Thanks to Gary Jones for sharing his photo from Alki Point. The newest notable sighting at sea off West Seattle is NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown (R-104), the federal agency’s largest ship at 274 feet. It’s docked on the Duwamish River tonight, as shown on MarineTraffic.com; the latest fleet report from NOAA says the ship arrived from Dutch Harbor, Alaska, after studying “bioeffects of the Chukchi Sea,” described further:
Assess habitat conditions that influence biodiversity and distribution of benthic infaunal communities, contaminants, and chemical body burdens of resident organisms as measures of environmental health in the bays and lagoons in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas in the vicinity of proposed oil transport pipelines. Baseline data will be essential for monitoring pollution control effectiveness and National Resource Damage Assessment activities in the event of a spill.
The Chukchi Sea is where Shell had drilled before announcing earlier this fall that it would end its Arctic Ocean exploration TFN. The Ronald H. Brown is homeported in Charleston, South Carolina; no word how long it’ll be here.