Suisun Bay Mothball Fleet


Storm Water Monitoring on Suisun Fleet

Several environmental groups have announced they are suing the federal government over a fleet of mothballed warships floating east of San Francisco Bay. The Natural Resources Defense Council and other groups are demanding the U.S. Maritime Administration curb pollution they say the vessels are causing in regional waterways. More than 70 ships comprise the Suisun (suh soon) Bay Reserve Fleet, some dating back to World War II. The old ships were once kept afloat in case of war, but many have fallen into disrepair. A congressional order set a 2006 deadline to scrap more than 50 ships, but a regulatory quagmire has kept the fleet anchored in place. A study has suggested that paint flaking off the ships is shedding tons of toxic heavy metals into the estuary.


Was contracted to collect and analyze storm water samples for the 53 vessels of the Suisun Bay Fleet. The sample analysis included pH, Total Suspended Solids, Specific Conductance, Oil and Grease, CAM 17 Metals, and Petroleum Hydrocarbons. The vessels were prioritized for sampling, with the first sampling session to occur within the first hour of the storm events. Worked closely with the DOT Maritime Project Manager to “stage” the vessels with sampling equipment, transportation via water taxi to the ships and escorts for staff aboard ships. In addition to the sampling, re-sampling was to occur in the event that any analysis exceeds the parameter benchmark values determined by the Storm Water Prevention Plan.