Date: Tuesday, April 11, 2023
Leonardo, N.J. — Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland today visited New Jersey to tour the Old Barracks Museum in Trenton, which is playing an important role in the effort to tell a more complete story of America. Secretary Haaland also toured the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement’s (BSEE) National Oil Spill Response Research and Renewable Energy Test Facility (Ohmsett), where new technologies and training are helping the United States and the international community better plan for and respond to oil spills. With enthusiasm growing around a clean energy economy, BSEE is also using Ohmsett to advance new renewable energy science and technologies, such as marine kinetic energy.
Secretary Haaland, Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman and Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora toured the Old Barracks Museum and met with local and state leaders. The museum preserves and maintains the barracks utilized during the French and Indian War and by both the British and Continental Armies during the Revolutionary War. It also focuses on the colonial and revolutionary history of New Jersey, the people who made that history, and why it matters. The museum is currently investigating the role of Black and Indigenous soldiers in the Battle of Trenton.
Serving as a museum for over a century, the building has been used as an iconic symbol to represent the state of New Jersey, and along with the Crossroads of the American Revolution National Heritage Area, promote a greater understanding of the state of New Jersey’s Revolutionary-era historical sites.
Secretary Haaland later traveled to Leonardo to tour the Ohmsett facility with Congressman Frank Pallone and BSEE Director Kevin Sligh. Ohmsett is one of the largest outdoor saltwater wave/tow tank facilities in the world where full-scale oil spill response equipment testing, research and training can be conducted with oil in a marine environment under controlled conditions. At the facility, BSEE is spearheading new technologies and training for responders in America and around the world to better plan for and respond to oil spills.
Many of today’s commercially available oil spill response products have been tested at Ohmsett and a considerable body of knowledge, including equipment performance data, has been amassed from the facility over the past several decades. The above ground concrete test tank is filled with 10 million liters of saltwater from nearby Sandy Hook Bay. In the tank, facility staff and engineers can use real oil and dispersants, generate waves of various heights and frequencies, and drive a moveable bridge to monitor experiments and training activities.