pier in the Puerta de Tierra, San Juan. 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 a wide variety of ocean 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 March 31, 2004. The ship can house up to 18 scientists, 19 crew members and remain at sea for weeks as they collect water quality and sediment samples, fish, and other organisms. EPA divers working off the OSV BOLD monitor coral reefs, and other sensitive habitats for impacts from pollution. The OSV BOLD operates in the waters of the Atlantic, Pacific, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean. One of its recent missions was to conduct environmental monitoring in support of the federal response to Hurricane Katrina.

During OSV BOLD Caribbean operations, EPA scientists will study dredged material ocean disposal sites and assess recreational fishing habitats and coral reef. EPA scientists and divers will also take samples of bottom sediment and inventory sensitive reef habitats. The OSV BOLD will work with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and University of Puerto Rico to sample sediment at the Arecibo and Mayaguez Harbor ocean dredged material disposal sites and inventory sensitive reef habitats in the general vicinity of the Yabucoa site.

For more information on the OSV BOLD, please visit To learn more about EPA's work in Puerto Rico, visit: