Web Highlight

Web Highlight

How is the National Ocean Service meeting future challenges such as higher intensity storms, increased coastal development, and sea level change? Check out the new 'About' section of our website and download a copy of our new 'Priorities' fact sheet.

NOS For Employees website

For Employees

NOS's 2013 Diversity Day and Employee Recognition Ceremony is next Wednesday, September 18. Check your For Employees site for details.

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NOS Communications & Education Division

NOS Assistant Administrator Weekly Newsletter

September 12, 2013



Assistant Administrator Holly Bamford

Hi everyone,

Last week, I had the opportunity to brief Dr. Mark Schaefer, NOAA's new assistant secretary for conservation and management, on our mission and priorities. The discussion of how NOS brings its diverse portfolio to bear on complex coastal issues resonated with Dr. Schaefer. We continue to coordinate additional briefings on topics such as the RESTORE Act, the Sanctuary Nomination Process, and integration of the Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management and NOAA Coastal Services Center. I look forward to working with Dr. Schaefer in the future.

Looking ahead, there are a couple of things I'd like to highlight. First, please be aware that there will be a NOAA-wide test of the Emergency Notification System next week. Every person listed in the NOAA Staff Directory is part of this test — more than 20,000 people across the agency. You may recall that this system originated here in NOS, so we've participated in similar drills in the past. Keep in mind that there are two steps for every person to take: (1) confirm receipt of the ENS message and (2) contact your immediate supervisor (or other designated contact) to account for your well-being and ability to work. See David Kennedy's email from September 5 or this list of frequently asked questions for more information. Contact your supervisor with any additional questions.

Finally, please join us on Wednesday, September 18, from 1-3 p.m. (Eastern) as we honor 29 of our colleagues at NOS's Annual Diversity Day and Employee Recognition Awards Ceremony. You can add this event to your Google calendar by clicking on this link. The ceremony will be held in the NOAA Auditorium. For those participating via Webcast, instructions will be available on the For Employees site. Noted motivational speaker Al Way will present the keynote address, "Embracing Diversity in Challenging Times."

Thank you,

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

Web Highlight

Web Highlight

How is the National Ocean Service meeting future challenges such as higher intensity storms, increased coastal development, and sea level change? Check out the new 'About' section of our website and download a copy of our new 'Priorities' fact sheet.

NOS For Employees website

For Employees

NOS's 2013 Diversity Day and Employee Recognition Ceremony is next Wednesday, September 18. Check your For Employees site for details.

Around NOS

East Coast Glider Fleet Now Collecting Data in Combined Science Mission During Hurricane Season (IOOS®)

A fleet of underwater robots is descending on the waters off the east coast to collect data that could help improve storm tracking and intensity forecasts during hurricane season. Several regions of the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS®) are banding together to deploy between six and nine autonomous underwater robotic vehicles, or gliders, from Maine to Florida. Gliders have the ability dive repeatedly, collecting observations in three dimensions and improving our understanding of what is happening along the water column, which could eventually improve hurricane intensity forecasts in the future. Scientists deployed the first gliders in the fleet last week and are continuing to deploy from different locations throughout the next couple of weeks. Each glider will fly for about four weeks, collecting data into October. Rutgers University is leading the combined science mission involving all three of the east coast IOOS regions. Collected data will go through NOAA's National Data Buoy Center and post to the global telecommunications system, where the National Weather Service, the U.S. Navy, and other data users can access data for models. For more information, contact Becky Baltes.

NOAA Launches New Online Mapping Tool for the Great Lakes Region (OR&R)

The Office of Response and Restoration has launched a new online mapping tool for the Great Lakes providing decision makers, resource managers, and environmental responders better information as they clean up hazardous materials and restore coastal and estuarine environments.  The Great Lakes Environmental Response Management Application (ERMA®) adds to coverage in other regions around the nation, focusing on coastal areas in the Great Lakes Basin from Minnesota to New York and from Ontario to Quebec. It integrates both static and real-time data from NOAA and other partners into a centralized, easy-to-use format. As part of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, NOAA developed Great Lakes ERMA in collaboration with EPA, U.S. Coast Guard, and University of New Hampshire. For more information, contact Amy Merten.

