In May, the 2016 Northwestern Hawaiian Islands marine debris removal mission came to an end, successfully hauling in 12 tons of debris from Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. A marine debris team of 10 NOAA scientists was part of the removal effort that spanned 32 days cleaning Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge, Pearl and Hermes Atoll, Kure Atoll State Wildlife Sanctuary, Lisianski Island, and the French Frigate Shoals. In this image, a Laysan Albatross looks curiously at a pile of disposable cigarette lighters. These were part of the 535 cigarette lighters collected during this year’s mission.
National marine sanctuaries and marine national monuments are places for great diversity of ocean life and this image doesn’t disappoint. Here Bluestripe snapper, Ta’ape, Threespot damselfish, and Oval Chromis damselfish are seen swimming around Lobe coral, Pohaku puna, and Table coral at French Frigate Shoals in the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. Credit: James Watt/NOAA
Children explore the Rachel Carson Reserve during a field trip with North Carolina National Estuarine Research Reserve staff. The North Carolina Reserve was established to preserve the fragile natural areas that make up the third largest estuarine system in the country and the variety of life found there. Credit: Emily Woodward
In 1966, there was a major breakthrough in tide gauge technology with the introduction of the Analog-to-Digital (ADR) tide gauge. The ADR’s punch paper provided a computer compatible data recording, compared with earlier analog gauges which drew lines on a paper chart. The ADR paper tapes were read by an optical reader and translated onto nine-track magnetic tape for loading onto a computer system for processing. ADR gauges were used until 2003, when NOAA had fully transitioned to the Next Generation Water Level Measurement System.
In December 1866, the U.S. Coast Survey (NOAA's predecessor agency) began printing tide tables as an independent, annual publication. The first edition, for the year 1867, separated the predictions for the Atlantic coast and Pacific coast of the United States into two publications and gave only the daily high tides. Low tides were added in later years, as were tidal current predictions. In 2015, NOAA issued its 150th edition.
The U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey used tide prediction machine No. 2, fondly referred to as "Old Brass Brains," to predict tides from 1912-1965. It was the first machine made to simultaneously compute the height of the tide and the times of high and low waters. Today, tide predictions are made on electronic computers.
Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve is one of the most biologically diverse ecosystems in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Habitats for sea turtles, bottlenose dolphin, and manatees can be found in the deeper waters of this reserve. Oyster reefs and seagrass beds serve as nursery areas for important marine species such as shrimp, blue crab, speckled trout, and red fish. Credit: Gretchen L. Grammer.
Oyster beds at low tide. The North Carolina National Estuarine Research Reserve is comprised of four sites located near Corolla (Currituck Banks), Beaufort (Rachel Carson) and Wilmington (Masonboro Island and Zeke's Island) near Cape Hatteras. Credit: North Carolina National Estuarine Research Reserve.