January 26, 2007
Coming Soon – 2007 NOAA Heritage Week
Step into the NOAA Heritage Week "time machine" in the NOAA Science Center and Auditorium in Silver Spring, Maryland. Travel through 200 years of NOAA science, service, and stewardship, starting with the grand opening of Treasures of NOAA's Ark: Journey Through Time on Monday, February 5, 2007, at 1:00 p.m. This special NOAA Heritage Week-NOAA 200th Celebration event and exhibit will transport you back to the early days of the Coast Survey, the Weather Bureau, and the U.S. Commission of Fish and Fisheries, and propel you forward to the NOAA of today. You'll be wowed by newly discovered and restored artifacts from NOAA's past, inspired by the breakthroughs of NOAA's professional ancestors, and immersed in the many environments in which NOAA operates from sea to space. For more information, contact Cheryl.Oliver@noaa.gov.
Volunteer Phytoplankton Monitoring Network Expands
The Southeast Phytoplankton Monitoring Network (SEPMN), in collaboration with Texas Parks and Wildlife and the Texas Naturalist Program, has added sites to sample phytoplankton along the Texas coast. Data generated by Texan volunteer groups will support the NOAA Harmful Algal Bloom Forecast by providing distribution and seasonal abundance of the toxic algae, Karenia brevis. These data are critical for validating NOAA's forecast. SEPMN enhances the awareness of harmful algae and directly engages volunteers in coastal stewardship, with 60 schools and citizen groups monitoring over 72 sites in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, U.S. Virgin Islands, Hawaii, and now Texas. For more information, contact Steve.Morton@noaa.gov.
Centimeter-Level GPS Orbit Accuracy Attained
The National Geodetic Survey (NGS) recently achieved nearly one-centimeter level precision in the computation of global positioning system (GPS) satellite orbits. Satellite locations are generated using a global network of about 100-150 stations every day. This work is done in collaboration with seven other analysis centers of the International Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) Service, which is a voluntary federation of over 200 worldwide organizations that pool resources and continuous satellite-tracking data to generate precise products. Over the past year, numerous model upgrades and strategy changes within NGS have been applied to the GPS data analysis, bringing the daily orbit errors down to about two centimeters. On January 17, 2007, the orbits calculations did even better—at about one centimeter—following the implementation of a new network strategy. For information, contact Jim.Ray@noaa.gov.
January 19, 2007
Suspected Torpedo Found in Sanctuary
Recently, NOAA worked with the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard to remove a suspected torpedo from the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. A recreational diver reported discovering an unexploded torpedo in the sanctuary on November 28, 2006. Since then, the sanctuary has worked with the Navy and Coast Guard to address the potential threat. The sanctuary will provide boat support for Navy dive operations and will develop environmental survey protocols for any underwater detonation plan. For more information, contact Scott.Kathey@noaa.gov.
"Dead Zone" Action Plan to be Revised
At the 13th Meeting of the Mississippi River/Gulf of Mexico Watershed Task Force, the task force adopted six major themes to guide the revision of the landmark 2001 Action Plan for Reducing, Mitigating, and Controlling Hypoxia in the Northern Gulf of Mexico. This plan specifies actions to reduce the Gulf’s hypoxic zone – commonly called the "Dead Zone" – from its current decadal (10-year) average area of 15,000 km2 to 5,000 km2. Thematic areas include integrating task force activities into national trends and policies including biofuel-driven changes in agriculture, reauthorization of the Farm Bill, and relationships with wetland loss/restoration in the lower basin. The themes also call for more specificity and accountability in the actions, as well as robust public participation. More information can be found online at: www.cop.noaa.gov/stressors/extremeevents/hab/features/hypoxiafs_report1206.html. For more information, contact Rob.Magnien@noaa.gov or Alan.Lewitus@noaa.gov.
NOS and Korea Sign 2007 Work Plan
On December 28, 2006, NOS signed a one-year work plan with the Republic of Korea's Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries. The plan outlines training and collaboration between the two agencies in areas including coastal management, protected area management, LIDAR applications, aquaculture, coastal and ocean observations and warnings (e.g., tsunamis, storm surges), fisheries and ecosystem-based resources, watershed planning, Sea Grant, and data exchange. For more information, contact Lynne.Mersfelder@noaa.gov.
