Alpena plays host to global ROV teams

Welcome all Marine Advanced Technology Education teams, and their families, to Northeast Michigan!

Teams from across the globe are gathered in Alpena today through Saturday for the continuation of the Remotely Operated Vehicle International Competition.

The competition is taking place at the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary, where over 100 volunteers will be working to ensure our visitors and guests have a great experience. Teams will be competing against each other with their underwater robots to solve a variety of problems – everything from identifying a shipwreck to counting and categorizing invasive species. The competition takes place in a large 600,000 gallon tank formerly used by Fletcher Paper Co., which recently was outfitted by community volunteer Mike Kendziorski and others with a permanent viewing deck.

While the competition provides outstanding educational and problem solving experiences for students, it also emphasizes teamwork and clear communication skills.

And, the practical side of the competition can be seen in stories like that on page one Thursday, where the city of Alpena used the ROV team from Alpena Community College to help identify problems at the city’s marina. The ROV provided city officials with the answers they needed without having to send a person into the water.

We hope all our guests have a wonderful experience in Alpena. Good luck, and have a great time exploring our community.