ABSTRACT: Ferry Environmental Impacts – Scope and Magnitude

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ABSTRACT: Ferry Environmental Impacts – Scope and Magnitude

There are myriad analyses of particular aspects of a ferry’s environmental impact. There are, for example, papers on wake wash and the attendant shoreline impact, or papers on exhaust emissions and the attendant air quality impact. In this paper I propose to take a different approach, and attempt to describe comprehensively ALL of a ferry’s impacts.

It will of course be impossible to quantify all of those impacts, even for only one ship. Instead I offer the paper as providing a sort of framework for understanding the broad range of impacts that a ship CAN have upon the environment. Armed with such a list, a designer or owner can then decide where to make his Green investment, because reducing impact in one area may result in increases in another. Or alternatively, it may be found that Technology A, being a few percent more expensive than Technology B, not only reduces emission #1, but it has the unexpected benefit of reducing emission #2. It would be impossible to discover these sorts of synergies and benefits if one were not armed with a complete ‘checklist’ of the types of environmental footprint that a ship possesses.

The paper that I offer will be an introduction to the scope and magnitude of the ferry environmental impact 'problem.' Environmental impacts include wake wash and air pollution, but also water discharges, noise pollution, and even thermal and aesthetic pollution. Further, different degrees or proportions of impact are attributable to different points in the ferry timeline: Design, Construction, Operation, Modification, and Disposal.

The paper will provide a conceptual framework for the consideration of ferry environmental impact, and will then populate that framework with a few carefully-chosen data points or examples.

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