On April 15, 2009, NOAA christened a new state-of-the-art research vessel, R/V Bay Hydro II, which will collect oceanographic data in the Chesapeake Bay region – data critical to safe navigation and environmental protection in the nation’s largest estuary. The dedication took place in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, featuring a ceremonial breaking of a champagne bottle over the bow and a cannon salute from the USS Constellation.
“R/V Bay Hydro IIserves as NOAA’s ‘eyes’ to the seafloor of the Chesapeake Bay,” said Mary Glackin, deputy under secretary for oceans and atmosphere. Information collected by the vessel will be used to update NOAA nautical charts and help coastal managers, biologists, planners and policymakers better understand the Chesapeake Bay, which is a major transportation artery in the U.S.’s maritime transportation system.
R/V Bay Hydro IIalso will serve as a hydrographic emergency response unit in the Chesapeake, equipped to provide emergency survey assistance following an Atlantic hurricane or shipping accident that threatens the normal flow of maritime commerce.
R/V Bay Hydro II, three large NOAA survey ships, and six mobile navigation response boats comprise NOAA’s hydrographic fleet. The Baltimore Sun reported the cost of the vessel as $2.1 million.
If you are interested in seeing this vessel, it’s equipment or meeting the crew, these are the upcoming opportunities:
- 5/22, National Maritime Day (Baltimore, MD)
- 7/3-5, Harborfest (Norfolk, VA)
- 10/4, Coast Day (Lewes, DE)
Copyright © 2009 by Marine Science Today, a publication of OceanLines LLC