NOS Assistant Administrator Weekly Update

Hi everyone,

This week, I attended the Hydrographic Services Review Panel (HSRP) in Seattle, one of NOAA’s federal advisory committees. The panel advises NOAA on activities that are central to safe and efficient transportation and commerce. NOS looks to the HSRP for advice on hydrographic surveying, nautical charts, tides and currents, geodetic and geospatial measurements, and coastal preparedness. The 15-member panel represents diverse sectors such as maritime operations, Arctic policy, remote sensing, and recreational boating.

In addition to focusing on issues of regional interest in the Pacific Northwest, the panel is completing a series of assessments and recommendations on data access for nautical charts, precision navigation, and recreational boating. Learn more about the meeting and the panel.

On another note, Postcards from the Field are back! You may remember that during NOAA's 200th Anniversary Celebration, Postcards from the Field featured photos of NOAA staff from around the country. In an email to all NOAA staff on March 28, Ben Friedman announced their return. Do you have a photo to submit? Submit your Postcard from the Field here.

Thank you,

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

The First Earth Day

On June 22, 1969, Ohio’s Cuyahoga River caught on fire as chemicals, oil, and other industrial materials that had oozed into the river somehow ignited. Just a few months before, on January 28, 1969, an oil rig leaked millions of gallons of oil off the coast of Santa Barbara, California. These and other incidents galvanized public awareness of the many environmental insults being hurled at the nation and the planet. In response to the public outcry, Earth Day Founder Gaylord Nelson organized a nationwide "teach-in" about environmental issues to take place on April 22, 1970. This outpouring of grassroots environmental activism marked the first Earth Day—a recognition of the importance of caring for the environment and accepting stewardship responsibility for the nation's resources. It also helped establish a political climate conducive to forming both NOAA and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 1970.

Around NOS

Hydrographic Survey Season Under Way in Alaska

OCS’s 2017 hydrographic survey season is under way. NOAA Ship Rainier recently departed her homeport in Oregon and is bound for a survey project at Kodiak, AK. Rainier made her way up the Inside Passage and is now crossing the Gulf of Alaska. Check out the Office of Coast Survey Facebook page for time-lapse video of the ship transiting Seymour Narrows and Blackney Passage. Ensign Tim Brown of NOAA Ship Rainier shot the video.

Contact: CAPT

Assessment Prepares Communities for Coastal Threats

Scientists just completed a vulnerability assessment of the Choptank River Watershed Habitat Focus Area. Impacts from sea level rise and changes in precipitation can threaten valuable ecosystem services for the community. The threats were applied spatially across the region, prioritizing areas for specific adaptation strategies. The areas with the highest overall vulnerability and risk were generally located closest to the coast along the southwestern parts of the focus area, while the lowest overall vulnerability and risk areas were scattered throughout the central region. The assessment also established a framework based on stakeholder engagement to inform decision making for coastal flooding adaptation action that could be applied to other communities across the country. The project team included partners from NCCOS, OCM, NOAA Fisheries, NOAA Habitat Blueprint, the Maryland CoastSmart Program, and Maryland Sea Grant.


CAMEO Chemicals App Offers Hazardous Response Information

From hazards and incident response recommendations to public safety guidelines and chemical property information, OR&R's new CAMEO® Chemicals app lets emergency responders and planners learn more about thousands of hazardous chemicals. The app doesn’t require an internet connection, uses responsive design to adjust to tablets and phones, and includes a tool to predict whether an explosion, toxic fumes, or other safety hazard could occur were a group of chemicals mixed during an incident.


Collecting a Ton of Shoreline Marine Debris

Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary and partners participated in two island cleanup events on California’s Santa Cruz Island. A wide variety of items were collected, including a real estate sign, tennis balls, milk crates, and trash bins and lids. Cleanup teams collected an estimated ton of debris, with much of the weight attributed to heavy lobster traps. Partners included the NOAA Marine Debris Program, local fishermen, California State University Channel Islands, Channel Islands National Park, Island Packers, Channel Islands Adventure Company, Santa Barbara Channelkeeper, U.S.Coast Guard, Santa Barbara Zoo, Environmental Defense Center, and Channel Islands Naturalist Corps.


New Seafloor Data for San Francisco Bay

OCM, the California Ocean Protection Council, and Fugro EarthData completed acoustic surveys for more than 500 square kilometers of San Francisco Bay. The surveys, which reveal the seafloor in fine detail, were collected in deep waters where pre-existing data was up to 30 years old. The data will be used to produce habitat maps needed to evaluate subtidal conditions, and will aid in tsunami modeling, sediment transport studies, essential fish habitat assessments, restoration siting, and conservation planning. The data and detailed reports are available in GIS-ready format on the Digital Coast.


Announcing ‘Gravity for Geodesy I: Foundations’

NGS released part one of a two-part interactive lesson in partnership with COMET®, a worldwide leader in education and training for the environmental sciences. Gravity for Geodesy I: Foundations will help earth/physical scientists and surveying engineers better understand Earth’s gravity field. NOAA and COMET have partnered on several self-paced lessons on geodetic and remote sensing products.


NOS Assistant Administrator

NOS Assistant Administrator
Dr. Russell Callender

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Find out how a Willie Nelson song and an anti-litter campaign had an enduring impact on Sarah Latshaw’s sense of responsibility and community pride.

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