July 18, 2013
Before we kicked off the summer, I talked about some of the many ways that NOS programs support America's travel and tourism industry. This week, I'd like to highlight a specific example of how we connect Americans—and visitors from around the world—with special marine places.
The Sanctuary Classic is a free, summer-long fishing and photo contest featuring our national marine sanctuaries. Participants take photos of their catch and submit the images online. Each participant must agree to follow conservation guidelines and all federal, state, and local regulations.
Each week, the top ten photos with the most votes receive a $100 prize. At the end of the summer, four $1,000 scholarships will be awarded to participants based on how well photos show all, or a combination, of the following themes: Kids Fishing, Kids and Family Values, Kids in the Outdoors, Kids in the Sanctuaries, and Kids' Conservation.
You can see recent weekly winners here. Congratulations to everyone involved in making the Sanctuary Classic a success again this year!
Holly A. Bamford, Ph.D.
National Ocean Service
In our latest video podcast, see how high frequency radar data from the Integrated Ocean Observing System Mid-Atlantic region is aiding Coast Guard search and rescue operations.
Independence Day weekend time with friends and family broke off early for Office of Coast Survey (OCS) navigation response personnel, who responded to a request for help in Louisiana. C-Pec, a 47 foot tugboat, capsized in the ship channel of the Mississippi River, closing a portion of the river over the holiday weekend. An OCS navigation response team (NRT4) deployed from Galveston while headquarters personnel and the Louisiana navigation manager coordinated survey operations among several organizations. Although the sunken C-Pec was located by a contractor before NRT4 was fully mobilized, it was a nonstop – and successful – 80-hour collaboration between NOAA, the Coast Guard, the Army Corps, pilots and port officials, the navigation community, and the vessel owner. For more information, contact LT Michael Davidson.
Last week, the NOS International Programs Office chaired the Annual Joint Working Group Meeting for the NOAA-Republic of Korea Joint Project Agreement on Coastal and Ocean Resource Management (JPA). The partners have worked together on the JPA since 2001, and the participants reviewed key JPA accomplishments, agreed on a work plan for 2014, and discussed strategic project management. This meeting helped further scientific and other exchanges between the two governments on activities related to integrated coastal management, fisheries and aquaculture science, and marine observations and climate research. NOAA and the U.S. contribute to the protection of the shared marine environment in the Pacific and NOAA demonstrates regional leadership on activities between NOS, NOAA, and the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries. For more information, contact Steve Morrison.
Staff from the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) and their partners completed the first of three research missions to map an offshore area near Wilmington, N.C., for potential offshore wind development. Researchers used sidescan, multi-beam, and split-beam sonars to map the 240 square nautical miles, making up approximately 40 percent of the total area targeted for investigation. This mission is funded by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and NOAA, and completed by researchers from NCCOS and the University of North Carolina, with ship time contributed by the NOAA Ship Nancy Foster. As a result of this effort, three locations were identified off the North Carolina coast as potential "Wind Energy Call Areas" (sites for potential offshore wind farm consideration). The team will return in August and again in September to complete sea floor mapping, conduct diver and video surveys to ground truth the sea floor habitats, and assess the fish and biological communities in the area. For more information, contact Chris Taylor.
After searching for several years to replace a Calibration Base Line (CBL) in Colorado, in July, the Central Chapter of the Professional Land Surveyors of Colorado, the Colorado Department of Transportation, and the National Geodetic Survey (NGS) geodetic advisor established a new CBL near the Rocky Mountain Arsenal. NGS conducts a cooperative program that provides surveyors with a means to detect and correct errors in Electronic Distances Measuring Instruments (EDMI). NGS has established more than 300 EDMI CBLs throughout the United States in cooperation with various government agencies, universities, professional societies, and others. Currently there are 17 located in Colorado where NGS has been involved in re-measuring base lines. For more information, contact Brian Shaw.
NOAA's Coastal Services Center has released a new series of infographics on the importance of the U.S. ocean and Great Lakes economy, which includes six economic sectors dependent on these resources. The new infographics depict this complex economic information quickly and clearly for the entire nation, each coastal region, and specific economic sectors for 2010. The graphics were developed using the Economics: National Ocean Watch data set, which provides data for the years 2005 to 2010 at the national, regional, state, and county scales. For more information, contact Jeff Adkins.
An intern with the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS) completed a study that resulted in valuable information regarding sustainable seafood awareness in Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary. The intern, a student from Hampton University and participant in the Research Experience for Undergraduates program, worked with the ONMS Education Coordinator to research sustainable fisheries awareness. The student developed a survey of eleven questions initially intended to target chefs and restaurant owners. Due to a small initial survey response, the student broadened the scope to include national canvasing of seafood consumers. The main findings of his research indicated that seafood consumers, chefs, and restaurant owners are aware of the need to purchase only seafood from sustainable fisheries, however a knowledge gap exists as to how to ensure seafood purchased is really from a sustainable fishery. For more information, contact Cathy Sakas.
This week, an Office of Response and Restoration scientist spoke on the Arctic Environmental Response Management Application (ERMA) at the 5th Symposium on Impacts on an Ice-Diminishing Arctic on Naval and Maritime Operations. ERMA is an online mapping tool that integrates both static and real-time data, such as Environmental Sensitivity Index maps, ship locations, weather, and ocean currents, in a centralized, easy-to-use format for environmental responders and decision makers. The presentation included Arctic ERMA partnerships, methods for incorporating traditional knowledge, and preparations to deploy the Stand Alone Arctic ERMA on board the RV Healy to support the U.S. Coast Guard's "Arctic Shield" drill in September 2013. Stand Alone ERMA is an Internet-independent version of ERMA where responders can add event-collected data to ERMA to share information and maintain situational awareness. For more information, contact Amy Merten.