Sea Grant news: Shipworms, ozone, hurricanes

Maine Sea Grant engineers are at work on a new composite technology that could protect wooden piers and marine structures from shipworm attack. Shipworms have caused millions of dollars in damage to piers in ports and harbors worldwide. Harbormasters and wharf owners have watched the creatures turn solid wood into brittle honeycomb. University of Maine engineering professor Roberto Lopez-Anido hopes to reduce the problem by creating a fiberglass and polymer composite shield that is durable in a marine environment. Lopez-Anido and his colleagues have exposed the material to seawater, weather extremes and mechanical stresses in order to test its durability. Shipworms, also called termites of the sea, are not actually worms, but marine mollusks similar to clams. They have long, worm-like bodies with greatly reduced shells at the end. The floating larvae bore tiny holes on the surface of woody materials, and the adults use their shells to create larger tunnels inside the wood. Damage is often discovered too late to do anything except replace the infected structures. To protect and rehabilitate bearing wood piles, the new shield will be wrapped around the piling from the mud line to the high tide level. Lopez-Anido hopes his waterfront repair technology will be ready for deployment and possible commercialization in June, 2002. CONTACT: Roberto Lopez-Anido, Sea Grant Researcher, Professor of Civil Engineering, University of Maine, (O) (207) 581-2119, E-mail: rla@umit.maine.edu URL: http://www.umeciv.maine.edu/rla/

Researchers in a North Carolina Sea Grant administered state fisheries resource research project have found a new use for ozone - enhancing seafood freshness. Scientists at the North Carolina State University Seafood Laboratory found that ozone r

Contact: Ben Sherman
National Sea Grant College Program

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11. Sea Grant News & Notes for March 26, 2003

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