Web Highlight

Web Highlight

On the latest Making Waves podcast, we introduce you to a new occasional series called 'Sanctuary Shorts' from National Marine Sanctuaries. In this episode, hear about a pioneering mission to dive on Cordell Bank off the coast of California in the late 1970s and a returning mission nearly 30 years later. It's a great story you don't want to miss!

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NOS Communications & Education Division

NOS Assistant Administrator Weekly Newsletter

March 7, 2013

Hi everyone,

image of Holly Bamford

Recently, Dr. Russell Callender and I met with your program office directors for an in-depth discussion about the future of NOS. As budgets become more constrained, it is even more important to be strategic in deciding where to focus our resources to best meet our agency's mission.

During our discussion, we also recognized that the challenges facing our country—and the importance of NOS's role in helping the country respond to those challenges—have never been greater. We are facing coastal storms with higher frequency and intensity. We anticipate larger ships and increased demands on our nation's ports. Sea level change, increased offshore development, and more coastal development will add stress to our coastal and marine natural resources. Additionally, there are emerging interests in the Arctic, from marine transportation to energy exploration.

When we say that NOS is "positioning America for the future," we are talking about bringing NOS resources to bear on the issues our country is facing now and will continue to face in the years to come. I am working with your program office directors to identify the primary areas of focus for NOS and will share additional information with you as those discussions unfold. I look forward to working with your directors as we set the course for NOS.

Before I close, I would like congratulate Dr. Theresa Bannister-Scott (Office of Coast Survey), Deborah Jefferson (Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management), and Thomas Jackson (retired, Office of Coast Survey). Thanks to these three competitors, NOS reclaimed our championship status in the annual "Battle of the Line Offices" NOAA BIG Black History Trivia Game. Great job!

Thank you,

Holly A. Bamford, Ph.D.
Assistant Administrator
National Ocean Service

Web Highlight

Web Highlight

On the latest Making Waves podcast, we introduce you to a new occasional series called 'Sanctuary Shorts' from National Marine Sanctuaries. In this episode, hear about a pioneering mission to dive on Cordell Bank off the coast of California in the late 1970s and a returning mission nearly 30 years later. It's a great story you don't want to miss!

Around NOS

Florida Governor Announces Water Quality Initiatives at Apalachicola Bay NERR (OCRM)

At a recent press event held at the Apalachicola Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, Florida Governor Rick Scott joined more than 70 state and local government officials to announce the allocation of $3 million from his proposed state budget for Apalachicola Bay water projects. The proposed funding would go to the Northwest Florida Water Management District and would be allocated to improve water quality infrastructure in the bay, making the area more hospitable for oysters and fishing. Up to $500,000 would be set aside to study water levels in the rivers that feed the bay. This initiative will showcase the reserve's ongoing research and monitoring efforts and use science-based data to seek solutions to the region's ecological issues. For more information, contact Matt Chasse.

Broken Wellhead Capped in Louisiana (OR&R)

The U.S. Coast Guard in New Orleans contacted the Office of Response and Restoration's (OR&R) Scientific Support Coordinator on February 26 regarding an accident that occurred that evening when a 42-foot aluminum hull crew boat owned by Swift Energy collided with an inactive wellhead in Lake Grande Ecaille, approximately 11 miles west of Empire, La. The broken wellhead began to release a combination of oil and water. The area is a known "sour" crude oil field, which contains the toxic gas hydrogen sulfide, so there were concerns about potential health and fire hazards. Contaminant booms and skimming equipment were deployed, and OR&R provided oil spill trajectories and information on environmental resources at risk. The well was capped and secured on the afternoon of February 28. For more information, contact David Wesley.

NOS Assists Smithsonian Institution in the Caribbean (NGS)

This week, a representative from the National Geodetic Survey will assist the Smithsonian Institution's Tropical Research Institute in Bocas del Toro, Panama, with the establishment of a new tide gauge to provide critical sea-level observations in support of the Smithsonian's Marine Global Earth Observatory. The Smithsonian is investing in monitoring infrastructure at its Caribbean laboratories to bring them in line with similar observations being made within the NOAA Sentinel Site Program. The project will help establish a pan-Caribbean sentinel site network and provide much needed sea-level information in the region. For more information, contact Philippe Hensel.

Florida Keys Field Operations Support Safe Navigation (CO-OPS)

The Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services has a team in Key West this week in support of updating tidal current predictions in the Florida Keys. The area's last circulation survey was conducted more than 70 years ago, and flow characteristics through navigational channels and harbors have changed significantly. At the completion of the survey in early April, measurements of speed and direction from 19 tide stations will be analyzed to produce tidal current predictions in Key West harbor, New Ground, and Bahia Honda harbor. For more information, contact Karen Earwaker.

NOS Contributes to Lake Erie Nutrient Management Priorities (NCCOS)

The results of a Lake Erie hypoxia ecological forecasting project, funded in part by the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, were recently presented at the Lake Erie Ecosystem Priority Science Synthesis Workshop sponsored by the Great Lakes International Joint Commission. The presentation focused on phosphorus loading, the influence of climate, impacts on the lake's oxygen and algal blooms, and best management practices to control nutrient runoff. The researcher developed models that suggest that current nutrient reduction targets may not be enough to reduce blooms of toxic algae and hypoxia, which are deadly zones of insufficient oxygen. The commission will consider these findings as they refine the lake's nutrient management strategy. For more information, contact Elizabeth Turner.

Florida Surveys Will Make Recreational Boating Safer (OCS)

The Office of Coast Survey's Navigation Response Team 2 (NRT2) moved to St. Augustine, Fla., this week, to start a hydrographic survey project at the request of the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG). The project, which will last from one to two months, will help the USCG reposition its buoys in the St. Augustine channels, which have experienced shifting seafloors and potentially pose safety risks to substantial numbers of recreational boaters. NRT2 had been surveying for nautical chart updates in the waters around Jacksonville, and will return to that project. For more information, contact LT Michael Davidson.

Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Promotes Volunteerism (ONMS)

The Office of National Marine Sanctuaries joined the National Park Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, U.S. Forest Service, and other federal agencies in the Federal Interagency Team on Volunteerism (FITV) through a recent MOU. FITV is an alliance of federal land and water management agencies that seeks to promote natural- and cultural-resource-based volunteerism as a shared stewardship asset. ONMS volunteer programs grow in participation every year; in FY2012, volunteers devoted more than 117,000 hours to protecting and promoting national marine sanctuaries. Participation in FITV allows federal agencies to share resources, expertise, and training opportunities, and work across agency lines to support volunteer excellence. For more information, contact Tracy Hajduk.

'Flood Mapper' Released for New Jersey (CSC, OCRM)

New Jersey communities now have an interactive mapping website to visualize coastal hazards and sea level rise. Rutgers University and the Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve recently created this tool with funding from NOAA's Cooperative Institute for Coastal and Estuarine Environmental Technology and Sustainable New Jersey. The NOAA Coastal Services Center played a key role by providing web mapping templates and data layers from its Sea Level Rise Viewer. Maps are currently available for New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania, with Maryland, Virginia, and New York coming online this spring. To see the New Jersey Flood Mapper, visit the NOAA Sea Level Rise and Coastal Flooding Impacts Viewer on the Digital Coast. For more information, contact Doug Marcy.

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