NOS Assistant Administrator Weekly Update


Hello everyone,

Thank you for participating in the NOS Employee Recognition and Awards event earlier this week. Congratulations again to all of our awardees! A video from the event will be available in about a week on the For Employees website.

You may recall that in September, NOAA issued a final Ocean Noise Strategy Roadmap, which served to highlight the issue of ocean noise impacts and our agency-wide roles in better understanding and addressing the issue. The document received overwhelming public support and encouraged the agency to commit to further implementing its vision.

Last week, NOAA Fisheries published Directives to require its programs to work further to meet the Strategy’s goals over the next decade. As the Strategy is a cross-agency initiative and is co-led by NOS, the work plan will include many activities that involve partnerships among NOS, NOAA Fisheries, and other NOAA line office programs.

The Office of National Marine Sanctuaries and the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS®) program contribute to the Ocean Noise Strategy work plan, highlighting their ongoing work on the initiative, as an annual operating plan milestone for FY17. I’d like to encourage additional NOS programs to submit contributions, including environmental compliance efforts that assess the noise impacts of the work we do. The Ocean Noise Strategy team, staffed by NOS and NMFS leads, are standing by to work with your programs. If you have questions, contact the NOS co-lead:

Leila Hatch, PhD
Marine Ecologist, Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary
Office of National Marine Sanctuaries
leila.hatch@noaa.gov
781-545-8026 x203

Thank you,

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


It’s Corals Week!

NOS headquarters and program offices are celebrating Corals Week—an opportunity to educate people about corals and highlight the importance of coral reef ecosystems. For example, are corals animals or plants? Learn more here.

Around NOS

U.S. and Cuba Collaborate on Navigation Safety Improvements

NOAA’s Navigation Services programs welcomed representatives of Cuba’s National Office of Hydrography and Geodesy (ONHG) to Silver Spring this week to pursue collaboration on issues outlined in the NOAA-ONHG Memorandum of Understanding. Representatives from both agencies will reviewed, revised, and are poised to approve a new international chart—the first cooperative charting product between the U.S. and Cuba during the modern era. NOAA expects to release the new chart in mid-December, at a meeting in Brazil of hydrographic officials from the Western Hemisphere. The U.S.-Cuba dialogue has expanded to include an emerging geodetic component, NGS will discuss current datums and plans to transition to new datums by 2022. Representatives from both agencies have also expressed interest in tide and current monitoring, modeling, and forecasting. The exchange of data and information will improve the accuracy and quality of these products.

Contact: Kathryn.Ries@noaa.gov or Colin.Becker@noaa.gov


Annual Meeting of the Arctic Domain Awareness Center

The annual meeting of the Arctic Domain Awareness Center (ADAC) was held in Alexandria, VA, with NOAA sharing information about its contribution to Arctic domain awareness.  OR&R’s Environmental Response Management Application (ERMA) plays an important role as the end-user visualization platform for an ADAC project called the Arctic Information Fusion Capability (AIFC). AIFC combines satellite imagery with available modeling, sensors, web-based communications, and appropriate social networking feeds to gain domain awareness in support of operational decision making for responders in the field and in command posts. An ADAC project involving oil and ice modeling was also presented. The project team is maintaining contact with OR&R to facilitate compatibility of developed algorithms with NOAA’s GNOME (General NOAA Operational Modeling Environment) oil spill model.

Contact: Robb.Wright@noaa.gov


Trans-Atlantic Partnerships Strengthen Marine Protected Areas

The Marine Protected Area (MPA) Center participated in a workshop titled “Towards a Trans-Atlantic Partnership of Marine Protected Areas” organized by the European Union (EU). The workshop brought together about 50 MPA managers, government agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and intergovernmental organizations from North America, South America, Europe, and Africa. The objective was to scope an EU-funded effort to enhance cooperation across Atlantic MPAs in the coming year. Potential focus areas raised by workshop participants included collaboration on marine mammals and sister sites; MPAs as natural infrastructure for urban areas; connecting regional MPA networks; and building capacity for MPA managers. The EU will soon make a final decision about three focus areas for the project, which will be completed by December 2017.

Contact: Lauren.Wenzel@noaa.gov


Digital Atlas Available for Choptank Complex Habitat Focus Area

A new digital atlas—consisting of a web-based mapping portal, a distributable geospatial database, and a baseline status report—is available for the Choptank Complex Habitat Focus Area. Each component of the atlas is designed to support a greater understanding of the Choptank and Little Choptank River watersheds. The Choptank Complex is an important component of the larger Chesapeake Bay watershed, being home to significant natural resources including oyster reefs, salt marshes, and spawning and juvenile fish habitats. Topics covered include land cover, shoreline composition, water quality, benthic community condition, submerged aquatic vegetation, fish, and oysters.

Contact: Dan.Dorfman@noaa.gov


Many Benefit from Georgia Post-Disaster Planning Guide

Urban, oceanfront communities and rural, inland communities wrestle with very different disaster recovery and redevelopment issues. Post-Disaster Recovery and Redevelopment Planning: A Guide for Georgia Communities names these differences and charts a recovery path that addresses cost estimates, potential aids and funding sources, and key partners and stakeholders. The guide helps communities move forward with recovery and redevelopment efforts. Information from the guide has been presented to local officials and planners, regional resilience and hazard mitigation groups, and participants in the Georgia Climate Conference and American Meteorological Society Conference. OCM worked closely with the Georgia Coastal Management Program and other partners to fund and facilitate the work.

Contact: Melissa.Rada@noaa.gov


NOS Assistant Administrator

NOS Assistant Administrator
Dr. Russell Callender

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