Cameras to protect Cape Fear River from bioattack

The N.C. State Ports Authority will mount as many as 50 cameras along the Cape Fear River to monitor ship traffic to enhance prevention, protection and response to biological and chemical attacks.
The $2 million project, which is paid for through a grant from the Department of Homeland Security, is the extension of work completed in the last decade to make ports safer in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Star News Online reports.
"It is to promote the security of the port (of Wilmington) and the region," Shannon Moody, a ports authority spokeswoman, said, according to Star News Online.
The project will include the installation of a surveillance and camera monitoring system along an approximate 22 mile stretch of river from Isabel Holmes Bridge to Bald Head Island. Approximately half of the cameras will be mounted on existing structures while others will require the construction of special towers. The project is in its preliminary stages and it could be years before the cameras are working.
The project is also meant to protect the port from attacks involving improvised explosive devices, radiological or nuclear weapons, according to information on the grant application. The ports authority is currently looking for a professional security firm to develop the preliminary concept for the camera system.
"The designer must have experience in camera monitoring and surveillance systems and port security protection systems," the documents said, according to Star News Online.
The Port of Wilmington has been awarded 15 port security grants worth more than $11 million since 2007. The grants are being used to pay for projects such as IT security, training, and a new command and control center.