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2013 Environmental Improvement Award Winner

Environmental Enhancement

Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority - “Flotsam & Jetsam: Leading Environmental Restoration in Cleveland Harbor (Click here for full report)

The Cuyahoga River is cleaner and more beautiful after the first full season of operation for the sister work barges Flotsam and Jetsam, commissioned and built to unique specifications with a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  They were designed and put into service to restore and protect the environmental quality of the Cleveland waterways, to improve the aesthetic condition of the water­ways and improve overall safety for industy and recreational users of the waterways.

The Port of Cleveland owns and commands vessel operations and works with other local authorities for crew and job-planning responsi­bilities.  Flotsam carries a mini-excavator with a custom shovel to scoop out debris, which is then loaded into special trash containers on Jetsam for disposal.  The vessels also carry water pumps to contain debris and floating booms for chemical spills, and one of them is fitted with a hydraulic crane with grapple.  They are durable, powerful and compact (each about 26x11’) and able to work efficiently in tight quarters.  These barges have demonstrated their ability to tow, lift, sweep, corral and remove all types of floating debris without direct handling by the crew.

Only a few weeks after their commissioning, Flotsam and Jetsam demonstrated their value by removing about 24 tons of floating debris generated from Superstorm Sandy.  The vessels and crew have performed beyond expectations and have become a familiar sight and a source of pride for the port and all Clevelanders.