National Ocean Service News

12 Apr 2018

La Niña to Transition to Neutral Weather in April-May -U.S. Forecaster

Photo: NOAA

The La Niña weather pattern is likely to transition to ENSO-neutral conditions during the April-May period, a U.S. government weather forecaster said on Thursday. ENSO-neutral refers to those periods in which neither El Niño nor La Niña is present, according to CPC. There is a more than 50 percent chance of ENSO-neutral conditions prevailing through the northern hemisphere summer in 2018, the National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center (CPC) said in its monthly forecast.

14 Sep 2016

NOAA Releases Final Ocean Noise Strategy Roadmap

Photo: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

NOAA has released its final Ocean Noise Strategy Roadmap, which will guide the agency in more effectively and comprehensively managing ocean noise effects on marine life during the next decade. Sound is critical for the survival of many marine animals. It’s a primary means of communication, orientation and navigation, finding food, avoiding predators, and mate selection. Ocean noise can be caused by natural or human sources. The roadmap will serve as a guide across NOAA, reviewing the status of the science on ocean noise and informing next steps.

22 Mar 2016

Cuba, US Sign Memorandum on Maritime Navigation

Photo: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Representatives of Cuba and the United States signed in Havana a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on cooperation in areas of hydrography and geodesy to improve the safety of maritime navigation. Ambassador Jeffrey DeLaurentis, the Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Havana, and Col. Candido Alfredo Regalado Gomez, Chief of Cuba’s National Office of Hydrography and Geodesy (ONHG), have signed the MoU. “NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) has a strong interest…

28 Dec 2015

Living Shorelines Blunt Effects of Climate Change, Says NOAA

Aerial view of Pivers Island Living Shoreline, constructed from salt marsh plants and submerged oyster reef. The marsh was planted in 2000, and has successfully prevented erosion of the lawn behind the marsh. The NOAA Beaufort Lab buildings are behind the Living Shoreline. (Credit: NOAA)

A recent NOAA study, published in the journal PLOS One, shows “living shorelines” — protected and stabilized shorelines using natural materials such as plants, sand, and rock — can help to keep carbon out of the atmosphere, helping to blunt the effects of climate change. This study, the first of its kind, measured carbon storing, or “carbon sequestration,” in the coastal wetlands and the narrow, fringing marshes of living shorelines in North Carolina. “Shoreline management techniques like this can help reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere while increasing coastal resilience…

04 Aug 2014

Large Dead Zone Found in Gulf of Mexico

Mapped size confirms NOAA forecast for an average-sized hypoxia zone this year. NOAA- and EPA-supported scientists have mapped the Gulf of Mexico dead zone, an area with low oxygen water, measuring 5,052 square miles this summer--approximately the size of the state of Connecticut. The measurements were taken during the 30th annual hypoxia survey cruise from July 27 to August 2. This area falls within the predicted range of 4,633 to 5,708 square miles forecast by a suite of NOAA-sponsored models…

24 Jul 2014

Jacksonville Adds PORTS Real-time Data System

1. NOAA Administrator Kathryn Sullivan (left) and James McLaughlin, executive director, Jacksonville Marine Exchange, dedicate the Jacksonville, Florida, PORTS, on July 23, 2014.

Officials from NOAA, the Jacksonville Marine Transportation Exchange, and the Jacksonville Port Authority officially dedicated a new information system today which will increase safety for ships using the St. Johns River. The system, called Physical Oceanographic Real-Time System (PORTS), provides real-time information on water levels, currents, meteorological conditions, and under-bridge clearance, giving users critical information when traveling through the river. The St. Johns…

17 Jul 2014

US Hearing to Review Arctic Policy

Photo: Kitty Mecklenburg, RUSALCA

The Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, chaired by Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA), will hold a hearing next week to review U.S. policy in the Arctic and how the agencies with the largest presence in the Arctic intend to implement such policy. It is declared U.S. policy, relative to the Arctic region, to meet national security and homeland security needs, protect the environment, ensure sustainable natural resource management and development, strengthen institutions for cooperation among Arctic nations…

06 May 2014

NOAA Offers a New Way to See Currents

HFRadar like this one shown off the entrance to San Francisco provides the data for NOAA's news ocean surface current product. (Image credit: With permission from San Francisco State University.)

