Making Waves

Making Waves

We've all heard that hurricanes are one of the most powerful and destructive forces on Earth. But where do they get their strength? You'll find the answer on today's Making Waves podcast. Tune in to watch a brand new video from NOAA's Ocean Today called 'Fuel from Storm.'


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NOS Communications & Education Division

NOS Assistant Administrator Weekly Newsletter

September 20, 2012



Good Day Everyone,

Director, Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services

Tides endlessly rise and fall and users around the country depend every day on information provided by the Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services to make important decisions, particularly for safe and efficient maritime commerce, but for other critical uses as well.   

Hurricane Isaac is but one recent example.  As Isaac approached the Gulf Coast, our tide network provided vital real time storm surge data.  Our open coast tide stations, designed and constructed after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita to withstand category four hurricanes, performed admirably by continually providing real time data when most needed.   Our data helped emergency managers make informed evacuation and other decisions when storm surge levels threatened low-lying coastal communities, and fed directly into NWS surge forecast models to validate near term storm surge forecasts.  

This same tide network is a source of long term observations that can help coastal planners account for future impacts of coastal inundation, whether from tsunami, storms, or sea level rise as they design coastal infrastructure development.   The data helps other NOS programs create tools such as sea level rise viewers, map shoreline and create nautical charts, and inform coastal zone management marine boundary decisions, to name just a few.  Together, we all work to Position America for the Future.

Thank you,

Richard Edwing
Director,
Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services

Making Waves

We've all heard that hurricanes are one of the most powerful and destructive forces on Earth. But where do they get their strength? You'll find the answer on today's Making Waves podcast. Tune in to watch a brand new video from NOAA's Ocean Today called 'Fuel from Storm.'

Making Waves

Around NOS

Harmful Algal Blooms May be Increasing on the West Coast (NCCOS)

A recent NOAA-led study points to a possible increase in harmful algal blooms (HABs) along the west coast of North America, as well as a possible increase in their related impacts on coastal resources over the past 10–15 years. From Alaska to Mexico, HABs have had negative effects on natural resources and coastal economies and have sickened and even killed people and animals for decades. Two types of HABs pose the most significant threats to the region's coastal ecosystems: those that cause paralytic shellfish poisoning (the dinoflagellates Alexandrium, Gymnodinium, and Pyrodinium), and those that cause amnesic shellfish poisoning (Pseudo-nitzschia diatoms). The study is a part of outreach and management efforts that address West Coast HABs. For more information, contact Alan Lewitus.

NOAA and Partners Capture 3-D Images of Civil War Wreck off Galveston (ONMS)

On Sept. 11, the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries and its partners documented the remains of the only U.S. warship sunk in combat in the Gulf of Mexico during the U.S. Civil War. The USS Hatteras, an iron-hulled side-wheel steamship, was lost in a battle with the Confederate raider CSS Alabama 20 miles off Galveston, Texas, on Jan. 11, 1863. Two of the crew perished in the battle and remain entombed inside the wreck. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the Hatteras is a nationally significant war grave and archaeological site. The 3-D images collected on the mission will provide the public an unprecedented look at the wreck. NOAA plans to present results from the mapping mission in Galveston next January during local events marking the 150th anniversary of the sinking of the Hatteras and the Battle of Galveston. For more information, contact Emma Hickerson.

GRAV-D Begins Collaborative Survey with the Alaska Fire Service (NGS)

The Gravity for the Redefinition of the American Vertical Datum (GRAV-D) Project is about to begin an airborne gravity survey aboard an aircraft owned by the Bureau of Land Management's Alaska Fire Service. The Pilatus PC-12 aircraft allocated for the survey is primarily tasked with fire spotting in Alaska and the lower 48 states during the fire season. Starting with the three to four week survey in and around Fairbanks, Alaska, GRAV-D operations aboard the PC-12 will continue through March with similar surveys in Indiana, Texas, and New Mexico. The surveys support the GRAV-D mission to create a new vertical reference system for the nation that will improve floodplain mapping and help mitigate risks for coastal communities from tsunamis, hurricanes, and storm surges. For more information, contact Vicki Childers.

Interactive Kiosks Introduce Public to Ocean and Coastal Information (IOOS®)

Interactive kiosks are now helping the public understand how the Gulf of Mexico influences their lives and livelihoods and are helping scientists track changes in public understanding of major ocean issues. This week the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System, a regional member of the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System, opened the first of six kiosks at the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies in Gulfport, Miss. These kiosks—which feature interactive games about the societal value of real-time ocean and coastal information—aid in the informal education of the public on the topics of water quality, nutrients and nutrient reduction, coastal community resilience, habitat conservation, and ecosystem integration and assessment. Additional kiosks will be installed at the Florida Aquarium, Texas State Aquarium, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, Dauphin Island Estuarium, and Secrets of the Sea Marine Exploration Center and Aquarium. Combined, these facilities host millions of visitors annually. For more information, contact Dave Easter.

Virginia Education Secretary Visits Chesapeake Bay Reserve (OCRM)

On September 6th, Virginia Secretary of Education Laura Fornash visited the Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) in Virginia. The site visit highlighted NOAA's relationship with the state and the importance of NERR research and education programs to the local community. In particular, the reserve shared information about its classroom and field programs—which reach every seventh grader in Gloucester and Mathews Counties—and their monthly Discovery Lab series for families and the general public. For more information, contact Michael Migliori.

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