Removing floating debris will improve environmental quality along river and lakeshore
The Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority has selected Lake Assault Boats LLC, Superior, Wis., to build two specialized aluminum work boats that will remove floating debris from the Cuyahoga River ship channel and the downtown Lake Erie shoreline.
The Port’s Board of Directors has agreed to enter into a contract for up to $358,058 with the company. The project is being funded by a $425,160 Great Lakes Restoration Initiative grant that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded the Port last year.
“This is an important step in our efforts to ensure the long-term health of the ship channel for industrial, commercial and public uses of the river as well as job growth and economic development,” Port CEO Will Friedman, says. “We thank the EPA and our community partners for their key involvement in restoring the Cuyahoga River.”
The two boats, Flotsam and Jetsam, are expected to go into service by late summer. The Port developed the design concept and worked with naval architects on the specifications. The Port will own and operate the vessels.
Flotsam will use a shovel and mesh basket to scoop floating debris from the water and then load it into Jetsam’s special dumpsters for later disposal. Jetsam also will be equipped with a crane to lift small-and medium-sized logs and tires on board. The boats also are designed to tow a floating boom between them to easily and quickly gather debris.
The work will likely create up to five seasonal jobs, according to the port authority.