Coast Guard's Healy finishes global-warming research mission, returns to Seattle
The Healy, which can accommodate up to 50 scientists, conducted two separate scientific missions during this last trip. The first, called the Bering Sea Ecological Study, or BEST, was examining ice and the formation of algae blooms on the bottom of the ice, Lindstrom said.
The first scientific team was on board for 30 days before the Healy returned to Dutch Harbor in the Aleutians to drop them off and pick up another team of scientists, Lindstrom said. With the second team on board for 34 days, the Healy headed further north in the Bering Sea to study how algae and plankton dropped through water channels to the sea floor, where it was consumed by "bottom feeders" — clams and crabs that become food for seals, walruses, and gray and humpback whales, the captain said.
Important work there, studying algae and plankton.
In unrelated news, the USCGC Healy is 420 feet long, can accomidate 138 people on board, has Diesel electric propulsion and can hold 1,220,915 gallons of fuel.
No word on the cost to taxpayers and no word on if they were able to make the trip on one tank of fuel.