Submersed aquatic vegetation early warning system

Engineer Bruce Sabol of the U.S. ArmyEngineer Research and Development Center,Environmental Laboratory (ERDC-EL) hasdeveloped a cost-effective hydroacousticsystem to detect and map submersed aquaticvegetation. Called the Submersed AquaticVegetation Early Warning System(SAVEWS), the patented technology has beenlicensed and commercialized by BioSonics,Inc., of Seattle, Washington. The system isbeing marketed under thename EcoSAV in a suite ofsoftware designed for use inaquatic habitat and resourceassessments.What was once an arduous,costly, labor-intensiveexercise to locate and mapaquatic vegetation has nowbecome technologicallymore efficient and infinitelymore viable commercially asa result of the uniqueintegration of state-of-the-arthydrosonic equipment, GPSmapping technology,computer software, and acustomalgorithm. Originally conceived as a tool toassist in the early detection and managementof Hydrilla, a noxious aquatic plant seizingcontrol of the Tennessee Valley Authority TVA) reservoir system, the SAVEWS/EcoSAVsystem has gone on to empower governmentagencies and private consulting firms entrustedwith the responsibility of managing thenation’s waterways. Waterways like thosemanaged by the South Florida WaterManagement District proximate to theEverglades have benefited from use of themapping system.With more effective tools, management of ourwaterways becomes moreeffective. And with atechnology like SAVEWS,the ultimate consumerbenefit generally goesunseen, for it is thetaxpaying public thatbenefits from bettermanagement of aquaticresources and the ecologicalservices provided by aquatichabitats and ecosystems. Therelationship between ERDC-EL, Sabol, and BioSonics hasbeen one of reciprocity;however, Bruce Sabol’sinitiative has moved this technology forward,and the benefit will be seen for years to come.
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