National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration News

21 May 2020

Forecasters Expect Busy 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season

(Photo: NOAA)

U.S. forecasters expect an above-normal 13-19 named storms during the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season from June 1 through November 30, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center said on Thursday.NOAA forecasters estimate three to six major hurricanes packing winds of at least 111 miles per hour may form. The last two years have seen an above-average number of named storms with 18 last year and 15 in 2018. An average hurricane season produces 12 named storms…

15 Apr 2020

USCG Polar Security Cutters: The History and Future

Credit: Halter Marine and Technology Associates, Inc.

The good news is that work has commenced on the first new heavy polar icebreaker for the United States Coast Guard in 43 years. The bad news is that when it enters service, projected to occur in FY2024, it will be the first new heavy polar icebreaker for the USCG in 47 years. Meanwhile, Russia has approximately 30 active polar icebreakers, including four that are nuclear powered. Arktika, the first of a new class of three heavy polar icebreakers, has commenced sea trials in the Gulf of Finland, with the other two under construction.

30 Mar 2020

Coast Guard Corrals Wayward Buoy in Long Island Sound

U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Oak (WLB-211) sits at anchor. The Newport, Rhode Island-based buoy tender maintains 144 Aids to Navigation (ATON) that guide mariners into some of the oldest and busiest ports in the U.S., including Boston, Massachusetts; Portsmouth, New Hampshire; and Portland, Maine. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Emily E. Torsney)

Built to guide mariners through safe waters, the Valiant Rock Lighted Whistle Buoy 11 was dangerously adrift in the Long Island Sound.When ferry operators traveling between Orient Point and Fishers Island, New York, first reported the buoy off station on Jan. 17, the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Oak (WLB-211) was already underway but foul weather kept the cutter from removing it.This was the beginning of a two-week saga that would involve several Coast Guard units. Like the Loch Ness monster of the Long Island Sound, the 35-foot-tall green buoy was occasionally seen but hard to catch.

12 Mar 2020

NOAA-Viking Public Private Partnership, a Win-win for Research

RENDERING OF NEW VIKING SHIP: This rendering shows what the new Viking expedition ships will look like, including the hangar for launching small vessels. Credit: Viking

There was important cruise news in January: Viking – a premier European ocean and river cruise company - will offer two new “destination-focused travel experiences,” starting in 2022. One set of cruises becomes Viking’s first foray in the inland North American market, in this case the Great Lakes. Another set of cruises will head to the Arctic and Antarctica. Viking is building two new vessels: the Viking Octantis and the Viking Polaris, under construction now in Norway, by Fincantieri’s VARD.In a press release Viking writes that it has created “the thinking person’s expedition.”  Indeed…

13 Feb 2020

NOAA to Order New Research Ships in 2020

(Photo: NOAA)

The U.S.' National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said it expects to award contracts for the construction of two new oceanographic ships by the end of the year. Once in service, the new large oceangoing, multi-mission research vessels will support missions ranging from general oceanographic research and exploration to marine life, climate and ocean ecosystem studies, NOAA said.“When completed, these new state-of-the-art ships will be vital for collecting high-quality data and leading scientific discoveries,” said Neil Jacobs, Ph.D., acting NOAA administrator.

07 Feb 2020

Study: How Changes in Shipping Patterns Affect Whales

Blue whale in the Pacific Ocean. Photo credit: Jessica Morten, Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, National Ocean Service, NOAA

Understanding how changes in shipping traffic and distributions of fin, humpback, and blue whales in the Pacific Ocean affect the risk of whales being struck by ships is the focus of a new study published in the scientific journal, Frontiers. The findings also have implications for highly endangered North Atlantic right whales in the Atlantic Ocean.Dr. Jessica V. Redfern, an Ecologist, Senior Scientist, and Chair of the new Spatial Ecology, Mapping, and Assessment Program (EcoMap) at the New England Aquarium’s Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life, is the lead author of the study.

27 Nov 2019

DOMESTIC DREDGING: U.S. Ports Require a Diverse Fleet

Image: CREDIT Cashman Dredging

The reasons for that are many and these realities cater to regulatory, commercial and regional needs.The U.S. dredging market is complex and relies on the diverse fleet of private dredging companies to get the job done. In addition to design and technical capabilities, environmental restrictions and regulations often dictate whether a trailing suction hopper dredge, cutter suction dredge, or mechanical dredge can respond to the coastal protection, wetland restoration, port deepening, and channel maintenance needs of the Nation.

