Web Highlight

National Marine Sanctuary System 40th Anniversary: For 40 years, NOAA’s National Marine Sanctuary System has preserved and protected some of the most spectacular and treasured resources in the world’s oceans. Check out our story.

CZMA 40th Anniversary: In the latest Making Waves podcast, Virginia's Coastal Zone Program manager talks about an eelgrass restoration project along Virginia’s Eastern Shore made possible by the Coastal Zone Management Act.

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NOS Communications & Education Division

NOS Assistant Administrator Weekly Newsletter

October 25, 2012

Hi folks,

image of NOS Assistant Administrator or designee

This year, NOS marks several notable milestones. Two key pieces of legislation, the Coastal Zone Management Act and National Marine Sanctuaries Act, were enacted 40 years ago this month. I highlighted the importance of the Coastal Zone Management Act when we welcomed the state of Illinois into the coastal management system in March. Today, I'd like to talk about the National Marine Sanctuaries Act.

The National Marine Sanctuary System includes 13 sanctuaries and one marine national monument encompassing more than 150,000 square miles of U.S. ocean and Great Lakes waters. The program was conceived in response to growing public awareness of the environmental, cultural, and economic value of the nation's coastal waters following the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill.

Here's the thing about setting aside places like sanctuaries: It works. Thanks to our network of sanctuaries, we have protected, maintained, and restored marine and coastal ecosystems. And we have done this using a robust public engagement process that gives a voice to business and community interests with a stake in the sanctuary. In turn, sanctuaries provide economic benefits to local communities through diverse activities like recreation and tourism; commercial fishing; and research.

I would like to send out a special note of appreciation to all of you who are working at our national marine sanctuaries. Thank you for your great work!


David Kennedy
Assistant Administrator
National Ocean Science

Web Highlight

National Marine Sanctuary System 40th Anniversary: For 40 years, NOAA’s National Marine Sanctuary System has preserved and protected some of the most spectacular and treasured resources in the world’s oceans. Check out our story.

CZMA 40th Anniversary: In the latest Making Waves podcast, Virginia's Coastal Zone Program manager talks about an eelgrass restoration project along Virginia’s Eastern Shore made possible by the Coastal Zone Management Act.

Web Highlight

Around NOS

NOAA to Brief U.S. Ambassador to Panama and Panama Canal Authority Administrator (OR&R)

This week, Office of Response and Restoration staff traveled to Panama to brief the new Panama Canal Authority Administrator and new U.S. Ambassador to Panama on the role of the U.S. National Response Team (NRT) and its activities with the Canal Authority. The Panama Canal is one of the world's busiest strategic waterways and is of major importance to global transportation, trade, and security. Should an oil spill, hazardous material release, or radiological incident occur in the Panama Canal Operating Area, the economic and political effect could be profound. The National Response Team and the Autoridad del Canal de Panamá (ACP) have procedures and practices to facilitate timely and appropriate supplemental assistance from U.S agencies when requested by the ACP in the event of an incident in the Panama Canal Operating Area. These procedures comply with and augment the agreement between the U. S. Department of State, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U. S. Coast Guard, and the ACP signed in April 2002. For more information, contact Ed Levine.

Project Brings Midway Atoll to the Masses via Google Streetview (ONMS)

"Streetview" is now available for Pihemanu (Midway Atoll) via Google Maps as a result of a project spearheaded by Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument (PMNM). The project team, consisting of PMNM staff and a Google technician, spent two weeks on Midway earlier this year, capturing more than 9,200 panoramic images of 60 different natural and historic sites along 21 miles of roads and paths on the island. This mapping effort provides a valuable interpretive tool for PMNM's unique treasures and demonstrates the need to protect this remote and special place. PMNM hopes for a continued partnership with Google to capture other sites within the monument. For more information, contact Kalewa Correa.

NOAA Signs Agreement with American Pilots Association to Make Navigation Safer (OCS)

This week, during the annual meeting of the American Pilots Association (APA), NOAA and APA signed a Memorandum of Agreement. The MOA, which recognizes the historical working relationship between pilots and NOAA's navigational services, updates an earlier "collaborative agreement" between APA and NOAA and lays out specific cooperative activities to promote safe navigation. Among a wide range of provisions, it calls upon the pilots' intricate knowledge of coastal waters and encourages the 57 member pilot groups to provide information to update the U.S. Coast Pilot and nautical charts. The MOA will also facilitate quick investigations of apparent discrepancies between actual and charted features, which could pose dangers to navigation or affect shipping efficiencies. For more information, contact CAPT Jon Swallow.