A new NOAA National Ocean Service website will provide mariners near real-time coastal ocean surface current observations and tidal current predictions in coastal waters using high frequency (HF) radar, making marine navigation safer for mariners and commercial shippers. The web-based observations are now available for the Chesapeake and San Francisco Bays in areas vital for marine navigation, with additional locations to follow. The product was made possible by NOAA’s Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services (CO-OPS) using data from the NOAA-led U.S.

25 Feb 2014

NOAA Nautical Charts Now Permanently Free

NOAA’s newest addition to the nautical charting portfolio is the new Portable Document Format (PDF) nautical chart, which provides up-to-date navigation information in this universally available file type. The image above is of the Gulf Coast - Key West to Mississippi River. (Credit: NOAA)

After a three-month trial period, PDF versions of NOAA nautical charts will become a permanent product, free to the public. The free PDFs, which are digital images of traditional nautical charts, are especially valued by recreational boaters who use them to plan sailing routes and fishing trips. The free PDF charts are part of a suite of new and enhanced navigational products designed to make NOAA’s data more accessible to the general public. “Up to date charts help boaters avoid groundings and other dangers to navigation…

17 Jan 2014

AAPA Applauds Port Infrastructure Funding

Kurt Nagle

In applauding Congress’ passage late yesterday of the $1.1 trillion Consolidated Appropriation Act of 2014, the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) noted that several high priority programs crucial to the safe, efficient and competitive operation of American seaports are included in the appropriations mix. This includes funding for U.S. DOT’s Transportation Infrastructure Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) discretionary grants, U.S. Corps of Engineers’ navigation-related programs…

26 Apr 2013

U.S. National Ocean Service 2014 Budget Request

NOAA 'Hiialakai': Photo courtesy of NOAA

The FY 2014 President's Budget Request for the National Ocean Service (NOS) amounts to $529.2M. The National Ocean Service (NOS) observes, measures, assesses and manages coastal, ocean and Great Lakes areas and provides science-based services to inform decision making, thereby positioning America's coastal communities, economies and ecosystems for the future. This budget request represents a critical step toward reestablishing balance across investments in NOAA's missions. By emphasizing science…

07 Feb 2013

Great Lakes Crisis Continues: Dredging and Water Both Needed

Lake Michigan-Huron sets all-time record for lowest monthly water level. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District through its Great Lakes Hydraulics and Hydrology Office reports a preliminary new record low water level for Lake Michigan-Huron for the second month in a row. The new record low of 175.57 meters or 576.02 feet is not only the lowest January monthly average water level ever recorded, but also the lowest monthly average ever recorded for any month over the official period of record for Great Lakes water levels, which extends back to 1918. The Corps issues water level forecasts for the Great Lakes in coordination with Environment Canada…

20 Nov 2012

NOAA Panel to Discuss GOM Maritime Issues

NOAA’s Hydrographic Services Review Panel will meet Nov. 27-29 in New Orleans to discuss hydrographic surveying, nautical charting, tides and current measurements, as well as geodetic and geospatial measurements for the Gulf of Mexico region. The three-day meeting is open to the public, and public comment periods are scheduled in the afternoons. The panel will hear from representatives of the regional maritime community, including port authority officials and marine pilots, the geospatial community, and users of NOAA’s tides and currents information.

16 Oct 2012

Gulf of Mexico Disaster Response Center Opened

NOAA Office Opening Ceremony: Photo credit NOAA

NOAA brings to bear centralized disaster planning, response expertise to the Gulf of Mexico region from its new Mobile, Alabama, office. NOAA's new Gulf of Mexico Disaster Response Center (DRC) promises to change the way people prepare for and respond to the many hard-hitting storms, spills, and other events that too often strike this fragile region. The new 15,200-square foot facility will serve as a central coordination point for federal, state and local emergency managers,…

29 Mar 2012

NOAA’s Coastal Mapping Program Offers Huge Benefits: Report

For every dollar American taxpayers spend on NOAA’s National Geodetic Survey (NGS) Coastal Mapping Program, they receive more than $35 in benefits, according to a recent independent socio-economic scoping study. The program provides critical baseline data for accurately mapping America’s official shoreline—important for national security, maritime shipping and navigation, and provides geographical reference data needed to manage, develop, conserve and protect coastal resources.

