Web Highlight

Web Highlight

Introducing "Discover Your Changing World," a brand new book with ten hands-on informal activities designed to introduce middle school age students and their families to the essential principles of climate science and Earth's climate system, the factors that drive and change it, the impacts of those changes, and what we can all do to explore, understand, and protect the Earth.

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NOS Communications & Education Division

NOS Assistant Administrator Weekly Newsletter

April 11, 2013



Hi everyone,

image of Holly A. Bamford, Ph.D.

NOS programs continue to achieve results—even in the face of budget constraints. Every week, we highlight examples of our work in the "Around NOS" section of this update. In addition, we promote the accomplishments of our programs to the public on the NOS website, http://oceanservice.noaa.gov. The site is updated frequently with news from around NOS. For example, visitors can read brief updates on program news, learn about what's new, listen to interviews with staff members in our Making Waves and Diving Deeper podcast series, read about Ocean Facts, and subscribe to RSS feeds.

Sharing the great news of our programs has translated to a significant increase in traffic to the NOS website. In March 2013, for example, traffic to the site exceeded 1.3 million visits. That's more than double the traffic received in March 2012. And it's more than seven times the traffic that the site had five years ago. We're seeing continued growth on Facebook and Twitter as well. Our Facebook page now has more than 12,700 "likes" (up 30 percent since the beginning of the fiscal year) and our Twitter account exceeds 63,000 followers.

We're using these outreach tools to promote the value and importance of NOS programs, products and services. Many of the ideas for stories on the NOS website come from the weekly reports that each program submits. If you have an idea for content on the NOS website, please email nos.info@noaa.gov.

Thank you,

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

Web Highlight

Web Highlight

Introducing "Discover Your Changing World," a brand new book with ten hands-on informal activities designed to introduce middle school age students and their families to the essential principles of climate science and Earth's climate system, the factors that drive and change it, the impacts of those changes, and what we can all do to explore, understand, and protect the Earth.

Around NOS

Easier Public Access to Wreck Information (OCS)

The Office of Coast Survey maintains information on more than 10,000 submerged wrecks and obstructions in U.S. coastal waters – and it just got easier for the public to access that free information. Information contained in the Automated Wreck and Obstruction Information System (AWOIS) database includes latitude and longitude of each feature, along with brief historic and descriptive details. Until recently, that information was available for download in Microsoft Access MDB and Adobe PDF formats – but those formats were difficult to search. As of this week, AWOIS information will no longer be available in these formats and instead, users can download AWOIS files in the more useful Google Earth Keyhole Markup Language (KML) format. Once the user downloads an AWOIS KML file, they can open that file directly in a mapping application, such as Google Earth or Google Maps. For more information, contact Lucy Hick.

Operation of New York / New Jersey PORTS® Approved (CO-OPS)

This week, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey decided to fund NOAA's Physical Oceanographic Real-Time System (PORTS®) for at least another year to provide local mariners with important real-time oceanographic and meteorological information to navigate safely and efficiently.  Funding for operations and maintenance of the New York / New Jersey PORTS® expired in March, and the system was in danger of being completely shut down by September 2013.  Due to an outcry from local shippers, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey presented a request for at least one more year of funding to their Board. PORTS® is a partnership program where NOAA provides program management and data collection, while the local partner provides the funding for the operation and maintenance of the system. For more information, contact Darren Wright.

Funds Aiding Therapeutic Improvements for Manatees Afflicted by Red Tide (NCCOS)

National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science awarded a researcher from the Mote Marine Lab harmful algal bloom event response funding to investigate the physiological effects of brevetoxin exposure on manatees. A persistent red tide bloom of algae that produces this substance is responsible for a record number of manatee deaths this spring. This funding will help Mote collect blood samples at rescue, during recovery, and just prior to releasing treated manatees back to the wild. Mote will analyze samples for plasma toxin levels and for indicators of immune function such as inflammation and oxidative stress. This study will provide essential information to help devise improved treatment methods and boost their chances of survival after they're returned to their natural habitat. For more information, contact Marc Suddleson.

Emergency Response Imagery Featured in Article in Professional Surveyor Magazine (NGS)

Imagery collected by the National Geodetic Survey (NGS) following Hurricane Sandy was featured in the Spring 2013 issue of Aerial Mapping, a supplement to Professional Surveyor Magazine. A large photo taken by NGS' remote sensing operators of Mantoloking, New Jersey, was displayed opposite a "before" image of the identical area provided before the storm by Google Earth. NGS' Remote Sensing Division Chief was quoted in the article. The article describes NGS' efforts following Sandy, with a description of the equipment used to complete the mission requirements. For more information, contact Nicole Cabana.

New Tool Guides Decision-Making on 12 Major Coastal Issues (CSC, OCRM)

The NOAA Coastal Services Center's new Coastal Planning Advisor is an online tool that helps users ask the right questions during planning for 12 of today's most pressing coastal management issues, ranging from climate change to wetland restoration. The questions can be customized to users' situations and can be shared online through an easy link. Vetted by coastal management experts, the tool also includes important background on the Coastal Zone Management Act provided by NOAA's Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management, relevant case studies, and NOAA resources available for each issue. For more information, contact Sacheen Tavares.

Sustainable Working Waterfront Toolkit Released (OCRM)

The U.S. Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration (EDA) released the Sustainable Working Waterfront Toolkit, an online suite of tools designed to help coastal communities throughout the United States develop policies that support business and job growth. The toolkit was released last month at the National Working Waterfronts and Waterways Symposium in Tacoma, Washington. The toolkit offers a history of working waterfronts, an evaluation of ocean-related economic activity, a database of funding sources, legal and policy resources, and a collection of 21 case studies. This toolkit was developed by a team including NOAA Sea Grant programs and the Island Institute. Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management staff participated in the development of the case studies, which highlight successful tools and transferable approaches from around the country. For more information, contact Kenneth Walker.

Channel Islands Boating Center "Presentation of the Keys" Ceremony (ONMS)

A "presentation of the keys" ceremony was held to celebrate the completion of the newly constructed Channel Islands Boating Center, located at the Channel Islands Harbor in Oxnard, California. Nearly 200 attended the event, including several local elected officials, representatives from supporting agencies, private donors, the Chumash community, and a local Boys and Girls Club.  The new waterfront facility supports the California State University Channel Islands' boating and sailing education courses, and will also be open to the general public. The center offers a new hub for advancing sanctuary partnerships with the harbor and university.  For more information, contact Julie Bursek.

Community Input to Strengthen Planning for Arctic Oil Spill Restoration (OR&R)

The Office of Response and Restoration announced the release of a report summarizing the North Slope Borough: An Oil Spill Workshop on NRDA & ERMA® held in November, 2012, in Barrow, Alaska. The goal of the workshop was to discuss community involvement in spill response and Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA). The NRDA process is used to study the effects of oil spills on the environment and determine how much restoration is required. Community concerns and recommendations collected at the workshop will be provided to the State of Alaska and the U.S. Coast Guard for their use in planning oil spill response in the region. For more information, contact Joe Inslee.

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