Action taken by Lake Superior State University’s Center for Freshwater Research and Education will monitor future oil spills.
Just one day after the release of 27,000 Atlantic salmon yearlings into the St. Marys River, an oil spill happened at Algoma Steel in Sault Ste. Marie, Canada.
Coast Guard officials say a 5,300 gallon tank leaked mechanical oil into the river on June 9. A sheen was evident a few miles down river on the north end of Sugar Island.
A week later, LSSU students installed several oil pollution sensors on the river. This project was in the making for a while, but the oil spill made it urgent to install.
“If there is oil moving down river, those sensors should be able to pick it up,” said Kevin Kapuscinski of LSSU’s Center for Freshwater Research and Education. “They transmit that data real time through cellular networks to the cloud so we can monitor that data in real time, we do not have to go to the sensors and upload the data.”
LSSU received $10,000 in rapid response funding for the project.