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NOS Assistant Administrator Weekly Update


Hi Everyone,

Happy New Year! This is the first NOS Weekly of the year and I'd like to take a moment to thank the many people who contribute to this report. Every week, representatives from every NOS program office submit entries for the "Around NOS" section. These summaries help keep you informed of the important work going on across the line office. And of course, these stories represent just a fraction of all of the great activities carried out in support of the NOS priorities.

Next, you may have noticed that we updated the format of the email we use to announce the NOS Weekly. Based on feedback from communications gurus from across the line office, we have added more information to the email to give you a better idea of what you will see when you click on the link.

December was certainly not a slow month for NOS. For example, we released the results of a study led by the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science on aquaculture. The study concluded that specific types of fish farming can be accomplished with minimal or no harm to the coastal ocean environment as long as proper planning and safeguards are in place.

Finally, did you know that you can make a virtual visit to the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument? New 360-degree panoramic images are now available for Tern Island andEast Island at French Frigate Shoals; Pearl and Hermes Atoll; and others. Office of National Marine Sanctuaries also collaborated with Google in 2012 to gather imagery of Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge.

Holly A. Bamford, Ph.D.
Assistant Administrator for Ocean Services and Coastal
Zone Management, National Ocean Service

Around NOS

Dolphin and Whale Sightings near Hawaii Now Available Online

Internet users can now access dolphin and whale sightings in the Hawaiian Islands. The Pacific Islands Ocean Observing System (PacIOOS), an IOOS region, recently began serving data on such sightings from 2000-2012 on the PacIOOS Voyager website. Cascadia Research Collective (CRC), which conducts research needed to manage and protect threatened marine mammals, provided the information. The update more than triples the number of CRC sightings previously available on the site and includes a wide variety of dolphin and whale species. The PacIOOS Voyager also has three new functionalities including a button to help users find their current location and better orient themselves on the map; a ruler option that provides a way to measure the distance between locations; and end points that can be dragged to new locations.

Contact: Jennie Lyons


Great Lakes Mariners Get New Nautical Chart for St. Mary's River

Vessel operators transiting between Lake Superior and the lower Great Lakes have a new nautical chart to help lessen the dangers inherent in the narrow and complicated waterway. The first edition of Chart 14887 (St. Mary's River – Vicinity of Neebish Island) provides large-scale (1:15,000) coverage of the up bound and down bound channels of the St. Mary's River. Chart 14887 uses updated shoreline data collected from NOAA's remote sensing planes. At the 1:15,000 scale, Coast Survey cartographers corrected many of the features by an average of 10 meters from positions in prior charts, a vital correction for precision navigation by vessels that can exceed 1,000 feet long. There are over 4,100 transits of commercial and government vessels that move approximately 75 million tons of cargo through the St. Mary's River during a 300-day shipping season.

Contact: CAPT Shep Smith


Scientists Revisit Lost Shipping Container, Explore Sur Ridge

From Dec. 11 to 16, a team of scientists from NOAA's Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS) and the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) revisited a lost shipping container resting on the sea floor about 12 miles outside of Monterey Bay using a remotely operated vehicle (ROV). The team surveyed the container's current condition and collected samples to help determine its impact on the surrounding marine life. In addition, the scientists visited research sites as deep as 10,500 feet and made some startling discoveries on the first-ever ROV exploration of Sur Ridge. Daily logs and photos from the cruise are available online

Contact: Andrew DeVogelaere


New Bibliography Highlights Coastal Adaptation Planning Resources

A new annotated bibliography, Resources for Evaluating and Monitoring Climate Change Adaptation Actions in Coastal Regions, is now available to support federal agencies in their coastal climate adaptation planning efforts. Numerous databases were searched to identify programs, products, and resources for evaluating and monitoring coastal climate adaptation actions. The bibliography was prepared by the U.S. Global Change Research Program's Adaptation Science Interagency Working Group, with assistance from NOAA's Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management. This product provides important data to federal agencies, state coastal managers, planners, and decision makers who are implementing climate adaptation plans to help communities become more resilient to climate change.

Contact: Carrie Hall


Coral Reef Scientist Honored with New Species Name

In recognition of his contributions to coral reef research funded by NCCOS, a University of Puerto Rico scientist will have a new species of sediment-dwelling crustacean named in his honor. The new species—the cumacean crustacean Cumella pagani n. sp.—lives on the Caribbean mesophotic coral reefs studied by Dr. Francisco E. Pagán. Cumaceans are small, benthic marine crustaceans, common in muddy and sandy sediments. The discovery and description of the new species will be published in the scientific journal Cahiers de Biologie Marine in 2014 (volume 55, issue 2).

Contact: Michael Dowgiallo


Sentinel Site Cooperative Shows Success in Regional Metadata Inventory

This week, the NOAA Chesapeake Bay Sentinel Site Cooperative is completing a regional inventory of Surface Elevation Table (SET) studies. SETs enable the evaluation of coastal wetland sustainability. The multiagency contributors within the Cooperative are using the SET inventory to identify missing data, support new research, and assess potential collaborative projects. Based on the success to date, the Chesapeake Bay Cooperative will expand the inventory to include other sentinel data, such as local water levels and wetland vegetation monitoring.  

Contact: Philippe Hensel


Green Infrastructure Training Supports Coastal Resilience

Sea level rise and other coastal hazards are a concern in California's San Francisco Bay Area. Last month approximately 50 coastal planners, managers, and scientists from the Bay Area came together to learn about green infrastructure practices that can improve community resilience. Following the training, Introducing Green Infrastructure for Coastal Resilience, speakers shared information about local green infrastructure projects. The event helped local practitioners understand green infrastructure concepts and practices. These concepts range from landscape-scale conservation to site-scale, low-impact development to shoreline techniques. The event focused on connecting practices at all scales to improve coastal resilience. The meeting was organized by the San Francisco Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. The NOAA Coastal Services Center provided the training.

Contact: Lauren Long


NOS Assistant Administrator
NOS Assistant Administrator Holly Bamford

NOS Assistant Administrator
Dr. Holly Bamford

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