NOS Assistant Administrator Weekly Update

Hi Everyone,

Last week, I talked about an important effort underway to further improve NOS's preparedness and response capabilities. This week, I'd like to focus on the two additional components of the "all-hazards" continuum: recovery and resiliency.

The ultimate goal of the all-hazards approach is to reduce the harm to coastal communities, economies, and ecosystems through timely science-based information and technical assistance that supports better decision making — before, during, and after natural and human-caused disasters. Our experience with Sandy reinforced the importance of undertaking actions that not only address the pre-disaster planning and post-event recovery needs of communities, but that continually serve to enhance their resilience in the face of future risk and change.

The Office of Response and Restoration, Coastal Services Center, and Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management are co-leading, with other NOS programs, the development of a cross-NOS all-hazards strategy. In the area of recovery and resiliency, the strategy calls for capitalizing on NOS and NOAA authorities and capabilities to build coastal resilience nationally with, and through, partners at the state and local level. Examples of activities to carry out the strategy include collaborating more closely with private and non-profit organizations who are proactively planning for recovery; advancing more consistent and effective federal guidance, risk communication, technical assistance and training around resilience-oriented topics; and working with state and local decision makers to apply infrastructure systems rebuilding principles, including integrating natural defenses with hard structural solutions, and to increase the resilience of communities and ecosystems.

You will hear more about implementation of the all-hazards strategy as our plans move forward. I would like to especially acknowledge the work of CSC and OCRM staff in developing the recovery and resilience component of the overall strategy.

Holly A. Bamford, Ph.D.
Assistant Administrator for Ocean Services and Coastal
Zone Management, National Ocean Service

Around NOS

NOAA Marine Debris Program Publishes Standard Guidance for Assessing Marine Debris

NOAA's Marine Debris Program (MDP) recently published standard techniques and guidance for assessing marine debris on shorelines, surface waters, and benthic environments. These techniques are the foundation of the Marine Debris Monitoring and Assessment Project, the MDP's nationwide marine debris survey effort. The project was put into high gear following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, recruiting monitors and establishing over 100 shoreline monitoring sites on the West Coast and in Hawaii and Alaska.

Contact: Sherry Lippiat

Audience Is Growing for Compilation of Climate Funding Opportunities

A popular snapshot of climate-related funding opportunities was downloaded more than 1,895 times in the past year, with the vast majority of downloads coming from unique visitors. These results show that climate partners are becoming increasingly aware of adaptation funding opportunities. To date, people from more than 47 states and a number of international geographies have visited this resource. Two Digital Coast partners, the NOAA Coastal Services Center and The Nature Conservancy, collaborated to bring this resource to users. It can be found on the Collaboratory for Adaptation to Climate Change  website.

Contact: Brent Schleck

New Mobile App Offers Public Access to Real-Time Data from Research Reserves

A new mobile app gives people instant access to real-time weather and water quality data available from the System-Wide Monitoring Program of the National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS). Whether a user is out in the field or without Internet access, the app provides data from any mobile device, smartphone, or tablet, regardless of operating system. Users can locate monitoring stations nearest to them from the 28 reserves around the country, view station locations on Google maps, bookmark their favorite stations, view near real-time data, and create quick charts. The app was developed by the NERRS Centralized Data Management Office, which is supported through a cooperative agreement between OCRM and the University of South Carolina. The mobile app complements the reserve's other data access resources.

Contact: Marie Bundy

New Study Shows Elevated Sediment Pollution Levels in Guánica Bay, Puerto Rico

A new study from NCCOS reports recent sediment samples from Guánica Bay, Puerto Rico, contained some of the highest concentrations of PCBs, chlordane, chromium, and nickel ever measured in the 28 year history of the NCCOS National Status & Trends Program. These concentrations represent toxic threats to corals, fish, and benthic infauna—organisms that burrow into and live in the seafloor. The data collected serve as an ecological baseline against which coastal managers in Puerto Rico can measure future change and that can help assess the efficacy of pollution remediation and watershed management actions. The research was supported by NOAA's Coral Reef Conservation Program as part of their work with the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force, which designated Guánica Bay as a priority watershed for coral conservation. Project partners included NOAA's Restoration Center and the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez.

Contact: Dave Whitall

NOAA Drifter Buoys Deployed in Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary

On Jan. 11, Southern California teachers assisted NOAA's Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary staff in deploying two NOAA ocean drifters in the waters of the sanctuary. Launched from the R/V Shearwater in two locations approximately 12 miles south of Santa Rosa and Santa Cruz islands, the drifters will record information about ocean currents and sea surface temperature in the coming months. The teachers, participating through an ocean stewardship project funded by the California Bay Watershed Education and Training (B-WET) Program, also joined sanctuary staff in various plankton, water quality, and ROV activities during the expedition. Thirteen Santa Barbara-area teachers and 27 classrooms, as well as the Costa Verde International School in Sayulita, Mexico, have "adopted" drifters through the NOAA Adopt a Drifter Program and will be tracking the drifters online as part of their ocean science curricula.

Contact: Laura Francis

NOS Assistant Administrator
NOS Assistant Administrator Holly Bamford

NOS Assistant Administrator
Dr. Holly Bamford

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