Omani Scientists Learn Algae and Toxin Sampling and Identification Methods (NCCOS)

As part of a formal agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), two researchers from the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) visited Muscat, Oman, last week as "IAEA Experts." The seminar provided 15 Omani participants an overview of algae and toxin sampling techniques and visual identification of algae species. Next March, the Americans return to teach the Omanis how to test using their own equipment. Currently, when they sample an algal bloom for toxicity, the testing facility takes six months to return its results. Using the NCCOS radioisotope method, the same test takes three days. The participants represented the Omani government's Departments of Marine Ecology and Oceanography (Marine Science and Fisheries Center) and Chemical Analyses (Fisheries Quality Control Center). The NOAA trainers represented NCCOS's Analytical Response Team and the Phytoplankton Monitoring Network. For more information, contact Steve Morton.

Ocean Observations Highlighted at Oceans '12 MTS/IEEE Conference (IOOS®)

Last week, the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) showcased a strong presence at the Marine Technology Society Oceans 2012 Conference in Virginia Beach, Va. A U.S. IOOS booth located at the exhibit hall entrance highlighted interagency and regional IOOS partnerships and invited visitors to explore some of the latest in ocean observing equipment in a hands-on venue. Visitors talked to IOOS partners representing academia, industry, and government while they learned about high frequency radar systems, ocean gliders, and buoys. On Oct. 16, more than 120 attendees showed up to see national leaders deliver lightning talks on how ocean and coastal observations benefit Americans every day. In this "Ignite" session, NOAA leaders joined speakers from around the nation to deliver five-minute talks in sync with automatically-advancing slides. The talks will soon be posted online. During a separate Town Hall the next day, former NOAA Administrator VADM Conrad C. Lautenbacher joined a cast of leaders from across the nation highlighting today's needs for tomorrow's IOOS. The town hall also included a demonstration of real-time collaboration technology from StormCenter Communications, Inc. For more information, contact Jennie Lyons.

Digital Coast Resources Featured in Planning Magazine (CSC)

A potential readership of 30,000 planning professionals learned about Digital Coast products that make data easy to picture and use in "Coastal Data, Visualized," an article in the October issue of Planning magazine. The products highlighted were CanVis, Coastal County Snapshots, Economics: National Ocean Watch, the Data Access Viewer, Land Cover Atlas, and Sea Level Rise and Coastal Flooding Impacts Viewer. For more information, contact Donna McCaskill.

NOAA Staff Serve on U.S. Delegation at U.N. Wider Caribbean Region Meeting (IPO)

Staff from NOAA's National Ocean Service International Program Office and Marine Protected Area Center are joining staff from the National Marine Fisheries Service and other U.S. agencies to serve on the Department of State-led U.S. delegation at the 12th Meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Convention for the Protection and Development of the Marine Environment of the Wider Caribbean Region (Cartagena Convention) and associated meetings this week. The Cartagena Convention serves as an umbrella treaty for addressing marine environmental protection and development in the Wider Caribbean Region (WCR) and includes separate agreements to address land-based pollution, protected areas and species, and oil spills. NOAA staff developed, commented, and promoted U.S. positions related to implementing the Convention, addressing a wide array of issues regarding the sustainable development of the WCR. The U.S. is a Contracting Party to the Convention, which has been in force since 1986 and includes 25 of the 28 nations in the WCR. For more information, contact Clement Lewsey.

OCRM Supports Multi-agency Resilience Project in Coastal North Carolina (OCRM)

In early October, staff from the Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management (OCRM) participated in a multi-day community workshop and public meeting in New Bern, N.C., to kick off a technical assistance project supported by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and NOAA. The project is one of two pilots in the state designed to strengthen cooperation between the agencies and enhance their efforts to help state and local governments create sustainable and resilient coastal and waterfront communities. The other pilot project is in Wilmington. The workshop and meeting in New Bern focused on the flood problems in the city's lowest-lying neighborhood, which is susceptible to stormwater and storm-surge flooding as well as sea level rise. Deliverables for the project will include two site-specific green infrastructure designs for demonstration projects and a menu of green infrastructure and hazard mitigation practices to help alleviate flooding. The team will also provide a vulnerability assessment for sea level rise, and an analysis of select city plans and policies that will provide recommendations for better agency integration.  Additional technical assistance will be provided by the partner agencies as needed. For more information, contact Christa Rabenold.

Lead Role in GeoTech 2012 Conference (NGS)

This week, the National Geodetic Survey (NGS) played a lead role in GeoTech 2012, the annual conference of the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing Potomac Region in Fairfax, Va. As the premier Mid-Atlantic imagery and GIS conference, GeoTech is dedicated to providing the latest information on remote sensing and related geospatial fields, including 3D mapping, Earth observation satellites, synthetic aperture radar (SAR), and human terrain modeling. Invited speakers from NGS were featured throughout the conference, teaching workshops and delivering technical presentations on Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR), datums, and adjustments. For more information, contact Chris Parrish.

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