A hazardous materials (hazmat) modeling expert and oceanographer from NOAAs National Ocean Service (NOS) is providing technical support to the U.S. Navy in Bahrain. The hazmat expert from NOSs joined an environmental support team to provide specific information on Iraqi crude oils such as its flash point and likely behavior in the environment. The expert also is mapping potential spill trajectories and determining best response strategies should the oil be released into the Gulf. The hazmat expert is also training Navy meteorological and oceanographic personnel stationed in Bahrain in appropriate response tools and methods. Such training includes on-scene spill modeling and best response methods. NOAAs hazmat officials are also helping Navy officials here in the U.S. to develop oil spill trajectory models. For more information, contact Bob Pavia at (206) 526-6319.
The Weather Channel is working with NOAA to produce a series of segments focused on coastal storms and related issues. For the coastal storms series, the Weather Channel will be in Charleston, S.C., at NOAAs to profile some of NOAA's coastal storms and hazard mitigation products. The Weather Channel will interview the Center's Margaret Davidson and Paul Scholz, as well as some of NOAAs clients who use its products and services. For more information, contact at (843) 740-1272.
River water that is rich in nutrients is a major factor in the oxygen-poor (hypoxic) conditions of the Gulf of Mexico that occur on a seasonal basis, according to a recent study funded by NOSs . Scientists from Louisiana State University and Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium studied the effect of both increased nitrate concentration and increased river discharge on the nitrate levels in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Nitrate levels also affect the production of coastal phytoplankton. For more information, contact at (301) 713-3338.
A new Web site developed by the National Ocean Service's (NOS's) Center for Coastal Monitoring and Assessment provides digital maps of the Main Hawaiian Islands coral reefs, which in part fulfills recommendations set forth by the U.S. Coral Reef Task Forces (CRTFs) Mapping and Information Synthesis Working Group. The Web site, , provides geographic information system data about the location and distribution of shallow-water sea floor habitats, and detailed maps and imagery of the Main Hawaiian Islands coral reefs. This baseline information will help the state of Hawaii manage, research, and conserve its critical coral reef resources. The completion of this project goes toward fulfilling the CRTFs goal to map all shallow-water coral-reef ecosystems within U.S. waters by 2007. For more information, contact Timothy Battista at (301) 713-3028 x171. For related information about NOSs latest coral reef mapping efforts, see .
Scientists from NOAAs National Ocean Service (NOS) recently released winged underwater robots in the Gulf of Mexico to help predict and study potentially toxic red tides, which can kill fish, poison seafood and render an area unsafe for swimming. During a year-long test phase, NOS scientists will use the robots, which record various types of data about the ocean conditions, to study red tides when they occur. The hope is that this information, combined with other satellite data, will allow them to alert coastal communities in the future before red tides hit. They may also help scientists determine how and why red tides form. For more information, read the online or contact .
NOAAs National Geodetic Survey has joined the bicentennial celebration of Lewis and Clarks expedition across the United States by placing commemorative markers along the original route. These markers are used as reference points within the Global Positioning System. The next marker setting ceremony will take place on April 14 at Harpers Ferry, W.Va. In addition, from March 7- 24, a traveling exhibition celebrating the Lewis and Clark explorationCorps of Discovery IIwill be on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The exhibit takes the visitor through the history of Lewis and Clarks expedition using photos, film and live performances. For more information, please contact .
The first habitat maps of the northwest Hawaiian Islands, one of the largest areas of corals in the U.S., are now available from NOAA. The Atlas of the Shallow-water Benthic Habitats of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, Draft, provides baseline information about the locations and distributions of the coral habitats and supports research, management and conservation efforts of the NWHI resources.
NOAAs Maritime Archaeology Center Groundbreaking Ceremony to Coincide with Several Maritime History Anniversaries
On March 9, a groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of NOAAs Maritime Archaeology Center will take place at The Mariners Museum in Newport News, Va. The ceremony will coincide with the 141st anniversary of the Battle of Hampton Roads. A remembrance service will follow to honor those lost when the ironclad sank off the coast of North Carolina. The service also will commemorate the 200th anniversary of John Ericssons birthday. Ericsson was the naval architect who designed the Monitor, which featured the first revolving gun turret. The ceremony will be attended by Scott Gudes, NOAAs Deputy Assistant Administrator; Dan Basta, director of NOSs ; John Hightower, Mariners Museum president; and Representatives Jo Ann Davis and Bobby Davis. For more information, contact Angela Calos at (301) 563-7205.
The U.S. Coral Reef Task Force met last week to discuss supporting local action toward coral reef conservation, increasing stakeholder involvement in reef management and identifying key threats from water quality decline and the coral trade. Task force members reported significant accomplishments in meeting goals. These include: 1) the establishment of the East End Marine Park in St. Croix, Virgin Islands; 2) the development of a joint initiative to address land-based sources of pollution; 3) funding for a June 2003 workshop on Climate, Coral Bleaching, and Coral Reefs led by NOAA, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Department of the Interior; and 4) completion of a coral reef outreach and education strategy by the State of Hawaii. The task force also heard from experts on coral reef science and management, recreational use, and international approaches to reef management. For more information, go to the , or contact Heidi Schuttenberg at (301) 713-2989 x224 or Roger Griffis at (301) 713-2989 x115.
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