Polestar Technologies Inc. Awarded NOAA Contract to Support U.S. National Oceans Policy

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U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has awarded a Phase II - Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) grant to Polestar Technologies to develop methods of monitoring ocean acidification and coral reef decimation.

The rapid decline of living coral reefs has been a major concern of oceanographers and aqua-agriculturists worldwide. The well-being of our planet is directly related to the health of our oceans. The White House delivered its final plan for the U.S. contribution to managing the world’s oceans; outlined in a strategy whose goals are to synchronize more than two dozen government and non-government agencies including fishing, offshore energy exploration, and recreational activities on April 16, 2013. The development efforts of Polestar Technologies Inc. over the past 18 months are in harmony with the end state of this policy – protect our most valuable natural resource. With ever-increasing amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) accumulating in the atmosphere; oceans are absorbing more CO2 than ever before. Part of this CO2 becomes carbonic acid which dissolves in oceans - lowering pH levels. This phenomenon is known as ocean acidification which lowers the carbonate saturation states. A consequence of this phenomenon is that marine calcifying organisms, like corals, coralline algae, mollusks’ and foraminifera (microscopic protozoa) have difficulties producing their exoskeletons and shells. This can have a potentially severe implication for marine ecosystems, including coral reefs and shellfish. The calcification rates in reef-building corals have slowed by 10% over the last 150 years, with predictions to slow another 15-30% by the end of the century.

The work levied on Polestar will include the design and development of a calcium sensor prototype containing both the sensor module and the electronic module for distribution in waters where acidification is to be further studied or where coral reef restoration is ongoing.

Polestar Technologies is a woman owned & managed, small business, located in Needham Heights, Massachusetts. Polestar has been a recognized industry leader in optical sensing and measurement and monitoring technologies since 1993. Polestar Technologies provides a full suite of monitoring and sensor products, chemical process technology consulting, and scientific research for a variety of commercial and government clients. For more information, please visit http://polestartech.com.

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Timothy Bortz

Jim Biagioni
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