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Tidewater Current





Original Content & Curated News Featuring Sustainable Endeavors in Coastal Virginia & Beyond.

Clean/Eco Transport:

Toyota Support Energy ObserverToyota Corporation supports the Energy Observer Expedition | Image: Toyota Europe

Changing the Current to Power the Future:

Repurposed from the Formule Tag, a former world record racing catamaran, the Energy Observer has been converted into a floating laboratory to trial and demonstrate climate friendly propulsion. With a vision to build a hydrogen future, Toyota France has dived into to support a pioneering mission to showcase the potential of the substance: A round-the-world hydrogen powered journey in a state-of-the-art self-fueling vessel that captures the power in nature without harming it.

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John Collamore of the Colonia Seaport Foundation with Model of the Luna

Charting a Course for Sustainable Transport:  Luna Project Aims to bring Sail Freight to the Chesapeake Bay

The Colonial Seaport Foundation, based out of Deltaville, Virginia is undertaking a massive reconstruction project. With the hull of a 1976 gaff topsail ketch, they are recreating a colonial era Bermuda sloop painstakingly pieced together from parts salvaged from destroyed vessels. Measuring 76 feet in length with 50 feet on deck, the vessel will be used for educational outreach and, in keeping with its historical objective, cargo transport.

President of the Colonial Seaport Foundation, John Collamore, exhibiting a model of the of the Luna.

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Avoiding a Collision Course - Local & Global Action

With numerous humpback whale strandings in the Chesapeake Bay region over recent winters, locals are concerned. To mitigate potential impacts that naval operations in and around the Chesapeake Bay region could have on migrating species, the Navy initiated a local 3 year study to establish a baseline of behavioral patterns for humpback whales in training and vessel transit areas. Whale ship strikes are unfortunately not just a local concern, they are an international problem. When you look at a map of the volume of ship traffic, its easy to see why. As an ecological dilemma of global proportions, the United Nations is now considering how to protect whale species in their habitat which often overlaps with economically important trade routes.

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W&M ELF Encounter - New Machine Demonstrates Sustainable Transport in Williambsurg, VA - From its North Carolina design hub, the solar and human powered ELF is emerging as an attractive form of transport all over the country. Read more.


Carbon Neutral Fuels - Companies like Algenol are working to deliver CO2 sequestering fuels. Diverting the gas from smokestacks to feed algae bioreactors is one way fuels are being derived. Another production method extracts ambient CO2 from the air. Read more.


Converting to Electric Transport

Learn about electric vehicles and how one Virginia teacher converted an old VW into a very reasonable EV.

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Carbon Offsetting & Reduction in Aviation

A major milestone in the battle against climate change, the Paris Agreement failed to include anything about growing greenhouse emissions from the airline industry. The good news is that an initiative to curb international airline emissions was agreed upon in the Fall of 2016. The United Nations body that represents the international airline industry met in Montreal in October. In a statement on October 6, US Secretary of State John Kerry notes that the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) representing 191 states "adopted an unprecedented global market-based measure that puts the international aviation industry on a path toward sustainable, carbon-neutral growth." The Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation calls for capping international airline CO2 emissions at 2020 levels. Read more about this and more momentous climate action, including the upcoming Paris Treaty entry into force here.

Hermione - A Heroine of the American Revolution Returns 3.26.15 - A replica of the Hermione, which was instrumental in winning America's freedom during the revolutionary war will be making stops along the East Coast this summer.

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Hokulea picHōkūleʻa | Polynesian Voyaging Society

Wayfinding Sailors Journey to the Chesapeake Bay

Ocean explores are no strangers to Virginia's shores, but the crew of a Polynesian sailing vessel on a round-the-world tour made their way to the Chesapeake Bay without the aid of modern navigation technology. Check out this Youtube of their stop at port in Yorktown, VA. Read more about the wider mission of connecting and networking with the world's political and social navigators to garner collective action for a more sustainable planetary path.


Initiatives Inspire Energy Transformation

Clean energy and climate activists are not just taking to the streets: They're launching epic initiatives and pulling off impressive feats. Eco adventurers have embarked on monumental journeys to inspire the masses and demonstrate the potential of solar and wind powered craft. The ripple effect of the global wave of activism is even being felt in Tidewater. Read about local and global endeavors underway like Team Hydroptere's quest to reach Hawaii in record time. There they plan to rendezvous with the crew of the Solar Impulse 2, an aircraft circling the globe powered totally by the sun.

Image: Virginia Tech

Automated Vehicle Testing & Research in the Commonwealth

In the Fall of 2015, federal and state officials were treated to an automated driving experience courtesy of the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute. Among the participants of the test drive conducted on a 10 mile stretch of Interstate 395 in Northern Virginia was Senator Mark Warner. Read More.

Sailing Into a Sustainable Future

With the return of sailing cargo ships, the testing of biofuels in Navy vessels and the completion of a year and a half long circumnavigation of the globe powered entirely by the sun, we are witnessing the transformation of the shipping/water craft industry. Whether you look at commercial shipping and transport, military vessels or recreational/pleasure craft, noteworthy examples of sustainable technologies are being deployed. In the posts that follow, information will be provided on sustainable programs, cleaner fuels and renewable energy systems that are being utilized to power vessels as well as designs or devices that are being used to increase fuel efficiencies.

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See Also, Marine Propulsion – Is Wind back on the Horizon?

& Reviving Sail Transport

Solar Powered Journeys Across America. As aviators prep for an upcoming ground breaking cross country trip aboard the Solar Impulse (pictured), miles away in Petaluma, another team embarked today on a significant solar powered transcontinental mission.  The ground based team, led by Yorktown, Virginia based Coast Guard Chief Electrician's Mate Ray Rehberg is comprised of off duty and retired Coasties who will travel 200 miles per day at 25 mph in an electric golf cart charged in part through roof top mounted solar panels.  While this will be the first ever solar/electric powered golf cart transcontinental tour, the goal for this team is not so much to demonstrate solar technology, but to raise awareness and funding for another important cause:  wounded warriors.



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