Friday, July 14, 2017

San Diego Pilot Projects

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of San Diego will be funding four pilot projects aimed at developing local businesses focused on aquaculture and blue technology.

The port commission on June 20 authorized agreements with:

• San Diego Bay Aquaculture for a five-year project to develop shellfish aquaculture nursery operations and to operate a floating upweller nursery system in San Diego Bay with $351,600 from the port;

• Red Lion Chem Tech for a one-year pilot project to get rid of dissolved copper in seawater using filtration technologies with $165,000 in port funds;

• RentUnder for a two-year demonstration of Drive-in Boatwash, which would allow for in-water boat hull cleaning while lowering copper dissolved into the bay. The company would use the port’s $140,000 to fabricate and install the boatwash; and

• Swell Advantage, which would be funded $100,000 on developing smart marina software.

The four agreements stem from the Port’s Blue Economy incubator, which was created in 2016.

“The Port is a long-time champion and catalyst of our water-dependent economy,” said Port Commissioner Marshall Merrifield, one of the City of San Diego’s three representatives on the Board. “The Blue Economy incubator will assist in piloting new technologies and attracting innovative tenants who can deliver multiple benefits to the entire Port community such as fisheries enhancement, ecosystem restoration, water quality improvement, environmental monitoring, and education and outreach.”