Diving Deeper

Diving Deeper

Our nation's estuaries provide endless recreation opportunities. In today's Diving Deeper, we learn about why estuaries are important, the National Estuarine Research Reserve System, some of the fun recreational activities at these sites, and economic benefits of our reserves.

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NOS Communications & Education Division

NOS Assistant Administrator Weekly Newsletter

September 27, 2012

Hi folks,

I've asked Margaret Davidson, acting director of the Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management, to take up the pen this week.



Hi everyone,

Director, Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services

The 40th anniversary of the Coastal Zone Management Act on October 27 and National Estuaries Day on September 29 are good opportunities to reflect on not just how important a healthy and resilient coast is to the overall economic and ecological well-being of our nation as a whole, but also to reflect on how we can communicate this important message more clearly and more successfully during a time of budgetary and other challenges.

The words "challenge" and "innovation" pretty well sum up what is happening at NOAA thanks to the federal government's budget shortfalls. Yes, the budget part is terrible. But at the same time, we have a great opportunity to do things differently---and more importantly, better.

A good example is the proposed integration of our Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management and the NOAA Coastal Services Center. In this process our focus isn't limited to combining the resources and expertise found in these two offices; we are also finding ways to better align ourselves with other organizations, both in and outside of government.

Part of our task is to stimulate and engage others in a broad discussion about what exactly our goals are (pragmatic or aspirational) and the best means to achieve these goals even during a period of very constrained fiscal resources. Our business has and continues to be the challenge of balancing environmental protection and management with sound economic development strategies. What we want to change and improve is the conversation America has about the value of our coastal resources. We want to lead this conversation and use partnerships and technology to position America for the future. At NOS, we must be prepared to understand and meet that future boldly.

Thank you,

Margaret A. Davidson
Acting Director,
Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management

Diving Deeper

Our nation's estuaries provide endless recreation opportunities. In today's Diving Deeper, we learn about why estuaries are important, the National Estuarine Research Reserve System, some of the fun recreational activities at these sites, and economic benefits of our reserves.

Diving Deeper

Around NOS

New PORTS® Go Live in California and Connecticut (CO-OPS)

This week, a new Physical Oceanographic Real-Time System (PORTS®) began operating in Humboldt Bay, California, through NOAA's partnership with the Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District. The Humboldt Bay PORTS® will monitor currents, waves, water levels, and meteorological factors in real time to improve navigation safety and help protect public health. A PORTS® in New London, Connecticut, also began operating this week, through a NOAA partnership with the Port Operations Commander, U.S. Navy Region Mid-Atlantic. Tailored to the specific requirements of each seaport, PORTS® is a decision support tool that improves the safety and efficiency of maritime commerce and coastal resource management through the integration of real-time environmental observations, forecasts, and other geospatial information. For more information, contact Darren Wright.

Excess Algae Responsible for Hotspots of Increased Ocean Acidification (NCCOS)

A research paper published this week reveals that large die-offs of algae locally magnify ocean acidification. As algal cells die and sink to the bottom, the bacteria population that feeds on them swells in response, consuming more oxygen and releasing more carbon dioxide (CO2), acidifying the water. The researchers developed a model that showed that the process of eutrophication -the production of excess algae from increased nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus — is a large, often overlooked source of CO2 in coastal waters. When combined with increasing CO2 in the atmosphere, the release of CO2 from decaying organic matter is accelerating the acidification of coastal seawater. This computer model will help local officials adapt their management of vulnerable coastal resources, such as the placement of shellfish farms, based on future conditions of their water. For more information, contact Bill Sunda.

