Two new projects moving through Port of San Diego Blue Economy Incubator

Posted on: March 22nd, 2021 by Kirenaga Partners

The Port deployed the incubator’s seventh project, ecoSPEARS, which will remove PCBs from contaminated sediments in America’s Cup Harbor; and approved its ninth project, FREDsense, which will provide real-time metals analysis for stormwater monitoring in the bay.

SAN DIEGO—In the same way Silicon Valley made a name for itself in the technology field, some at the Port of San Diego are hoping to do the same for San Diego Bay in the blue economy sector. The Port created the Blue Economy Incubator in 2016 to launch blue tech ventures in the bay and the seventh project to come out of the program was recently deployed and a ninth was recently approved.

“There’s no reason why, just like the Santa Clara Valley came to be known as the Silicon Valley, that the San Diego Bay could one day come to be known as the blue technology bay,” said Port Commissioner Rafael Castellanos.

On Dec. 14, ecoSPEARS was deployed in America’s Cup Harbor for a two-year pilot project. ecoSPEARS uses a NASA-developed technology, Sorbent Polymer Extraction and Remediation System (SPEARS), to remove toxic contaminants from sediment and will be used in the harbor to remove Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs).

“The goal here is to help develop technologies that will result in a cleaner bay,” Castellanos said.

SPEARS uses a scalable mat-liner of plastic spikes filled with a proprietary reagent to reach contaminated sediment around challenging areas such as piers, harbors, pylons, or sensitive wetland areas where dredging may not be feasible. The technology absorbs PCBs like a sponge without the use of any harmful chemicals or byproducts and without harming the aquatic habitat.

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