Dredging Work Clears Out Clogged Lagoons

first_imgBy Donald WittkowskiTry to imagine, for a moment, a vast convoy of nearly 1,700 dump trucks rumbling down the highway. And also try to imagine each one of those trucks filled with a load of muddy goo.That is the rough equivalent of all the soup-like sediment that Sean Scarborough’s dredging company removed from the clogged lagoons in Ocean City and other Jersey Shore communities in the past few months.Altogether, Scarborough Marine Group dredged 25,000 cubic yards of muck from the back bays while clearing out private boat slips.Scarborough said some of the lagoons were so clogged with sediment that there was essentially no water in them during low tide, meaning that boats were trapped on mud flats at their own docks.The dredging work, however, deepened the lagoons by 3 or 4 feet, creating plenty of room for boats to get in and out of the channel.“They were extremely clogged, but now they’re in much better shape. You went from being dry at low tide to having 3 or 4 feet of water at low tide. It brought accessibility to the back bays,” Scarborough said in an interview Wednesday.Sean Scarborough says the dredging work has greatly improved the lagoons and boat slips.Scarborough Marine Group cleared out private boat slips in Ocean City, Somers Point, Stone Harbor and Cape May until the end of dredging season on March 31. Now that the dredging season is over for the spring, Sean Scarborough has had a chance to look back at his company’s monumental task.It was a major operation that involved large excavators removing the sediment scoop by scoop. The muck was placed in large floating containers called “hoppers” and then pushed to shore by work boats. Another excavator-like piece of machinery on land was used to load the material from a large container into watertight dump trucks.Each dump truck carried 15 cubic yards of sediment. In all, nearly 1,700 truckloads were needed to haul away the 25,000 total cubic yards of sediment removed by Scarborough Marine Group.Scarborough had a deal with a nursery in Corbin City to use the dredge material to replenish the soil there. It was an environmentally friendly way of repurposing the sediment rather than just dumping it in a landfill. The nursery and Scarborough plan to do the same thing for dredging projects next year.This year, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection extended the dredging season to March 31, giving homeowners an extra month to have their boat slips cleaned out.Private boat slip dredging was an offshoot of Ocean City’s proposed five-year, $20 million dredging program. The city has already dredged several lagoons and channels as it methodically works its way along the entire bayfront.Boat slip owners are able to piggyback on the city’s dredging permits for their own projects. Under the voluntary program, property owners still have to pay for dredging their slips, but the process relieves them of some of the costs and headaches of doing the work on their own, including finding a disposal site for the sediment.Ocean City’s multifaceted dredging program is being touted as a model for all New Jersey shore towns dealing with the dangerous problem of sediment-choked waterways.“Ocean City has been a leader in coming up with innovative solutions to bayside dredging, and all coastal towns will benefit from our work,” Mayor Jay Gillian said in a statement posted on the city’s website in February.Scarborough Marine Group posted a billboard along Roosevelt Boulevard in Marmora.The mayor has made the dredging program a major part of the city’s capital improvement plan. He believes dredging will preserve property values, improve public safety, help the boat owners and marinas and protect the environment.Scarborough Marine Group was one of the companies that took advantage of the extended dredging season. It dredged boat slips at private homes, marinas and condominium associations all along the back bays.In Ocean City, it secured exclusive rights to a site at the bay end of 18th Street for its dredging operations this season and next year, too.Scarborough said his company is already lining up contracts with more homeowners to have their boat slips cleared out when dredging season resumes. He noted there is still plenty of work to do.“We want to be booked up with all of our dredging for the fall,” he said. “It allows you to run a more efficient operation if you can book your jobs in advance for the fall and winter.”Although dredging season technically resumes July 1, Scarborough stressed that there is simply too much boating and other recreational activity on the water during the summer tourism season to safely perform the work. His company will wait until things quiet down in the fall.“We’ll start the day after Labor Day,” he said.The Scarborough Marine Group members “stand down” after the dredging season ends on March 31. (Photo courtesy of Kirsten Fasy) A dredging excavator operated by Scarborough Marine Group scoops out sediment from an Ocean City lagoon in February.last_img read more