OAA and EPA Release Roundtable Report on Hazard-Resilient Smart Growth (OCRM, CSC)

On Sept. 24, NOAA and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a roundtable report entitled 'Achieving Hazard-Resilient Coastal & Waterfront Smart Growth: Coastal and Waterfront Smart Growth and Hazard Mitigation .' The report provides ideas for further research, tools, services, and approaches that federal agencies, state partners, academics, and other practitioners could consider to improve integration of the smart growth and hazard mitigation fields in coastal and waterfront communities. The report is the result of an Aug. 2011 roundtable organized by NOAA's Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management; Coastal Services Center; National Sea Grant College Program; EPA's Office of Sustainable Communities; and the state Sea Grant College Programs of Rhode Island, Texas, and Hawaii. For more information, contact Sarah Vanderschalie.

Thomas Jefferson crew helps rescue two divers (OCS)

NOAA Ship Thomas Jefferson, conducting hydrographic operations for the Office of Coast Survey's nautical chart updates, recently assisted in the rescue of two lost recreational divers off Rhode Island's Block Island. A third diver reported the others lost, providing coordinates that were mere seconds north of Thomas Jefferson. While crewmembers kept lookout, ship scientists determined the expected location of the divers based on current set and drift calculations. Within 48 minutes from the original distress call, a NOAA Corps officer spotted the two divers and reported the position and distance to a Coast Guard rescue boat, which safely retrieved the two divers. For more information, contact CDR Lawrence Krepp .

Geodetic Advisor Aids U.S. Coast Guard (NGS)

This week, the National Geodetic Survey's (NGS) Geodetic State Advisor for Florida is installing a survey marker at the U.S Coast Guard (USCG) station in Jacksonville, Florida. The marker will allow the Coast Guard to calibrate GPS systems used on their ships for more accurate geo-referencing of coastal operations. Following the installation, four hours of data gathering is required to establish the position of the survey mark relative to the National Spatial Reference System. The collected data will then be submitted to NGS' Online Positioning User Service (OPUS). Following this, NGS will provide positions to the USCG using NGS processing software. The new marker, installed at the request of the USCG, will result in more accurate positions for all Coast Guard at-sea work, including rescue operations. For more information, contact David Newcomer .

NOAA Participates in Oil Spill Planning and Damage Assessment Meeting with China's State Oceanic Administration (OR&R)

On Sept. 24, the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) hosted delegates from China's State Oceanic Administration (SOA) as part of ongoing efforts in China to improve national and regional oil spill contingency planning and natural resource damage assessment. In July 2010, a pipeline explosion in the northern port city of Dalian resulted in the largest marine oil spill that China has ever experienced. The Chief of the Office of Response and Restoration's Emergency Response Division and Chief of the Assessment and Restoration Division delivered presentations to the group. NOAA, Department of the Interior, and Department of State partners supported the USCG-led meeting in an effort to transfer knowledge and experiences and further relationships with SOA. For more information, contact Robert Haddad.

NOAA Ocean Acidification Communication and Education Workshop (ONMS)

This week, west coast national marine sanctuaries are partnering with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute to host an Effective Practices for Ocean Acidification (OA) Communication and Education workshop in Monterey, California. This is a unique opportunity to bring together expert OA and climate scientists with professional educators and communicators from across NOAA, national and state parks, aquariums, informal science centers, and non-governmental organizations to determine the most effective outreach tools to communicate the potential impacts of OA and positive actions to the public. The workshop will focus on California Current ecosystems, fisheries, and tourism impacts and will link outreach activities to target audiences. Funding for the workshop was provided by the NOAA Ocean Acidification Program with additional support from the NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program, west coast national marine sanctuaries, the Monterey Bay Sanctuary Foundation and the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation. For more information, contact Laura Francis.

New: West Maui Coastal Use Participatory Mapping Project (CSC)

A new mapping project will help state and federal agencies and their community partners manage and protect coastal resources in West Maui, Hawaii. The West Maui Coastal Use Participatory Mapping Project was developed to generate spatial data and map products that illustrate patterns, intensity, and qualitative information about ocean uses. The project was developed through a partnership between the Hawaii State Division of Aquatic Resources and NOAA's Pacific Islands Regional Office, Coral Reef Conservation Program, and Coastal Services Center–Pacific Region. For more information, contact Kalisi Mausio.

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