Web Highlight

Web Highlight

In our latest podcast, watch the first installment of a new three-part video series from NOAA's Ocean Today about the role of ice in our ocean. What is sea ice and why is it shrinking?  (3:06 minutes)

NOS For Employees website

For Employees

FY13 Safety Awareness Training must be completed by February 28.
Federal employees should take the training through the CLC. Contract employees should complete the training hosted through the SECO Public page.  Note: The contractor survey will collect student information needed to verify completion and produce a certificate.

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NOS Communications & Education Division

NOS Assistant Administrator Weekly Newsletter

February 21, 2013



Hi everyone,

image of Holly Bamford

This week marks the start of engagement sessions in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Florida to provide the public with the opportunity to give feedback on planning efforts related to the RESTORE Act. The Resources and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourist Opportunities, and Revived Economies of the Gulf Coast States Act of 2012 (RESTORE Act) will help restore the ecosystem and economy of the Gulf Coast region. This law dedicates 80 percent of certain penalties paid by responsible parties in connection with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill to the Gulf Region for recovery efforts.

With our multidisciplinary expertise, NOS is uniquely suited to play an important role in meeting the goals of the RESTORE Act. For example, NOS is providing support for activities that the Secretary of Commerce will carry out as chair of the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council. The Council is comprised of governors from the five affected Gulf States, the Secretaries from the U.S. Departments of Interior, Commerce, Agriculture, and Homeland Security as well as the Secretary of the Army and the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

NOS will also coordinate support for the RESTORE Act with our ongoing Natural Resources Damage Assessment (NRDA) responsibilities associated with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

In addition, the Act specifies that NOAA will establish the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Science, Observation, Monitoring and Technology Program, or RESTORE Act Science Program. The purpose of the Science Program is to achieve a holistic understanding of the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem to support restoration efforts and long-term sustainability of the ecosystem, including its fish stocks, habitat, and fishing industries. NOS’s Chief Science Adviser, Dr. Paul Sandifer, has been leading the initial development of the Science Program and will represent NOS on the Executive Oversight Board. The National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science will manage the external granting process to fund integrative research to support Gulf restoration efforts.

As plans for implementing the RESTORE Act move forward, we anticipate that NOS will continue to play a key role in helping Gulf Coast communities recover. I would like to thank the many people working across NOS in support of this important effort.

Thank you,

Holly A. Bamford, Ph.D.
Assistant Administrator
National Ocean Service

Web Highlight

Web Highlight

In our latest podcast, watch the first installment of a new three-part video series from NOAA's Ocean Today about the role of ice in our ocean. What is sea ice and why is it shrinking?  (3:06 minutes)

NOS For Employees website

For Employees

FY13 Safety Awareness Training must be completed by February 28.
Federal employees should take the training through the CLC. Contract employees should complete the training hosted through the SECO Public page.  Note: The contractor survey will collect student information needed to verify completion and produce a certificate.

Around NOS

Aquatic Restoration Projects Proposed for GE Housatonic River Site (OR&R)

NOAA and its co-trustees from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the State of Connecticut released a draft amendment to the restoration plan for the GE Housatonic River Site. The amendment identifies seven preferred restoration projects and three non-preferred alternatives to increase restoration of injured aquatic natural resources and services and to more fully compensate the public for the full suite of injuries to the environment resulting from the release of hazardous substances, primarily polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), from the GE facility in Pittsfield, Mass. The trustees are using the majority of the remaining $2,423,328 in settlement funds to implement these additional aquatic natural resources projects. This amendment highlights aquatic restoration because the original 2009 Restoration Plan primarily focused on recreational and riparian restoration. Public comments and additional project proposals for the draft amendment to the restoration plan will be accepted through March 11. For more information, contact Ken Finkelstein


MPA Center Publishes Common Language of Ocean Uses (ONMS)

The National Marine Protected Areas (MPA) Center has developed a comprehensive terminology to describe the diverse range of human uses of the oceans. Based on six years of experience mapping ocean uses, the Common Language supports place-based ocean planning and management by providing a straightforward, transparent, and consistent framework for planners to understand different uses, compare “apples to apples”, and make informed decisions about the expanding set of co-occurring ocean uses in U.S. waters. The Common Language is the first of several analytical products on human uses of America’s oceans that will be published on the MPA website. Currently, the site provides links to finalized products and data as well as overviews of ongoing efforts to identify potential conflicts and compatibilities among uses. For more information, contact Charlie Wahle.


NOAA and Alabama State Port Authority Collaborate on Post-Hurricane Navigation Response Assets (OCS, OR&R)

As part of the 2013 post-hurricane maritime response preparations, on February 22, NOAA examined the operational readiness of the Mobile Integrated Survey Team (MIST) equipment now at NOAA’s Disaster Response Center. In coordination with Alabama port officials, survey technicians evaluated the use of harbormaster boats as possible vessels of opportunity. The evaluation gives NOAA and the harbormaster an opportunity to confirm specifications and set up logistics for the fast deployment of the mobile sonar system. All of NOAA's navigation response teams use specially designed multibeam echosounding equipment to "see" changes of the sea floor. Their side scan sonars can detect underwater objects. As a force multiplier, or before survey vessels can reach their destination, the MIST survey team can set up side scan sonar equipment and manpower quickly on a non-NOAA vessel of opportunity. For more information, contact CAPT Jon Swallow.


Tracking the Source of Coral Larvae to Help Guide Reef Protection Plans (NCCOS)

Investigators from the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science and their partners embarked on a year-long study to determine the origins of coral reef and fish species in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and Guam so that they can protect them from overharvesting or other damage. Using drifting sensors coupled with a computer model which identifies important coral hotspots, the scientists' data will help determine the sources of larvae that sustain those reefs. Many corals and reef fish reproduce by casting eggs and larvae into ocean currents where they drift until mature enough to settle down and attach to a reef. For more information, contact Matt Kendall.


Roundtable Discussion on New Hampshire Coastal Management Issues (NGS, CSC, OCRM)

The NOAA Coastal Services Center and the Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management, in partnership with the New Hampshire Coastal Program, the Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, and the New Hampshire Sea Grant, hosted a series of roundtable discussions last week on coastal management. Specific topics included nearshore bathymetry for the Great Bay tidal estuary in eastern New Hampshire, economic valuation of ecosystem services, and marsh migration modeling. The event also featured National Geodetic Survey representatives at the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Service office who provided expertise and guidance on topics including LIDAR technology, nearshore bathymetry for Great Bay, V-Datum, and elevation networks. For more information, contact Chris Parrish.


Brown Bag Features Tips for Evaluating Program Effectiveness (CSC)

NOAA personnel are sometimes uncertain about the best methods for evaluating program or project effectiveness. Staff members from NOAA’s Office of Education and the Coastal Services Center addressed this concern in the NOAA Library Brown Bag seminar, “Evaluation Planning, Logic Models, and Program Design,” held last week. Presenters explained the elements of evaluation and the benefits of using logic models in evaluation planning. This topic is covered in greater depth in the Coastal Services Center training, Planning for Meaningful Evaluation. For more information, contact Sacheen Tavares-Leighton.

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