November 17, 2006
Cordell Bank Deep Water Gear Removal Project
Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary staff completed their first successful mission on the new sanctuary vessel, Fulmar. The cruise was the first leg in a two-part mission to develop methods for deep-water gear removal. Using the sanctuary’s remotely operated vehicle (ROV) off the Fulmar, four pieces of gear were located and marked in water depths between 210 and 260 feet. The sanctuary will return to these sites on a larger vessel with submersibles and a larger ROV to experiment with removal methods and conduct additional surveys. For more information, contact Harriet.Sopher@noaa.gov.
NOS Supports New U.S.-Morocco Science and Technology Agreement
NOS International Programs Office (IPO) representatives traveled to Morocco with Assistant Secretary of State for Ocean and Earth Sciences Claudia McMurray for the signing of a new Science and Technology agreement with the Kingdom of Morocco. Under the agreement, IPO will help Morocco develop a National Program of Action to address the impacts of coastal development and pollution from land-based activities. For more information, contact Ed.Kruse@noaa.gov.
Coast Survey Participates in Data Exchange with Japan
Office of Coast Survey representatives traveled to Tokyo for the 34th Meeting of the U.S.-Japan Cooperative Program in Natural Resources (UJNR). The UJNR's Sea Bottom Surveys Panel, which is co-chaired by the Director of the Office of Coast Survey and the Director of the Maritime Safety Agency of Japan, emerged in 1970 as a forum to promote the exchange of marine geophysical and bathymetric research and survey data. Researchers from both countries exchanged technical reports on new developments and visited Kanagawa Prefecture to learn about Japan's continental shelf survey and disaster mitigation programs. For more information, contact Meg.Danley@noaa.gov.
November 9, 2006
Coral Reef Photos Available Online
The on-line Coral Reef Ecosystem Database, developed and managed by the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science and funded by the Coral Reef Conservation Program, now provides public access to new digital photographs from six years of coral reef field studies. Access to images of coral reef species and habitats, which were taken during studies in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, facilitates a variety of coral reef research, management and educational opportunities. The images have been used by the research and management community, including the U.S. National Park Service, the University of Puerto Rico, and NOAA. More than a thousand new digital photos were added to the searchable database, which includes images of fishes and invertebrates, hard and soft corals, mangroves, and seagrass beds and other benthic habitats. Images can be downloaded at: http://www8.nos.noaa.gov/biogeo_public/reef_photos.aspx. For more information, contact Tom.McGrath@noaa.gov.
Handbook on Mitigating Coastal Hazards Released
The Association of State Floodplain Managers, with funding and assistance from NOAA's Coastal Services Center, has completed an on-line handbook, No Adverse Impact in the Coastal Zone. The handbook provides a vision, principles, and tools that communities can use to help mitigate the effects of coastal hazards. The No Adverse Impact (NAI) principle holds that the actions of a community or property owner should not adversely impact other people or the coastal resource. In 2007, an updated version of the handbook will contain photographs and case studies from around the nation illustrating policies and actions that demonstrate the NAI concept. To view the handbook, visit http://www.floods.org/noadverseimpact/cnai_handbook_10-06.pdf. For more information, contact Keelin.Kuipers@noaa.gov.
U.S. Coral Reef Task Force Meeting Focuses on Challenges and Solutions
The 16th biannual meeting of the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force was held the week of October 23 in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. The meeting highlighted the ecological and management challenges facing Caribbean reefs, focusing on innovative solutions and partnership opportunities for achieving measurable management results in a region hard hit by decades of human and natural impacts. More than 200 people attended from seven U.S. states and territories and seven nations. The Task Force is co-chaired by the Department of the Interior and NOAA’s Coral Reef Conservation Program. For more information, contact Beth.Dieveney@noaa.gov.
November 3, 2006
2008 Declared International Year of the Reef
At a meeting of the International Coral Reef Initiative last week in Cozumel, Mexico, over 45 nations and organizations voted to declare 2008 as the International Year of the Reef (IYOR). The declaration calls for increased global awareness of the economic, ecological, and cultural value of coral reefs and improved commitments to protect and sustain these threatened and valuable ecosystems. The vote followed several IYOR workshops led by NOAA’s Coral Reef Conservation Program and partners at the third quadrennial International Tropical Marine Ecosystem Management Symposium, a week-long conference focused on management best practices and solutions for coral reef resource managers in more than 40 countries. For more information, contact Alissa.Barron@noaa.gov.
Improving Monitoring and Management of Coastal Areas
An autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) and water quality sensor, successfully tested by staff the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science last week, may improve shallow water monitoring of estuaries and coastal oceans for managers. Tests in both environments in North Carolina were successful, yielding data on pH, dissolved oxygen, salinity, temperature, depth, turbidity, and fluorescence. The AUV was directed by acoustic signals or navigated autonomously via an internal global positioning system and pre-entered way points of latitude and longitude. The sensor package is removable and can be used for vertical profiling or attached to a fixed station. A Small Business Innovations Research Grant was used to create the sensor package and to modify the AUV that was originally designed as a mine detector for the Department of Defense. For more information, contact Pat.Tester@noaa.gov.
Removing Marine Debris in California
Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary scientists completed the first of a two-part mission to identify and attempt retrieval procedures of marine debris within the sanctuary, using the new sanctuary research vessel Fulmar. The planned mission with the University of California at Davis and Deep Ocean Exploration and Research (DOER) was split into two parts. In six days, four sanctuary researchers, two DOER contractors, and the two Fulmar crew members located and marked four marine debris sites of a priority list of 10 targeted for potential removal tests. The gear, successfully relocated from identification two to three years ago, is located in depths of 210-260 feet, with varying habitats — some sand, some boulders. The second part of the mission will continue during the second or third week in November, when researchers will use the vessel Transquest to attempt marine debris retrieval tests. For more information, contact Nicole.Capps@noaa.gov.