NOS Assistant Administrator Weekly Update

Hi everyone,

At the National Ocean Service, one of the most important liaison roles that we have is that of the NOS representative to NOAA’s Program Coordination Office, or PCO. The person in this role, which lasts about 13 months, serves as an ambassador for NOS programs to NOAA headquarters and provides critical senior staff support for NOAA leadership. I would like to thank Rebecca Jablonski-Diehl for serving in this role since September 15, 2014. Her insights, judgment, and enthusiasm have made her a successful link between NOS and NOAA headquarters.

Dr. Lonnie Gonsalves from the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science has been selected to serve as the new NOS representative to PCO. As a scientist at the Cooperative Oxford Laboratory, he has conducted interdisciplinary research with federal, state, and academic partners to create science products that inform natural resource management decisions, primarily in the Chesapeake Bay region. His experience building research collaborations and serving as the NOS liaison with the NOAA Environmental Cooperative Science Center has prepared him well for his detail with the Program Coordination Office.

Thank you,

W. Russell Callender, Ph.D.
Acting Assistant Administrator
Ocean Services and Coastal Zone Management,
National Ocean Service

Happening NOW: GIS Day and Geography Awareness Week

NOS Highlight

Geographic Information Systems (commonly known as GIS) represent the digital link between maps and information. This week, celebrate geographic science and geographic information systems with us! November 16-20 marks Geography Awareness Week and GIS Day. Every day this week, we will be highlighting new content on the NOS website. Follow along with us!

Around NOS

ADV InfoHub: A New Resource for Information on Abandoned and Derelict Vessels

The week of November 9, the NOAA Marine Debris Program launched the ADV InfoHub to serve as a center for information on abandoned and derelict vessels (ADVs). The new resource provides a central source of information regarding ADVs and the policies surrounding them, which vary from state to state. Users can access information on each coastal state, including details on legislation, funding, and information about available ADV Programs, as well as links to relevant publications, case studies, and legal reviews. Information is also provided on state agencies to contact for more information. The NOAA Marine Debris Program developed the ADV InfoHub with input from state partners. It aims to be a useful resource for coastal communities impacted by this problem, and will exist as a dynamic resource with updates as new information and materials emerge.


Student Volunteers Plant Trees to Control Erosion on Guam

Guam’s Manell-Geus watershed is a long-term, coral priority watershed and recently designated NOAA Habitat Blueprint focus area where large-scale revegetation is an important conservation strategy. In an effort to control erosion and reduce sedimentation loads on coral and coastal habitats, local college and high school students recently planted 2,000 acacia tree seedlings provided by the Guam Department of Agriculture’s Forestry Division. CRCP staff assisted with the tree planting and provided support as part of a long-term partnership to identify and legally document priority conservation sites around Guam.


Oral Histories Document Ways to Preserve Working Waterfronts

An oral history project, “Preserving the Working Waterfront: Stories from the Nation’s Coasts,” captures 10 oral histories that document a community-based tool for working waterfront preservation, such as acquisition, zoning, or historic preservation. OCM, Maine Sea Grant, and the National Sea Grant Law Center hosted the project’s debut at the National Working Waterfronts and Waterways Symposium in Tampa, Florida, on November 17. The oral history collection, developed by the White House initiative Preserve America, is a component of NOAA’s Voices from the Fisheries, and is linked to the multi-partner Sustainable Working Waterfronts Toolkit. The multi-media collection provides “peer to peer” case studies from across the nation, which highlight how and why communities are protecting their working waterfronts. Oral histories include transferable tools that other communities may find useful as they consider options for their own working waterfront preservation efforts.


New Project to Update Hudson River Nautical Charts

Responding to an urgent request from the Hudson River Pilots, OCS is undertaking a major effort to update Hudson River charts that are using old survey data, some of which were acquired back in the 19th century. OCS’s Navigation Response Team 5 recently surveyed some locations, and hydrographic teams will return in summer 2016. OCS has committed to creating updated electronic charts, at a more usable scale and using new data, no later than 2019.

Contact: LCDR

European Comparison of Absolute Gravimeters

NGS recently compared measurements from its absolute gravimeter with those of 16 international institutions at the University of Luxembourg. As part of its Gravity for the Redefinition of the American Vertical Datum (GRAV-D) Project, NGS is using airborne sensors to map small spatial variations in Earth’s gravity. The data will eventually be used to replace mean sea level as the “zero height” for all elevations in the United States. To calibrate the sensors, NGS operates the absolute gravimeter to tie airborne relative gravity values to an absolute gravity reference value. The reference value is then periodically tied to the worldwide gravity network by comparing NGS’s gravimeter with other certified absolute instruments.  In effect, these comparisons define the gravity standard and allow NGS to learn how “close” its instrument comes to the standard. The final results are expected to show agreement between the instruments to better than 3 parts per billion.


Evaluating Oyster Best Management Practices for Chesapeake Bay

Scientists from NCCOS and the Northeast Fisheries Science Center were selected by the Chesapeake Bay Program Water Quality Goal Implementation Team to serve on the Oyster Best Management Practice Expert Panel. The charge to the 13-member panel is to evaluate the potential and feasibility of using oysters as a best management practice (BMP) for nutrient removal in Chesapeake Bay. The panel will also establish guidelines for nutrient removal crediting and verification to inform determination of the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load. To support achievement of those goals and provide recommendations by September 2016, the panel will work with stakeholders to identify and define oyster practices (e.g., aquaculture, restoration) that remove nutrients; evaluate whether existing science confirms reduction effectiveness; develop a pollutant removal crediting decision framework; and use the framework to provide removal effectiveness estimates for one or more oyster BMPs.


CO-OPS Upgrades Air Gap Sensor in Long Beach, California

A CO-OPS team installed a new microwave air gap sensor on the Gerald Desmond Bridge in Long Beach, CA, last week. Working more than 150 feet above the water, the team removed the old sensor and antennas and installed new equipment on the bridge. The team’s efficiency in installing the air gap sensor proved especially important, since the data needed to be back online quickly after the local Jacobsen Pilot Service informed the team that a very large ship would be transiting under the bridge that afternoon. The team successfully installed the sensor and got the data back online. The air gap sensor is part of NOAA’s Los Angeles/Long Beach PORTS®. PORTS® is a decision support tool that improves the safety and efficiency of maritime commerce and coastal resource management through the integration of real-time environmental observations, forecasts, and other geospatial information.


NOS Assistant Administrator

NOS Acting Assistant Administrator
Dr. Russell Callender

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