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Weekly News: September 2005

September 16, 2005

September 16 , 2005


Scientists Study Effects of Hurricane Katrina on Marine Resources

The NOAA Research vessel Nancy Foster is working off the coasts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama to study the effects of Hurricane Katrina on marine resources and the ecosystem. During the cruise, biologists are taking water samples and looking at sediments in the Mississippi river. They are testing fish and shrimp for evidence of toxic contamination and pathogens that might affect human health. The action was made through provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, which makes federal relief funds available to assess the impacts, restore the fisheries, prevent future failure, and assist fishing communities' recovery efforts after a natural disaster, and the Inter-jurisdictional Act, which makes funds available for direct assistance to fishermen to alleviate harm resulting from a natural disaster. For more information, contact or


Office of Coast Survey Helps Open Port of New Orleans

NOAA was essential in re-opening the Port of New Orleans to traffic. NOAA's Office of Coast Survey has provided critical emergency navigation support, hydrographic survey vessels and personnel, and other assistance. NRTs from Georgia, Great Lakes, California and Northern Gulf have responded to Post Hurricane Katrina survey needs. A NOAA hydrographic data provider vessel was deployed into the Mississippi River accompanied by the NOAA Ship Thomas Jefferson in the survey effort. NOAA in coordination with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the River Pilots, U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) and Navy quickly responded to survey priorities in order to reopen the Mississippi River Corridor. Two wrecks critical to navigation have been located by NOAA in the Mississippi River. A barge 21' least depth in front of the Meraux Refinery pier at mile 86 and a barge 44' least depth north of the recommended sailing line at mile 87.5. The wrecks have been reported to the USCG and salvage teams were quickly deployed to remove them. For more information, contact or


Research Identifies Genes that Predict and Assess Hypoxia

Researchers funded by the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) through the Aquatic Research Consortium are identifying genes that respond to hypoxia (low oxygen waters) in order to predict and assess the onset, duration, and severity of chronic and intermittent hypoxia and its effect on organisms. The researchers at Southern Mississippi University and Texas State University isolated, cloned, and expressed potential hypoxia-response genes in grass shrimp, and found that specific genes mapped the organism's exposure to hypoxia, as the genes tried to increase the organism's oxygen uptake during hypoxic conditions. Genetic responses to hypoxia will also be studied in sheepshead minnows. For more information, contact


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