Goal: To minimize affects of transportation vehicles in the Galapagos.
Motor vehicle engines generate pollutants, which cause harm to the Galapagos environment. About 92% of the pollution from fuel usage arises from transportation (Ley, 2001). People of the Galapagos currently use motorized scooters, cars, trucks and buses. Making an estimate total of land transport vehicles, proportional to Ecuador’s 48 vehicles per 1000 people (Phrasebase, 2004), the Galapagos probably contains around 600 total.
Due to their high activity, boats are the greatest source of motor pollution. Transportation by water, by use of boats, occurs daily. Boats are needed for fishing, travel, importing, and exporting. In the area currently exist small and medium sized boats with outboard motors (motors hanging off the side), and larger cargo and tour boats with built in motors.
Pangas and Fibras are small and medium boats with outboard motors. Botes are larger boats with built in engines. (Ley, 2001)
All boats and land vehicle motors require importation of oil to the islands. Since 2001, several major oil spills have occurred, spilling about 200,000 gallons of oil in total (Kriz, 2004), harming marine and island animals, vegetation, and overall wellness of the islands.
More on oil spills: http://www.darwinfoundation.org/oilspill.html
Man-powered transportation, such as bicycles, row boats or walking, emit little to no pollutants. Therefore, we want to continue existing programs of encouragement to minimize use of motor vehicles. Currently, he Darwin Foundation has a community program called "A Day Without Cars" which they advertised, encouraging people to not use their cars. Community projects like these will also be in our conservation education programs.
For motorized land and water vehicles, to reduce the oil dependence and pollution, we plan to replace diesel and gasoline powered vehicles with vehicles run by alternative energy. Alternative energy comes in a variety of sources: battery, photovoltaic, wind, compressed natural gas, and hydrogen fuel cell energy. Vehicles exist that run fully on alternative energy and others called hybrids that rely on both alternative energy and gasoline. These alternative energies produce less pollutants than gasoline, therefore decreasing the pollution stemming from current transportation systems.
Also, in using the alternative energy method, along with our plans for energy, oil will no longer require frequent shipping, thus oil spills will not harm the Galapagos area.
More on structures of hybrid vehicles:
-regenerative braking systems: charge batteries while the vehicle is braking
-engine turns off when vehicle is at rest
Land transportation consists of cars, trucks, buses, and motorized scooters. For cars and motorized scooters, we plan to replace these gasoline run vehicles with hybrid vehicles and complete alternative energy run vehicles. This will help reduce the damaging exhaust in the area. Toyota’s Prius, a current hybrid model, comes near 84% lower harmful emissions than an average car (Toyota, 2004). Fully electric models release zero emissions. However, they are more cumbersome to care for (for recharging), thus the people might be more disagreeable with electric motors.
Presently, conservationists have already pushed for hybrids and more eco-friendly vehicles. Response from the locals said that they were too costly (McGrath, 2001). As a result, unless companies donate hybrids, we plan to subsidize these vehicles in exchange for the owner’s present vehicle. The brand and make of vehicle dispersed will depend on companies’ donations and further organization done afterward.
For larger trucks and buses, our plan is to change them to run on compressed natural gas (CNG) rather than diesel. CNG systems create fewer impurities than diesel systems, thus less pollution. On average: 70% less carbon monoxide, 50% less nitrogen oxides, and 90% less ozone-causing pollutants. (Fueleconomy, 2004) Our energy/waste plan for the Galapagos also includes the construction of a biomass facility, which will produce methane, natural gas. Thus we have fuel available for CNG vehicles. And since the biomass cycle requires CO2, CO2 emissions from CNG vehicles will go back into creating more gas. Larger vehicles will be subsidized like the cars and scooters.
We were told that cost was not an issue; however, we did take into some account about costs. We know that the Galapagos people did not want to pay to switch to more environment friendly vehicles and still wanted the convenience of a combustion vehicle. Therefore, we chose to have them subsidized. The cost of the subsidy would depend on how willing private manufacturers wanted to donate their products to the Galapagos.
Alternative cars and scooters available:
CNG vehicles available:
Two main types of boats exist: those with an outboard motor and those with a built in motor. Outboard motor boats, being 85% of the boat population in 2000 (Ley, 2001), are generally smaller and hold less weight. Our plan is to replace current outboard motors with the more eco-friendly battery powered outboards and four stroke outboards. Four stroke outboards, optimally, are 75% more fuel efficient than two strokes. Battery outboards and four stroke outboards lower exhaust levels and noise levels than the two stroke motors many of the people own.
Hybridizing small and medium boats is also an option. Sails, solar panels, and electric power are all available for use. However, with their complicated systems, hybrid boats still need a significant amount of oil to run in order to suit people’s needs. Therefore, switching completely to hybrids is not as effective, considering the complexity of hybrid systems without much reduction in oil use. Hybrid boats still are an option we can implace, but for our main method, we choose to switch outboards. Both will be subsidized, like the plans for land transportation improvement.
Until better technology emerges, we will have to leave larger boats running with their current built in gasoline engines. Alternative energy is not yet powerful enough to provide thrust as effective as gasoline systems provide.
Alternative outboards available:
Hybrid boats available:
Ley, Debora (2001) "An Assessment of Energy and Water in the Galapagos Islands." University of Colorodo. Pg53
Kriz, Margaret (2004). "Galloping Growth Threatens the Galapagos." The National Journal, 1198
McGrath, Susan (2001). "Galapagos Now." Audubon Magazine
Phrasebase (2004). Ecuador Information Detailed Facts and Statistics about Ecuador URL http://www.phrasebase.com/countries/Ecuador.html (visited 11/20/2004)
Fueleconomy (2004). "Biofuel and CNG Vehicles." URL http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/bifueltech.shtml (visited 11/20/2004)
Toyota (2004). "Environmental Commitment-Technology" URL http://www.toyota.com/about/environment/technology/emissions.html (visited 11/20/2004)