Saving Green by Going Green


UC San Diego hosted its third annual Sustainability Awards on April 22 to recognize members of the university community whose outstanding commitment to sustainability makes UCSD one of the greenest campuses in the nation. Martin Klein, assistant marine superintendent at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, is one of the pioneers leading the way.  

Klein received a staff sustainability award for reducing carbon emissions of the Scripps research fleet by 30 tons and saving more than 27,000 gallons of fuel annually. He was able to do all of this by using a new kind of paint on R/V Roger Revelle, the flagship of the Scripps fleet.

By using a specialized, eco-friendly paint on the bottom of Roger Revelle, Klein was able to reduce fuel consumption by more than 6.5 percent since its application in December 2007 in Durban, South Africa.

Working at Scripps, a leading oceanographic center, and embracing UCSD's sustainability initiatives, Klein explained, "This is yet another way for us to walk our talk."

Unlike traditional antifouling paints, this new product from International Paint needs only be applied every six years as opposed to the standard two. It is a non-toxic, non-ablative system meaning it won't flake off and contaminate the oceans with toxic chips. It also prevents marine organisms from securing to the ship's bottom only to be scraped off when its time to repaint. Instead, the paint maintains a slick composition, similar to the skin of a dolphin, which releases organisms when the ship is underway and reduces drag on the ship.

Klein intends to eventually outfit the entire Scripps fleet with similar efficient underwater paint systems as one of the many steps taken in the walk towards greening the research industry. (Update: R/V Melvillehas now been outfitted with this new antifouling paint, making it the third ship in the Scripps fleet to utilize this eco-friendly product. July 1, 2009)

"At Scripps our mission is to study and protect our oceans and planet. This mission does not stop at the shipboard laboratory door. As ship's crews and land-based support, we continually search for non-polluting, energy efficient, and carbon-neutral ways to do our work," said Klein.

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