19 Nov 2019

Semi-submerged Tug Leaking Diesel after Bridge Allision

The semi-submerged tugboat Miss Bonnie sits in the water after alliding with the Old Bonner Bridge in Oregon Inlet, North Carolina. (U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Coast Guard Station Oregon Inlet)

A tugboat is partially sunk and leaking diesel after alliding with a bridge in North Carolina's Oregon Inlet, the U.S. Coast Guard said.All eight people aboard the tug Miss Bonnie reached shore safely without injury after the vessel struck the Old Bonner Bridge at 11:09 a.m. on Sunday.The Coast Guard said its watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector North Carolina received report from a local Coast Guard 47-foot Motor Life Boat crew at approximately 10:00 a.m. on Monday that a sheen was coming from the semi-submerged tug.The maximum potential for the discharge is 6…

19 Nov 2019

US Funds $30 million for Coastal Flood Protection

River dredging operations in the State of Louisiana (CREDIT: Port of New Orleans)

The U.S. government's oceans and waterways agency will provide $30 million to improve coastal resilience, officials said, aiming to reduce the impacts of worsening storms, flooding and rising seas in nearly half of U.S. states.Grants through the program are designed to restore or expand coastal wetlands, dunes, reefs, mangroves and barrier islands that are key to coastal protection, said the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in an announcement.Coastlines worldwide are being damaged or threatened by more extreme and destructive weather…

14 Nov 2019

Arista Starts Smart Shipping Journey with ABS

Pic: Arista Shipping

Greece-based shipping company Arista Shipping has signed an ocean data agreement with the global provider of classification and technical advisory services ABS to drive smart shipping operations.The global provider of shipping transportation services and specializes in managing the worldwide transportation of dry bulk cargoes will processed data from the ABS Metocean Hindcast Data application to guide operational decision making for its fleet and managed vessels.Advanced ABS data processing is applied to over a decade of Metocean Hindcast model data from the U.S.

30 Oct 2019

OP/ED: Offshore Wind

Nicolette Nye, Vice President of Communications and Member Development of the National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) in Washington, DC.

Set to Soar, Taking Offshore Support Industry With it.Offshore energy development is opening a new front in the United States -- the Atlantic seaboard, with strong winds, a shallow continental shelf and a proximity to dense population centers is driving strong interest in offshore wind development. The offshore oil and gas supply chain stands to benefit in a big way from billions in coming investment. In fact, it is already playing a role. Companies in the Gulf of Mexico, which traditionally support the offshore oil and gas sector…

16 Oct 2019

NATO RV Alliance is not just quiet, it’s ice-capable

NATO’s 3,100-ton, 305-foot research vessel NRV Alliance has been a leading platform for underwater acoustics research to the benefit of NATO navies. Photo: NATO CMRE

An interview with Ian Sage, director for marine operations, NATO Center for Maritime Research and Experimentation, La Spezia, Italy.NATO’s 3,100-ton, 305-foot research vessel NRV Alliance has been a leading platform for underwater acoustics research to the benefit of NATO navies. The ship operated with a civilian crew under the German flag for many years for the NATO SACLANT Center, later renamed the NATO Undersea Research Center, and now known as the NATO Center for Maritime Research and Experimentation. Now Alliance flies a new flag, and has a broader mission.

08 Oct 2019

NWSA Unveils Orca Protection Plan

Pic: Northwest Seaport Alliance

The Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA), the cargo operating partnership of the ports of Tacoma and Seattle, has teamed up with Washington State Ferries, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Puget Sound Partnership to identify ways to protect the endangered orca population.The Partnership co-convened a workshop of a broad range of experts and interests to identify ways to reduce underwater noise in effort to support recovery of the endangered population…

17 Aug 2019

Offshore Wind: Regulatory “Takes” – Take a Close Look

© Luna Vandoorne/Adobe Stock

On April 30 the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) published a notice, requesting public comments, on a proposed “incidental harassment authorization” (IHA). An IHA is a legal and enforceable document presenting the terms and conditions with which a company must adhere in order to protect wildlife. In this case, the draft IHA was for Vineyard Wind, the wind energy company ready to start construction on an 800 MW offshore wind farm in the Atlantic, covering about 675 square kilometers, starting 14 miles from the coastline of Martha’s Vineyard.

16 Aug 2019

July: Earth's Hottest Month Ever Recorded

© Alexander/Adobe Stock

According to the latest monthly climate report from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), July 2019 was hottest month on record for the planet and Polar sea ice melted to record lows.Much of the planet sweltered in unprecedented heat in July, as temperatures soared to new heights in the hottest month ever recorded. The record warmth also shrank Arctic and Antarctic sea ice to historic lows.The average global temperature in July was 1.71 degrees F above the 20th-century average of 60.4 degrees…

31 Jul 2019

CG Responds to Sunken Tug in WA Marina

Photo: USCG

Coast Guard pollution responders are responding to a report of a tug that sank at the Port Orchard Railway Marina in Port Townsend, Washington, Monday.Members from Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound's Incident Management Division are on scene overseeing the removal and containment of fuel discharged from the 65-foot tug Meagan M. The vessel is currently registered as a towing vessel; however the master claims it has been used in a strictly recreational capacity for the past two years.

