BALTIMORE (AP) — University of Maryland officials say a new research barge will test treatment systems for ballast water, a key source of invasive species in the Chesapeake Bay.

The 155-foot research barge is to be dedicated Tuesday in Baltimore. The university’s Maritime Environmental Research Center says the retrofitted barge will allow ballast water treatment systems to be evaluated in actual working conditions.

The center offers evaluation services for developers and manufacturers of ballast water treatment systems. The systems are designed to prevent the transport of non-native species in ballast water, which ships use for stability after loading and unloading cargo. The water is often pumped onboard in one port and discharged at another.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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