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Alabama’s sea lab gets new research vessel

Staff and students at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab (DISL) have easier access to Alabama’s diverse coastal habitats thanks to the arrival of a new research vessel.

The Claire B is a 25-foot Carolina Skiff capable of ferrying about 20 people to locations around the island. The vessel was purchased by the DISL Foundation thanks to a $25,000 grant from the Alabama Power Foundation and matching donations from supporters.

“The DISL Foundation is grateful to Alabama Power for donating $25,000 for the purchase of a new Catalina Cruiser for the Sea Lab,” said Helene Hassell, executive director of the DISL Foundation. “Vessels are the lifeline of marine biology research and education. Students and researchers alike spend hundreds of hours on the water in our vessels collecting specimens, tagging fish and testing water quality. Reliable vessels are critical to study the ocean and immerse students in it.”

DISL said it has been facing a shortage of reliable small boats to use for student field trips. Hassell said this boat not only alleviates the problem but with the boat’s shallow depth of draw researchers and classes can now access almost any coastal habitat.

“With the addition of this boat we will be able to continue the world-class research and instruction offered at the DISL,” Hassell said.

Alabama Power Mobile Division Vice President Patrick Murphy said the company is proud to support DISL in its research efforts.

“Alabama Power has been a long-time supporter of the Dauphin Island Sea Lab,” said Murphy. “The sea lab plays an important role in educating marine scientists all across the state of Alabama. The Alabama Power Foundation is very proud to contribute to this new research vessel that will be used to help scientists and students learn even more about marine life.”

DISL is Alabama’s primary marine education and research center, founded in 1971 by the Alabama Legislature to provide marine science programs for the state’s colleges and universities. To learn more about the education opportunities available to students, teachers and the public, visit disl.org.

(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)

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