's Archive

Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: Longterm Effects on Marine Mammals, Sea Turtles

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A recent Endangered Species Research special issue summarizes some of the devastating longterm effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on protected marine mammals and sea turtles. The issue compiles 20 scientific studies authored by NOAA scientists and partners covering more than five years' worth of data collection, analysis, and interpretation. The research indicates that populations of several marine mammal and sea turtle species will take decades to rebound. Significant habitat restoration in the region will also be needed.

NOAA scientists used a variety of cutting-edge research methods in these studies and many others as part of a Natural Resource Damage Assessment. This is the legal process where we investigate the type of injuries caused by the oil spill, quantify how many animals were harmed, develop a restoration plan to compensate for the natural resource injuries, and hold responsible parties liable to pay for the restoration.

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The Rebirth of a Healthy Eelgrass Meadow

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An effort to restore eelgrass beds along Virginia's eastern shore began with people painstakingly planting 200 acres of eelgrass seeds by hand. Today, these eelgrass meadows have grown to 6,195 acres — providing a home for an estimated 240,000 bay scallops.

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Sea Urchins Help Combat Invasive Algae on Corals

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Tiny sea urchins are helping to combat invasive algae in Kaneohe Bay—part of a restoration plan from the settlement of the 2005 grounding of the ship M/V Cape Flattery on the coral reefs south of Oahu. The grounding, and response efforts to free the ship, injured 19.5 acres of coral. Despite the injuries, the reef began recovering on its own. Rather than mess with that natural recovery, NOAA Fisheries, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Hawaii's Division of Aquacitec Resources focused on restoring coral reefs in Kaneohe Bay.

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Meet Christine Gallagher from NOAA’s National Geodetic Survey

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Meet Christine Gallagher, acting chief of National Geodetic Survey's Communications and Outreach Branch. Christine helps ensure that the National Geodetic Survey's science, products, and services reach end-users. She enjoys solving problems, whether it involves learning how to take advantage of a new digital communication tool or communicating a complicated scientific issue. She says the hardest part of her job is conveying the value of things that people cannot physically see but are important to their daily lives, like geodetic datums.
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High Tide Bulletin: Spring 2017 (March – May)

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The rising and falling of the sea is a phenomenon upon which we can always depend. Tides are the regular rise and fall of the sea surface caused by the gravitational pull of the moon and sun and their position relative to the earth.There are some factors that cause the tides to be higher than what is "normally" seen from day to day. This bulletin tells you when you may experience higher than normal high tides for the period of time between March and May 2017.

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NOAA Releases 2017 Hydrographic Survey Season Plans

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Coast Survey maintains over a thousand charts and publications covering 95,000 miles of shoreline and 3.4 million square nautical miles of water. Measuring depths and determining new dangers to navigation along U.S. coasts and the Great Lakes is a monumental job because the seafloor is constantly changing due to factors such as storms, erosion, and development. One of Coast Survey's biggest tasks during the winter months is to plan hydrographic survey projects for the coming field season. View 2017 planned survey projects.

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From Ridge to Reef: Habitat Conservation in Puerto Rico

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The picturesque hillsides and vibrant blue waters of northeast Puerto Rico and nearby Culebra Island are home to marine and terrestrial ecosystems that make it a truly special place. This corner of Puerto Rico is NOAA's only Habitat Blueprint Focus Area in the Caribbean. NOAA's Habitat Blueprint is a national framework to improve habitat for fisheries, marine life, and coastal communities. Among the most pressing environmental issues here are the impacts from soil erosion and nonpoint source pollution on the coral reefs and other marine habitats that lie just offshore from the rugged hillsides.

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The Advent of the Modern-Day Shipping Container

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How the arrival of containers and intermodalism revolutionized the shipping industry. As container ships continue to grow in size and ports grow more congested by the year, NOAA plays an increasingly critical role in U.S. marine transportation. NOAA services and products improve the efficiency of ports and harbors, promote safety, and help to ensure the protection of coastal marine resources.

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NOAA designates 29th National Estuarine Research Reserve

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On Jan. 19 , NOAA announced the establishment of the He'eia National Estuarine Research Reserve. Estuarine reserves protect a section of an estuary and provide a living laboratory to explore and understand the important areas where rivers meet the sea. The 1,385-acre He'eia National Estuarine Research Reserve encompasses upland forests and grasslands, wetlands, reefs and seagrass beds, as well as the largest sheltered body of water in the Hawaiian Island chain. It is located within the Kaneohe Bay estuary on the windward side of Oahu and includes significant historic and cultural resources.

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U.S. Marine Biodiversity Observing Network: Building Global Connections

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Marine biodiversity—the variety and variability of life in the ocean—can be an early indicator of change, provided it's noticed. The U.S. Marine Biodiversity Network (MBON) aims to ensure that scientists not only notice changes in biodiversity at locations around the nation, but also have the tools in place to better understand what these changes tell us about ocean health over time. But marine life doesn't know borders. That's why the U.S. network is also expanding international cooperation with other marine biodiversity networks around the world.

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