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Weekly News: October 2007
October 2007

October 19, 2007
October 12, 2007
October 5, 2007


October 19, 2007

Hydrographic Survey Launched in Waters of Receding Alaskan Glacier
The Office of Coast Survey (OCS) recently began a hydrographic survey of the Endicott Arm and the southern Alaskan waters offshore of the receding Dawes Glacier, which has receded approximately 2.5 miles since the last survey in 1974.  The survey, expected to be complete by early November, will use a specialized type of Global Positioning System technique that is expected to lead to dramatically more efficient surveys in the future.  The National Geodetic Survey (NGS) will assist on this project in response to requests from the U.S. Coast Guard, Southeast Alaska Pilots Association, and the cruise line industry.  For more information, contact

Ecological Forecasting Tool Will Assist in Predicting Climate Change Impacts
National Estuarine Research Reserve managers will soon be able to assess climate change impacts in their estuaries through the use of an ecological forecasting tool developed through the research project Climate Change and Intertidal Risk Analysis, supported through the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science Ecological Forecasting Program.  The forecast tool uses temperature data from the NOAA National Centers for Environmental Prediction and predicts whether body temperatures of intertidal organisms will exceed lethal limits, and if managers can expect mass die-offs in their estuaries.  The tool can also be used to predict changes in geographic distributions of intertidal animals which could change ecosystem structure.   For more information, contact



October 12, 2007


New Flood Inundation Maps Will Enhance Disaster Resilience
Coastal communities can mitigate the impacts of flooding and increase disaster resilience when supplied with accurate inundation maps.  This month, the first in a series of flood inundation maps will provide information on the extent and depth of flood waters near NOAA National Weather Service (NWS) forecast locations.  NOAA’s NWS Hydrology Program and the NOS Coastal Services Center worked together to provide the maps.  To access the maps, visit  For more information, contact

Real-time Data Strengthens Ocean Observations
NOAA’s National Data Buoy Center is now receiving real-time water quality data from the National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS) and making them available to the public.  The NERRS’ System-Wide Monitoring Program has provided long-term weather and water quality data to scientists since 1995.  With support from NOAA’s Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) program, the reserves installed specialized instruments to begin sending real-time data by satellite last year.  The data are also available on the NERRS’ Centralized Data Management Office Web site and on the National Weather Service’s Hydrometeorological Automated Data System.  The availability of this data extends the reach of NOAA’s ocean observing systems, providing a new level of real-time data for users.  It also strengthens IOOS.  For more information, contact

Pilot Project to Support Local Coastal Planning
Chesapeake NEMO (Network for Education of Municipal Officials), supported by a partnership between the NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the National Park Service, launched a five-month local assistance pilot program in Mathews County, Virginia.  The series, “Talking about the Future – Second Tuesdays in Mathews,” and a one-day “citizens’ planning academy” will address various issues regarding growth and natural resources as this small coastal community prepares to develop a new county comprehensive plan in the spring.  The first session included a presentation entitled “Linking Land, Water & Growth,” which discussed how to integrate natural resources, low-impact development techniques, and other measures into local decision making.  The series continues next month and runs through February, when the formal aspects of the comprehensive planning process begin.  For more information, contact



October 5 , 2007


Work Begins on Puerto Rico’s First Geodetic Network
NOAA’s National Geodetic Survey (NGS) has begun work on a five-year project with the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico to create Puerto Rico’s first geodetic network.  The work will be performed primarily by licensed Puerto Rican surveyors under NGS oversight.  Idaho's State Geodetic Advisor and other NGS Representatives were in Puerto Rico last week to launch the project and conduct a three-day leveling workshop with the local partners to ensure they have the necessary information, specifications, and guidelines.  The project is funded entirely by the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.  For more information, contact

‘If Reefs Could Talk’ Speaks to Ocean Lovers Worldwide
In partnership with NOAA's National Undersea Research Center at the University of North Carolina, the National Marine Sanctuary Program (NMSP) led a nine-day “If Reefs Could Talk” mission to the Aquarius underwater habitat.  Using live Internet video to promote science and education, the team brought its research to hundreds of thousands of people worldwide on  Daily shows focused on key topics and included undersea classroom sessions and lectures for students.  Scientists gathered data on undersea life and fish diversity and measured the effects of sponge metabolism on water quality.  Preliminary findings suggest that sponges play an important role in filtering and converting particulate matter, and releasing dissolved inorganic nitrogen that could enhance algae growth on reefs.  For more information, contact or

Researchers Identify Hot Spots for Dolphin Contaminant Exposure
Scientists from the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science’s (NCCOS) Hollings Marine Laboratory and NOAA Fisheries partnered with the NOAA Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program to compile and analyze samples collected from dolphin health studies at 10 coastal sites from the Mississippi Sound up to Cape May, New Jersey.  Researchers will integrate the results into a database to serve as a tool for managers assessing coastal ecosystems and conducting ecosystem-based management of protected species.  Dolphins sampled near Brunswick, Georgia, had the highest levels of persistent contaminants, with concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls that were significantly higher than samples from other sites.  Additional hot spots included Cape May and northern Biscayne Bay, Florida.  For more information, contact or


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