China approves its first H5N1 vaccine

first_imgApr 3, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – China’s State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA) yesterday approved the country’s first prepandemic H5N1 influenza vaccine, an inactivated whole-virus product made by Sinovac, a Beijing-based biotechnology company.China’s approval of Sinovac’s Panflu vaccine marks the third H5N1 vaccine to win approval from national or international regulatory bodies. In April 2007, the US Food and Drug Administration approved a Sanofi Pasteur H5N1 vaccine. A month later, the European Union approved a mock-up pandemic flu vaccine made by Novartis (it is designed to speed vaccine production when a pandemic emerges and will not be manufactured until then).Sinovac said its vaccine is approved only to supply China’s national vaccine stockpile and will not be available for commercial sale, according to a company press release yesterday. In 2006 the company said it planned to produce 20 million doses of the vaccine over the next few years, according to a previous report. The latest information gave no production estimate.”This vaccine is reserved for emergencies in the country and we have to get instructions on how much to produce,” Liu Peicheng, Sinovac’s publicity supervisor, told Reuters today.Vaccine experts say there is no guarantee that vaccines based on current H5N1 strains will be effective if a pandemic H5N1 virus emerges, but they hope such vaccines will provide some protection and buy time while a vaccine specifically matched to the pandemic strain is developed.The Sinovac vaccine contains an inactivated Vietnam strain of H5N1 virus and an aluminum hydroxide (alum) adjuvant. A phase 1 study of the vaccine, published in a 2006 issue of The Lancet, induced potentially protective immune responses in 78% of volunteers after two 10-microgram (mcg) doses.In late December 2007, Sinovac in a press release reported preliminary phase 2 results for the vaccine. The trial included 402 adults (aged 18 to 60). Groups received two doses of 5, 10, or 15 mcg of the vaccine.Each dosage induced varying degrees of immune response, but the 10- and 15-mcg dosages reached standards set by the EMEA to indicate good results for seasonal flu vaccines. Sinovac said the trial did not show any serious adverse reactions among the volunteers.The researchers who conducted the phase 1 trial said a whole-virus vaccine offers a dose-sparing advantage, because 20% to 23% of the vaccine antigen is lost during the preparation of split-virus vaccines. However, Iain Stephenson, MD, of the Infectious Disease Unit at Leicester Royal Infirmary in Leicester, England, had said in a Lancet editorial that though whole-virus vaccines usually produce a better response than split or subunit counterparts, it is difficult for manufacturers to switch production methods. Also, he said whole-virus vaccines are linked to febrile reactions in children.Sinovac has also completed a phase 1 trial of a split-virus H5N1 vaccine, which was found to be safe for children, adults, and elderly people, according to its December 2007 press release.Peicheng said Sinovac is also conducting trials to see if its H5N1 vaccine yields cross-protection against other strains, including those from Indonesia, Turkey, and Anhui province in China, Reuters reported.China has reported three H5N1 cases so far this year, all of them fatal.Vietnam starts H5N1 vaccine trialIn other vaccine developments, Vietnamese researchers said today that clinical trials have begun for an H5N1 vaccine that the country is developing, according to a report from Reuters. The vaccine is based on a Vietnam strain of H5N1 virus.The vaccine is being tested in 11 volunteers, all of whom are researchers, the report said. They received their second dose of the vaccine today at the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology in Hanoi.Nguyen Tuyet Nga, an epidemiologist and virologist who is leading the trial, told Reuters that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have helped with the project, though no foreign pharmaceutical firms are involved in the study.Subjects in the trial are receiving two injections 28 days apart, with doses ranging from 3.75 to 45 mcg, Nga said. She also told Reuters that researchers would test the vaccine at a later date to see if it offers cross-protection against other H5N1 strains. The report did not say if the Vietnamese vaccine is a split- or whole-virus product or if it contains an adjuvant.Vietnam has reported five H5N1 cases this year, all of them fatal.See also:Sep 7, 2006, CIDRAP News story “Chinese report results for whole-virus H5N1 vaccine”Apr 2 Sinovac press releasehttp://www.sinovac.com/?optionid=754&auto_id=569Dec 24, 2007, Sinovac press releasehttp://www.sinovac.com/?optionid=754&auto_id=496Oct25 to Nov 2, 2007, CIDRAP News report “The pandemic vaccine puzzle: A seven-part series on the chances for immunizing the world against pandemic flu”last_img read more

All Set for Funke Oshonaike U-21 T’tennis Tourney at LCC

first_imgSpeaking on the tournament, the six-time Olympian called on all Nigerians to come out in their numbers to watch future of table tennis in the country.“I always have that conviction that we have raw talents in the country and all we need is just to harness them.“Starting from Thursday, we are going to witness best of table tennis in the country and it is going to be another opportunity for the kids to show the stuff they are made of.“This is my own way of giving back to the country that made me and also an opportunity to produce another star that will take over from people like (Segun) Toriola and myself,” Oshonaike said yesterday.The competition will start at 2pm today at the Table Tennis section of the Lagos Country Club, Ikeja, Lagos.Apart from cash prize, there will be presentation of trophy and other table tennis equipment to the participant of the three-day tournament.The grand finale will be on Saturday, April 28, the birthday of the ping-ponger.The Chairman of the table tennis section of the Lagos Country Club, Charles Oshuntuyi, said they were very happy to be part of the project, stressing that the competition aligned with the vision of the club to help develop budding talents in the country.Oshuntuyi added that he looks forward to an exciting time with the kids coming together for the competition.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Ugo AliogoAll is set for the second edition of the Funke Oshonaike Foundation U-21 competition as over 40 players are ready to compete for various prize money.The competition which was put up by the Lagos Country Club in celebration of the legend’s 44th birthday will see both male and female players fighting for honour.last_img read more