Narragansett Bay Reserve and Partners Honor Rhode Island Senators (OCRM)

The Narragansett Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve recently hosted a ceremony honoring U.S. Senators Sheldon Whitehouse and Jack Reed of Rhode Island for their longtime support of coastal and ocean conservation initiatives. Acting NOAA Administrator Dr. Kathryn Sullivan was a key speaker at the event, along with Janet Coit, director of the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, and Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chaffee. The Association of National Estuary Programs, Restore America's Estuaries, the National Estuarine Research Reserve Association, and the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management presented the award. Following the ceremony, the Narragansett Bay staff hosted a tour of the reserve's facilities and restoration and climate change sentinel site. For more information, contact Louis Cafiero.

Sanctuary Supports Traditional Canoe Journey to California's Channel Islands (ONMS)

Continuing tradition, the Chumash tribe's annual 17-mile crossing recently took place from Channel Islands Harbor in Oxnard, Calif., to Limuw (Santa Cruz Island). Paddling traditionally built plank canoes, 30 "pullers" rotated during the voyage with assistance from escort vessels, including the NOAA Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary research vessel Shearwater. Personnel aboard the Shearwater handled the vessel in rough conditions and coordinated three support vessels during the crossing. Sanctuary staff have assisted with the annual crossing since its modern inception in 2001. For more information, contact Michael Murray.

NOAA Scientists Assess Pollution Impacts on Corals in Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (NCCOS)

National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science scientists recently conducted fieldwork off Tinian Island in the U.S. territory of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) to assess the extent and magnitude of pollution stressors on coral reefs. Working in collaboration with the CNMI Division of Environmental Quality, the research team collected water samples for nutrient analysis and coral tissue samples that will be analyzed for a broad suite of contaminants. The team used a genetic microarray technique to measure coral stress. Funded by the NOAA Coral Program, these data will serve as an environmental baseline and will allow coastal managers to detect future changes in the ecosystem. For more information, contact Dave Whitall.

Southeast Florida Navigation Stakeholders Briefed on New Chart, Surveys (OCS)

From September 8-12, the director of the Office of Coast Survey met with maritime pilots, port officials, and members of the cruise industry in Miami and Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. He announced the production of a new large-scale Port of Miami chart in 2014. The chart will enlarge the scale of the existing chart and will depict as many new depths as possible from a major ongoing dredging project. New hydrographic survey requests and local maritime concerns were also discussed. The Port of Miami is improving navigation infrastructure to prepare for the larger vessels anticipated with the Panama Canal expansion, scheduled to open in 2015. Nautical charts must reflect the port's changes to ensure safe navigation. For more information, contact Michael Henderson.

New Tide Station in San Francisco PORTS® (CO-OPS)

The Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services recently installed a new water level sensor at the Martinez-Amorco Pier as part of the San Francisco Physical Oceanographic Real-Time System (PORTS). This gauge was added to an existing meteorological station on the pier and utilizes new microwave water level technology to measure tides. This is the first microwave water level sensor in the San Francisco PORTS, and it's the second new sensor added to the San Francisco PORTS this year as this system continues to expand. There are also plans to install a new air gap sensor on the San Francisco Bay Bridge later in the year. For more information, contact Darren Wright.

New and Updated Land Cover Data Available for Coastal Washington (CSC)

New 2011 land cover data for coastal Washington are now available. Along with this addition, previously released land cover data for the years 1992, 1996, 2001, and 2006 were reissued with improved accuracy for wetland categories. These data products are nationally standardized and updated every five years. They supply critical information about factors affecting ecosystem health, such as regional development trends, habitat losses and gains, and changes in sources of pollution or sedimentation. NOAA Coastal Services Center's Coastal Change Analysis Program, in conjunction with the Washington State Department of Ecology, developed the data. For more information, contact Nate Herold.

GRAV-D Project Contracts Fugro to Provide Hurricane Sandy Supplemental Data Collection (NGS)

In the wake of the damage inflicted by Hurricane Sandy on the U.S. East Coast, the National Geodetic Survey has received funding from Congress as a part of a broader effort to help affected residents and to reduce their future risks of inundation by storm surge. NGS contribution to the effort involves both extensive shoreline mapping by its Remote Sensing Division and a GRAV-D (Gravity for the Redefinition of the American Vertical Datum) survey over the U.S. Mid-Atlantic coast. GRAV-D has contracted with Fugro to conduct an airborne gravity survey of the coastal region from the Maine-New Hampshire border to the southern limit of North Carolina. These blocks will connect with prior GRAV-D surveys over Maine, New Hampshire, and the Great Lakes, and will accelerate the creation of interim geoid products for the affected region. The surveys will require approximately five months to complete. For more information, contact Vicki Childers.

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