18 Jul 2019

Oil Recovered from WWII Shipwreck

Crews aboard M/V SHELIA BORDELON offload more than 450,000 gallons of oil from the Coimbra shipwreck 30 miles offshore from Shinnecock, N.Y. U.S. Coast Guard responders discovered a significant amount of oil in cargo and fuel tanks during onsite assessments of the Coimbra in May 2019. (US Coast Guard photo by Michael Himes)

Operations to recover oil from a World War II-era shipwreck are nearing completion after commencing on May 11, 2019 off the coast of Long Island, N.Y., the U.S. Coast Guard said on Thursday.The sunken vessel, Coimbra, was a supply ship owned by Great Britain that was torpedoed by a German U-boat off the coast of Long Island during World War II. Initial dive operations in May 2019 confirmed the tanker was leaking small amounts of oil, the Coast Guard discovered.A unified command…

10 May 2019

AIS Data: History & Future

Source: MarineTraffic.com

The Automatic Identification System (AIS) was developed with the sole goal of improving maritime safety by allowing ships in proximity to one another to automatically exchange information regarding their name, course, speed, type, cargo, etc. The exchange of this information would allow conning officers on each ship to make better decisions regarding the possibility of close encounters and the need to change course and/or speed. It would also make it easier for one ship to contact the other by radio-telephone to hopefully remove any doubt.

29 Apr 2019

RMG to Assess Ship Wreck Leaking Oil Off NY

The U.S. Coast Guard has contracted Resolve Marine Group to conduct a full assessment of oil remaining on the Coimbra wreck, located approximately 30 miles southeast of Shinnecock, N.Y. If substantial oil still remains, and if feasible, the Coast Guard will work with Resolve Marine Group to remove oil from the wreck in order to reduce pollution risks to the environment.The operation is scheduled to take place from April 28th to May 30th. The initial evaluation will assess the condition of the tanker and what potential environmental impact still exists. Based on the assessment, possible oil removal operations will take place.During the operation…

21 Feb 2019

Oi: Tracking 50 Years of Ocean Innovation

Marine Technology Reporter published a supplement to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Oceanology International. Photo: MTR

As Oceanology International celebrates its 50th Anniversary, Marine Technology Reporter explores half a century of subsea technology development and discovery. Oceanology International Americas runs February 25-27, 2019 in San Diego.When Oceanology launched in 1969 in the seaside resort of Brighton the world was a very different place. For a start, Brighton was home to the mods and rockers, who would square off against each other on the town’s elegant seafront. The British currency included shillings and ha’ pennies and man had yet to step foot on the moon.More crucially…

18 Feb 2019

VT Halter: $1.5m Design Deal for NOAA Ship

VT Halter Marine was selected for Phase 1 Preliminary/Contract design for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) AGOR Variant (NAV). For the NAV program VT Halter Marine teamed with Gibbs & Cox, Inc. to provide NAVSEA and NOAA a design approach that will deliver efficient and multi-mission effective NOAA AGOR Variant (NAV) Ships. Together, the design team brings together a group of companies with more than 160 years of combined experience in designing. Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) made the announcement of the awards for the firm-fixed-price groups for the shallow coastal, continental shelf, and worldwide ocean survey and data collection requirements ships Phase I. Initial contract award for VT Halter Marine Phase I is $1.465 million.

12 Feb 2019

Sherwin-Williams' Schultz Honored

Photo: Sherwin-Williams

SSPC (The Society for Protective Coatings) named Mark Schultz, Government Marine Project Development Manager for Sherwin-Williams Protective & Marine Coatings, winner of the 2018-2019 John D. Keane Award of Merit. The award recognizes Schultz’s 25 years of significant contributions to the development of the protective coatings industry and to SSPC.Schultz was recognized with the award February 11, 2019, at the SSPC Coatings+ Conference in Orlando, Florida.Schultz, an SSPC Protective…

12 Dec 2018

Arctic Region Experiences Second-Warmest Air Temperatures Ever Recorded

This image of a Greenland fjord was captured on May 12, 2017 during a NASA IceBridge Campaign flight to fill in gaps in altimetry coverage in central southern Greenland. (Credit: NASA)

Arctic region experienced the second-warmest air temperatures ever recorded; the second-lowest overall sea-ice coverage; lowest recorded winter ice in the Bering Sea; and earlier plankton blooms due to early melting of sea ice in the Bering Sea - these are the findings of NOAA’s annual report card on the Arctic.The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) report, which measures the changing climate of the polar region including warmer air and ocean temperatures and declines in sea-ice that are driving shifts in animal habitats…

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