During July, NOS Headquarters has been focusing on congressional outreach to build relationships and increase understanding and support of our programs. Dr. Russell Callender met with Representative Suzanne Bonamici (Oregon) and next week he will meet with staff from Senator Mary Landrieu's (Louisiana) office.
I met with Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (Rhode Island) and Representatives Derek Kilmer (Washington); Rob Wittman (Virginia); and the Chief of Staff for Representative Janice Hahn (California).
During these meetings, Russell and I highlighted the value of NOS programs and services in support of coastal resilience, coastal intelligence, and place-based conservation. Since most members were familiar only with certain aspects of NOS, we focused on expanding their understanding to include how as a whole NOS supports the needs and priorities of their coastal constituents.
In addition to these one-on-one meetings, I had the opportunity to brief staff from the Senate Oceans Caucus and Senate Commerce Committee on ocean and coastal observations, including future characteristics of observations and data products.
In these meetings, our messages were well received and, importantly, we created new inroads to continue building lasting relationships moving forward. Our efforts to keep NOS at the front and center with key congressional members will continue when Congress returns in the fall.
Russell and I want to extend our thanks to all of you who responded to requests for information in support of these visits. We relied heavily on your input. These efforts would not have been successful without your support. Also, we would like to give a special thanks to NOS's Policy, Planning and Analysis Division and NOAA's Office of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs for helping us coordinate and prepare for these visits.
Holly A. Bamford, Ph.D.
Assistant Administrator for Ocean Services and Coastal
Zone Management, National Ocean Service
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This new report reveals that eight of the top 10 U.S. cities that have seen increases in so-called nuisance flooding are located along the East Coast. Nevertheless, nuisance flooding, which causes such public inconveniences as frequent road closures, overwhelmed storm drains, and compromised infrastructure, has increased on all three U.S. coasts (from 300 to 925 percent since the 1960s). The report supports NOAA's efforts toward coastal resilience by facilitating a better understanding of environmental threats and vulnerabilities, and providing data to combat rising sea levels.
The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Captain of the Port of Savannah, Georgia, requested a hydrographic survey for their investigation into the July 15 grounding of the casino vessel P/V Escapade, which struck a shoal with 123 passengers aboard. Coast Survey had last surveyed the area in 2005, and initial indications showed the charted shoal may have shifted westward. Coast Survey Navigation Response Team 2 (NRT2) responded to the USCG request and after surveying the area issued a "danger to navigation" report that the Coast Guard will use to warn vessel traffic. Coast Survey cartographers will use NRT2's report to update nautical charts 11505, 11512, and 11509, and corresponding NOAA electronic navigational charts.
The Charles W. Morgan's 38th Voyage continued with the final two official port stops in Boston and Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts. The whaleship and dockside village were open to the public for five days in Boston with 15,940 visitors and two days in Buzzards Bay with 6,049 visitors. Visitors toured the historic vessel and explored the shore side attractions that included a NOAA tent. During the two port stops, 20 staff, volunteers, and Sanctuary Advisory Council members provided the general public with information on local whale populations, whale research projects, and whale watching opportunities in the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. Over 60,000 people participated in the 38th voyage dockside village during the 24 days it was open this summer. The Charles W. Morgan will return back to Mystic Seaport in Mystic, Connecticut, in August, where the dockside village will be set up for the last time to celebrate its homecoming.
On July 23, the director of OR&R, on behalf of NOAA, testified before the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure's Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Marine Transportation. During the hearing entitled "Implementing U.S. Policy in the Arctic," he described how NOAA works extensively with partners to support Arctic coastal intelligence and U.S. interests while ensuring safe and responsible operations. In response to the subcommittee's many questions related to U.S. ice breaking capabilities, the director emphasized how NOAA's research and scientific needs could be strengthened with greater icebreaking capabilities. The topic of Arctic oil spill response was also raised multiple times during the hearing. The director explained that responding to a potential oil spill in the U.S. Arctic presents unique logistical, environmental, and cultural challenges unparalleled in any other U.S. water body.
This week, NGS presented a case study of the Post-Sandy topographic-bathymetric ("topo-bathy") light detection and ranging (LiDAR) collection and potential applications for coastal resilience at the Management Association for Private Photogrammetric Surveyors (MAPPS) 2014 Summer Conference in Idaho. NGS discussed the innovative remote sensing tools and techniques investigated by the private sector, NGS, as well as other government partners to effectively assess the impacts of Sandy. Discussion focused on topo-bathy LiDAR technology that offers enhanced capabilities for high-resolution, seamless data acquisition across the backshore, intertidal, and shallow near shore zones. The MAPPS Summer Conference presented a unique opportunity to engage in continuing education on management and geospatial-related technical issues.
Comparing "then" to "now" can be very illuminating, in particular when trying to comprehend how areas have changed over time. Previously unavailable aerial imagery is now featured on the Digital Coast. Pacific Islands locations include American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and Hawaii. The project was funded by the NOAA Coastal Storms Program and made possible through valued imagery contributions from regional partners.
Last week, a new modeling tool predicted and detected a red tide harmful algal bloom (HAB) off the West Coast of Florida. This tool is based on models funded by the NCCOS Ecology and Oceanography of Harmful Algal Bloom (ECOHAB) and Monitoring and Event Response for Harmful Algal Blooms (MERHAB) Programs. The confirmed bloom of the Florida red tide, Karenia brevis, was approximately 80 miles long and 50 miles wide, occurring 40 to 90 miles offshore between Dixie, Hernando, and Pasco counties, Florida. Researchers found K. brevis on both the surface and at depths up to 20 meters, and the bloom caused an ongoing fish kill in the northeast Gulf of Mexico. The University of South Florida's (USF) Collaboration for Prediction of Red Tides and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) worked jointly to confirm the bloom in time for FWC to issue a public notice on July 25, 2014.
NOS Assistant Administrator
Dr. Holly Bamford
The term "ice breaker" takes on a whole other meaning when talking to Peter Murphy about his experiences in the Marine Debris Program.
Nuisance flooding is a growing problem for coastal areas. Get the facts on what you need to know.
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