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What is the most venomous marine animal in the world? Think you know the answer?  Read our latest Ocean Fact to find out.

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NOS Communications & Education Division

NOS Assistant Administrator Weekly Newsletter

January 17, 2013



Hi folks,

image of NOS Assistant Administrator

This week, I'd like to highlight NOAA's Sentinel Site Program, an innovative effort built around our National Marine Sanctuaries and National Estuarine Research Reserves. NOAA and our partners are joining forces to tackle specific coastal problems using existing resources, tools, and services to ensure that coastal communities are better prepared for the future.

It's all about synergy. We have many coastal regions around the nation with a lot of NOAA activity in terms of coastal and ecosystem monitoring, measurements, and tools. These regions also host a wealth of complementary federal, state, and local efforts. While all of these tools, resources, and programs are valuable in their own right, tying them together sets the stage to tackle specific, broader problems faced by coastal communities in each region.

The strength of the program is that it brings together a network of people, expertise, and resources that are tied to a single place with a common need. To date, five regions, called "Sentinel Site Cooperatives," are participating in the program.

The first order of business for NOAA's Sentinel Site Program is to shed light on impacts of climate change, specifically sea level change and coastal inundation. This effort gathers people from many backgrounds and disciplines to develop novel solutions to address real-world local problems, such as how to secure a housing development from rising sea levels or how to best protect a sensitive shoreline habitat.

I'm very excited about this program and encourage you to take a few moments to learn more about it online.

Thanks,

David Kennedy
Assistant Administrator
National Ocean Service

Web Highlight

Web Highlight

What is the most venomous marine animal in the world? Think you know the answer?  Read our latest Ocean Fact to find out.

For Employees

NOS For Employees website

Do you ever need quick, solid facts to help tell your program's story?  Check out the Socioeconomic Fast Facts on the NOS For Employees site for quick access to socioeconomic resources.

Around NOS

Hawaii Tsunami Information Service App Available (CSC)

The Hawaii Tsunami Information Service is now accessible via a free application for Apple and Android smartphones. The app allows users to input an address, community, or GPS location to access interactive tsunami evacuation zone maps and suggested emergency action plans. It was created by the NOAA Coastal Services Center in partnership with Hawaii state and local civil defense agencies to provide the public with tsunami risk and evacuation information. The app is available for download from the iTunes App Store and for Android devices at the Google Play Store. The viewer is also accessible online. For more information, contact Matthew Mcbride

Launch of Test Mission Aimed at Sending First Glider Around the World (IOOS®)

Last week, scientists launched a test mission aimed at sending the first unmanned, underwater robotic vehicle – known as a 'glider' – around the world.  Representatives of the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) christened the glider at Rutgers University, a critical partner of the IOOS Mid-Atlantic region.  Rutgers representatives launched this remote-controlled glider from South Africa and plan to fly it to Northern Brazil, a mission that could last up to a year. This is the second leg of a test mission to send a glider around the world.  The first leg of that test mission, carried out by another glider named Silbo, started in Iceland and continued on to the Canary Islands last year, where the glider got a fresh set of batteries.  Silbo is now heading from the Canary Islands to Brazil.  This second test flight is a joint mission between the U.S. IOOS and Rutgers University and is formally named Challenger.  These two test missions emerged in response to a 2009 challenge to send a glider around the world. For more information, contact Jennie Lyons.

Herbicide Use Near Delicate Reserve Requires Careful Management (NCCOS)

As part of a joint investigation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, researchers from the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science quantified pollutants that could contaminate the Jobos Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. The agencies' researchers analyzed water samples from test wells around a nearby farm and inside the reserve to look for the presence of atrazine, a common weed killer. They found that concentrations were generally below detection limits in the sampling wells and surface water ditches, which is good news for the reserve. However, if the field undergoes treatment before a tropical storm, the chemical may wash into the estuary. Atrazine is a known endocrine disruptor, which can kill or alter hormones in fish, invertebrates, and other species. The findings—part of a larger ecological characterization of the marine resources of the reserve—are published in the journal Marine Pollution Bulletin. For more information, contact Dave Whitall.

NGS Director Presents Annual Update to Transportation Research Board (NGS)

On Jan. 15, the director of the National Geodetic Survey presented an annual update at the Transportation Research Board's (TRB) 92nd Annual Meeting in Washington, DC. A division of the National Research Council, the TRB conducts research to promote improved transportation nationwide. The presentation, "Latest Advancements at the National Geodetic Survey," will cover the status of the agency's products and services, including its new Geoid12A model, Gravity for the Redefinition of the American Vertical Datum (GRAV-D) Project, and other improvements. The TRB and other national transportation organizations, such as the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Highway Research Board, have a vested interest in this component of NOAA's work because accurate vertical and horizontal positions are critical to safe land and marine transportation. For more information, contact Juliana Blackwell.

OCRM Holds CZMA Federal Consistency Workshops (OCRM)

This month, the Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management (OCRM) conducted three regional workshops on the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) federal consistency requirement. The federal consistency provision requires that federal activities with reasonably foreseeable effects on a state's coastal uses or resources be consistent with a state's federally approved coastal management policies. The workshops help states and federal agencies efficiently and effectively implement their programs by educating personnel about the CZMA consistency requirements and learning about each other's programs and federal consistency procedures. For more information, contact David Kaiser.  

NOAA Renews Cooperative Charting Program with U.S. Power Squadrons (OCS)

This week, Office of Coast Survey (OCS) charting experts are attending the annual meeting of the U.S. Power Squadrons (USPS), a civilian volunteer organization dedicated to safe boating. Coast Survey works with USPS volunteers as they provide essential nautical charting corrections to NOAA under a cooperative program. This year marks the 50th anniversary of that program, formalized in a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between USPS and Coast Survey. On Saturday, the director of OCS will address the meeting and then sign an updated MOA that reflects technological advancements. The cooperative charting program, originally formalized in 1963, continues an extremely cost-effective method for using local and personal knowledge to correct chart errors resulting from constant changes to coastlines and sea floors. For more information, contact Ken Forster.

Results of USS Hatteras 3D Mapping Unveiled in Galveston (ONMS)

On Jan. 11, NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries and partners ExploreOcean, Teledyne BlueView, and Northwest Hydro released a high-definition, three-dimensional sonar map of the storm-exposed remains of the USS Hatteras, the only Union warship sunk in combat in the Gulf of Mexico during the Civil War. Today, the wreck of the Hatteras is largely intact, resting in sand and silt 57 feet underwater about 12 miles off the coast of Galveston Island. Recent hurricanes and storms have removed some of the sediment and sand that once encased the vessel. As shifting sands may once again rebury the Hatteras, a team conducted a two-day mission last fall to create 3-D photo mosaics of the Hatteras for research, education, and outreach purposes. Results of the expedition were revealed during Galveston Historical Foundation's annual Battle of Galveston commemorative weekend. For more information, contact Shelley Dupuy.

Arctic Council Meeting (OR&R)

From January 7-9, technical and legal representatives from the Arctic Council countries met in Ottawa, Canada, to develop operational guidelines for implementation of the "Agreement on Cooperation on Marine Oil Pollution Preparedness and Response in the Arctic." The U.S. delegation included experts from the U.S. Coast Guard, the oil industry, and the Office of Response and Restoration. The focus of the agreement is on cooperative response to incidents in international waters of the Arctic where no country has clear jurisdiction, as well as incidents in a country's waters when that country seeks international assistance to augment their national capacity to respond.  These operational guidelines will be appended to the international agreement on Arctic oil pollution response finalized last year in Iceland. For more information, contact Doug Helton.

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