05 Oct 2011

Hydrographic Services Review Panel Meeting, Oct 26-27

Notice of Open Meeting: The Hydrographic Services Review Panel (HSRP) is a Federal Advisory Committee established to advise the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere on matters related to the responsibilities and authorities set forth in section 303 of the Hydrographic Services Improvement Act of 1998, its amendments, and such other appropriate matters that the Under Secretary refers to the Panel for review and advice. The public meeting will be held on October 26-27, 2011. October 26 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; October 27 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

28 Sep 2011

President to Honor Early Career NOAA Scientists

Three NOAA scientists were named as recipients of the 2010 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). The award is the highest honor given by the U.S. government to outstanding scientists and engineers in the early stages of their careers. “It is very gratifying that NOAA scientists are honored by this significant award,” said Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “We are immensely proud of these three individuals. They represent the best of NOAA science. Recipients are: James A. Morris, Jr., Ph.D., an ecologist at the National Ocean Service’s Center for Coastal Fisheries and Habitat Research in Beaufort…

28 Apr 2011

Hydrographic Services Review Panel, May 4-6

The NOAA Hydrographic Services Review Panel will meet May 4-6 in Honolulu to discuss operations, research and development, hydrographic surveying, nautical charting, and geodetic and geospatial measurements. The panel is a Federal Advisory Committee that advises the NOAA Administrator on carrying out NOAA’s navigation services mission, which is to ensure the safe, efficient, and environmentally sound movement of commerce along America’s marine transportation system. The panel will hear from representatives from the maritime community, including port authority officials and marine pilots, as well as non-traditional users of navigation data like coastal planners and emergency responders.

07 Oct 2010

Hydrographic Services Review Panel Meeting

The NOAA Hydrographic Services Review Panel will meet Oct. 12-13, in Vancouver, Wash., to discuss operations, research and development, hydrographic surveying, nautical charting, and geodetic and geospatial measurements. The panel is a Federal Advisory Committee that advises the NOAA administrator on carrying out NOAA’s navigation services mission — to ensure the safe, efficient, and environmentally sound movement of commerce along America’s marine transportation system. The panel will hear from representatives from the maritime community, including port authority officials and marine pilots, as well as non-traditional users of navigation data like coastal planners and emergency responders.

18 Mar 2010

Polar Tankers to Pay $588K for 2004 Spill

Polar Tankers Inc., a subsidiary of ConocoPhillips Co., has agreed to pay $588,000 to help compensate the public for environmental harm caused by the October 2004 crude oil spill into Puget Sound’s Dalco Passage near Tacoma. The payment would come under a proposed settlement agreement or consent decree filed this week in U.S. District Court, Western Washington Division involving Polar Tankers and the United States, state of Washington, Muckleshoot Indian Tribe and Puyallup Tribe of Indians. A consent decree in federal court makes no finding of guilt or innocence. The U.S. Attorney General’s action was made at the request of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S.

30 Jul 2009

Pribilof Canyon in Bering Sea Mapped

A new high resolution seafloor survey of Pribilof Canyon in the eastern Bering Sea reveals dramatic details of this undersea canyon, and provides information for improved fisheries conservation and management; in particular, provide identification of areas that are potentially hazardous for loss of commercial fishing gear. Previously, only incomplete lower-resolution data were available to describe the morphology of this world-class feature. Pribilof Canyon is one of a family of huge canyons that play a central role in supporting the rich ecosystem of the Bering Sea.

12 Sep 2003

Restoration Begins for T/V Westchester Spill

Federal and Louisiana agencies settled with Marine Oil Trader 3, Ltd. and Ermis Maritime Corp. for the November 2000 T/V Westchester oil spill into the Mississippi River in Plaquemines Parish, La. With oversight from the Commerce Department’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S. Department of the Interior’s U.S. restoration projects to address the resources injured by the spill. On Nov. 28, 2000, the T/V Westchester grounded in the Mississippi River at River Mile 38, discharging approximately 500,000 gallons of crude oil into the Mississippi River downstream from New Orleans in Plaquemines Parish, La. hunting opportunities. to conduct a natural resource damage assessment to identify and restore injured natural resources.

04 Jun 2004

NOAA Announces New Ports Program for New Haven

install a new Physical Oceanographic Real-Time System. oceanographic and meteorological data. NOAA is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce. annually. the water. off. make marine transportation both safe and efficient. administrator of NOAA's National Ocean Service. effort with the Block Island Pilots Association. quality control and data dissemination. thoroughly quality controlled to ensure accuracy. accessible by Internet or phone. include port authorities, vessel pilots, shipping companies, U.S. Guard, U.S. environmental organizations, academia and surfers. using the highly successful NOAA program. and Tacoma, Wash. understanding, conserving and restoring the nation's coasts and oceans. sustaining coastal habitats and mitigating coastal hazards. resources.

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