Both ferries on the Coupeville to Port Townsend route will now pull double-duty as they take vehicles and passengers across the water. Thanks to sensors installed on their hulls, the Kennewick and Salish ferries also will help monitor water quality in Puget Sound for the Department of Ecology and the University of Washington Applied Physics Laboratory.
The ferries were chosen because they travel back and forth across a key aquatic intersection — where the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the greater Puget Sound meet. This “constriction” point is where circulation and exchange between the basins happen. Measuring the speed and direction of those waters as they flow under the ferry, season after season, will help researchers better understand how oceanic and large-scale climate patterns affect Puget Sound.
The Salish is already equipped with the “acoustic Doppler current profiler.” The sensor will now be added to the Kennewick. Learn more at http://tinyurl.com/FerriesForScience.