January 12, 2007
Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center Opens
On January 13 in Key West, NOAA National Marine Sanctuary Program’s Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary hosted a grand opening ceremony in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Park Service, and the South Florida Water Management District. This state-of-the-art facility was created to inspire students, local residents, and visitors to become good stewards of the unique Florida Keys ecosystem and to help visitors develop an appreciation and personal responsibility for protecting the Florida Keys and south Florida ecosystem. For more information, contact David.A.Score@noaa.gov.
At the opening of the Eco-Discovery Center, NOAA's National Geodetic Survey placed a commemorative geodetic marker and recognized the installation of the 1001st Continuously Operating Reference Station (CORS). The station will usher in a new generation of CORS by becoming the first to provide precise positioning data in real time from both the U.S. Global Positioning System and the Russian Global Navigation Satellite System. The station is part of the International Ocean Observing System and is co-located with the tide station in Key West to provide crucial data for measuring local sea level changes. For more information, contact Casey.Brennan@noaa.gov.
Digital Coast: Legislative Atlas Available
The nation's coastal resource managers have a new Web tool to help them better understand complex legislation and policy governing coastal and marine resources. Digital Coast: Legislative Atlas, developed by the NOAA Coastal Services Center, contains a searchable database of federal and state coastal and ocean legislation. On-line mapping provides visualization and analysis of “georegulations,” which are spatial representations of federal and state legislation and jurisdictional boundaries. The project currently covers key federal georegulations and agency jurisdictions for the ocean coasts of the continental U.S. and state georegulations for the Gulf of Mexico. Federal laws for the entire U.S. and state laws in California, Hawaii, and the Northeast will be added soon. For more information, visit the Digital Coast: Legislative Atlas Web site at: http://www.csc.noaa.gov/legislativeatlas/ or contact Hamilton.Smillie@noaa.gov.
South Florida/Caribbean Reef Fish Guide
The National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, in collaboration with the National Park Service, U.S. Geological Survey, NOAA Fisheries Southeast Fisheries Science Center, University of Hawaii, and University of Miami, has developed a comprehensiv Guide to Monitoring Reef Fish in the National Park Service’s South Florida/Caribbean Network. Based on fieldwork and reef fish data gathered over the past 10 years, the guide details survey strategies that could be used to support management decisions on maintaining, enhancing, or restoring the ecological integrity of reef fish communities. For more information, contact Charles.Menza@noaa.gov.
January 5, 2007
Mongolian Scientist Visits National Geodetic Survey
This week, NOAA's National Geodetic Survey (NGS) will host Dr. Mijiddorj Saandari, a Mongolian geodesist. Dr. Saandari works for a private company called MONMAP and has helped develop the Mongolian geodetic network by modeling much of the work of NGS and working closely with the Mongolian government. Specifically, Dr. Saandari has helped in the creation of a Mongolian Continuously Operating Reference Stations network. On his visit, Dr. Saandari will meet with NGS staff to discuss NGS's Online Positioning Users Service and to learn more about global positioning system-derived heights that are part of NOAA’s height modernization program. For more information, contact Dave.Doyle@noaa.gov.
President Signs Marine Debris Bill
The "Marine Debris Research, Prevention, and Reduction Act" (S. 362) was signed into law by President Bush on December 22, 2006. This bill establishes programs within NOAA and the U.S. Coast Guard to identify, reduce, and prevent marine debris and its effects on the environment and navigational safety. For more information, visit http;//www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2006/12/20061222-1.html.
Marine Corps Base Long-term Ecosystem Management Plan
National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science's (NCCOS) staff participated in a December workshop in Morehead City, North Carolina, to support the Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program to develop a conceptual model for a long-term ecosystem management plan for the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, North Carolina. Staff at the Center for Coastal Fisheries and Habitat Research will contribute to the design of research and monitoring programs addressing concerns ranging from salt marsh response to sea level rise, estuarine shoreline erosion, boat wake and landing craft impacts on shoreline habitats, and characterization of primary nursery areas for fish and shellfish. Camp Lejeune contains more than 14 miles of ocean beach, extensive salt marsh habitat, and borders both sides of the New River Estuary. For more information, contact Carolyn.Currin@noaa.gov.