This month marks the 40th anniversary of the signing of the National Marine Sanctuaries Act, which created our nation's national marine sanctuary system. What are sanctuaries? How do these special areas help to protect and conserve our ocean? We have a NOAA Ocean Today video for you in the latest episode of Making Waves to put this milestone in perspective
October 4, 2012
A couple of weeks ago, I noted that about 76 percent of all funds raised across the federal government for the Combined Federal Campaign come from employees living outside the National Capital area. We have terrific examples of CFC success among staff members in Charleston, South Carolina.
For nearly 20 years, the NOAA Coastal Services Center's Charleston office has consistently been recognized with a Goal Achievement Award for CFC success. About a third of the employees from this office are honored each year with Keeper of the Light Awards for contributing $1,000 or more. On average, individual employees give at a rate that is 250% higher than the national average. Overall, the office has received the Highest Per Capita Achievement Award eight times.
National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) staff members in Charleston have been similarly recognized for their CFC leadership and participation. NCCOS employees have teamed up with National Institute of Science and Technology on-site research partners, raising more than $470,000 since 1992 and averaging $600 per donation. Typically, this partnership achieves the Gold Award, which means donation amounts surpass the previous year's success by at least 10 percent.
I want to thank the men and women who live and work in the Charleston area for their outstanding commitment to CFC. As NCCOS branch chief Paul Comar noted recently, "We in Charleston highly value and take pride in our participation for what it means to others." I couldn't have said it better myself.
NOS employees are active in Combined Federal Campaign across twelve time zones. I'll be reaching out to your program office leaders for additional examples of CFC success stories to share with you.
Thank you for supporting such an important effort!
National Ocean Science
This month marks the 40th anniversary of the signing of the National Marine Sanctuaries Act, which created our nation's national marine sanctuary system. What are sanctuaries? How do these special areas help to protect and conserve our ocean? We have a NOAA Ocean Today video for you in this episode of Making Waves to put this milestone in perspective
Coastal habitats injured by a waste disposal site in Texas City, Texas, are one step closer to being restored. The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas has approved a settlement between more than three dozen companies and government agencies, including NOAA. The settlement includes cleanup of the Malone Services Company site and payment of $3,109,000 in natural resource damages under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act for injuries resulting from the release of hazardous substances from the site. The Malone Service Co. site, located along the shores of Galveston Bay in Texas City, is a former 150-acre waste oil and chemicals disposal facility. For more information, contact Jessica White.
Last week, NOAA unveiled the new Columbia River Estuary Operational Forecast System
(CREOFS). This system is NOAA's first oceanographic operational forecast system on the West Coast, providing users with nowcast (analyses of near present) and forecast guidance of water levels, currents, water temperature, and salinity out to 48 hours, four times per day. The CREOFS model domain is also divided into five separate subdomains, allowing users to focus on their area of interest. Animation maps of each of the five subdomains are available at over 40 locations for winds, water level, currents, temperature, and salinity. The system was developed in a joint partnership with the Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services, the Office of Coast Survey, the NWS National Centers for Environmental Prediction, and the Oregon Health & Science University; it was coordinated with NWS River Forecast hydrologists. For more information, contact Aijun Zhang or Frank Aikman.
People in the Pacific Islands have a new, free mapping portal to help plan beach and coastal trips. The Pacific Islands Ocean Observing System, a regional member of the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System, released the new interactive tool on Oct. 2. The tool, named Voyager, is tailored to needs identified by researchers and members of the public. It allows users to combine, view, download, and query thousands of ocean and coastal data for free and access historic, recent, and forecast information. Users can also save maps and share research and visualizations for future use and distribution. For more information, contact Jenifer Rhoades.
The NOAA Coastal Services Center developed a contracting mechanism that makes it easier for organizations to contract with private-sector firms to get social science-related services. Known as the Social Science IDIQ (indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity), a record 15 tasks were awarded this past fiscal year, for a total of over $1.5 million. Examples of the projects include an evaluation for the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Storms Program, a marketing plan for new storm surge products, and a needs assessment for climate training. Of the 15 projects, three are for NOAA offices outside of the National Ocean Service, including Sea Grant (Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research), Integrated Water Resources Science and Services (National Weather Service), and National Climatic Data Center (National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service). For more information, contact Tricia Ryan.
Last week, NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries aired live programming from the BLUE Ocean Film Festival in Monterey, Calif., on OceansLIVE.org. Hosted in partnership with the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, the University of Rhode Island's Inner Space Center, and AMP 2 (a local Monterey Community Cable Network), the daily live shows featured engaging interviews with prominent ocean activists including HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco, Academy Award-winning actor Edward James Olmos, ocean explorer Dr. Robert Ballard, Fabien and Celine Cousteau, and Congressman Sam Farr, to name a few. OceansLIVE also covered panel discussions focusing on ocean conservation and the power of celebrity, and culminated with live coverage of the entire BLUE Carpet Awards Ceremony. For more information, contact Kate Thompson.
A researcher has genetically identified the algal species Aureoumbra lagunensis as the culprit behind a brown tide bloom plaguing two Florida coastal lagoons since late summer. This confirms a significant expansion of brown tide harmful algal bloom events in the U.S. Previous Aureoumbra blooms had only been documented in Texas. Support from the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science enabled a brown tide expert to join a team of state and local researchers led by St. Johns River Water Management District who are studying the bloom. The water authority first reported the unusual bloom in July and officials have since documented a significant loss of seagrass acreage, low oxygen, and fish and shellfish kills. For more information, contact Marc Suddleson.
This week, NOAA released a new web application to allow users to view National Geodetic Survey (NGS) geodetic control across the U.S. and its territories using Google Maps. The NGS Data Explorer map application is an interactive tool allowing users to explore NOAA's extensive geodetic control network, as well as the NOAA datasheet documentation for the specified control marks. This new map application will provide access to control mark information including the latitude, longitude, elevation, position source, and other available data. For more information, contact Brian Shaw.
In September, the Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management and the Coastal
Services Center awarded $3.14 million through the Regional Ocean Partnership Funding Program. This grant program was developed to advance effective coastal and ocean management through regional ocean governance, including the goals for national ocean policy and comprehensive ocean planning, set out in the President's Final Recommendations of Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force. The following seven regions received funding: Northeast, West Coast, Mid-Atlantic, South Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, Great Lakes and Pacific Islands, including an award to the Smith River Rancheria to build capacity of West Coast tribes to coordinate and engage in ocean governance at a regional level. For more information, contact Elizabeth Mountz or Rebecca Smyth.