Green Initiatives at FKNMS
Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, Key West, FL
The following notes are from Chad Stolka, Maintenance Operations Specialist.
- Converted 75% of all lower unit gear cases over to Wise Solutions bio-lubricants in case of a grounding or gearcase failure that would release the petroleum product into the Sanctuary waters.
- Use bio lube greases for all of our trailer axles to prevent the introduction of greases into the water at the boat ramp.
- Clean vessels with bio wash with salt away. This bio soap emulsifies salt and has a hint of wax in it so when we wash the boats down after a mission we are avoiding corrosion, and don't have to worry about the water going over board because the soaps will not have any adverse action on our coral.
- Bio bilge wash - we put a few cups of this product into our Law Enforcement vessels bilges. While the boat is underway it will slosh the bilge wash around. The overall goal here is the wash coats the bilge with a cleaner so when our officers respond to a turtle injury or debris cleanup the water that makes it into the bilge from these items won't become stagnant and cause a foul smell in the bilge area and can be safely pumped overboard by the bilge pump.
- Currently we have just made an order for Bio-ATF (automatic transmission) fluid and hydraulic steering fluids. Our goal is to ensure that if we were to lose/damage a trim tab on a vessel, the ATF fluid that is inside them will not be harmful if it were to be discharged underwater. The steering fluid is the same concept. If we were to lose a steering cylinder, the fluid drains into the splashwell of the vessel and makes its way into the water.
- We currently have been using the heavy duty bio de-greaser to clean all of our equipment throughout the Nancy Foster Center.
- We are about to convert over the hydraulic fluids for our forklift to bio hydraulic oil. In case we were to lose a cylinder the after effects will be as minimal as possible.
I have contacted and worked with various engine manufacturers about how the effects of using bio-based products would be on their products with regard to warranty/wear and tear. What I've found is the engine manufacturers are very interested in hearing about the project at hand but fall short of promoting someone else's product. The common response I get from the manufacturers is that "If it meets our API standards listed in our owner's manual then you are free to use it, but we recommend our brand of oil."