News and Updates



May 2015


NOAA Fleet Update - May 2015

The NOAA Fleet Update - May 2015 [PDF] provides the status of NOAA’s fleet of ships and aircraft, which play a critical role in the collection of oceanographic, atmospheric, hydrographic, and fisheries data. NOAA’s current fleet of 16 ships – the largest civilian research and survey fleet in the world – and nine aircraft, are operated, managed, and maintained by NOAA’s Office of Marine and Aviation Operations (OMAO). OMAO includes civilians, mariners, and officers of the United States NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps (NOAA Corps), one of the nation’s seven Uniformed Services.
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One of NOAA’s two Lockheed WP-3D Orion aircraft recently entered a long-term maintenance period at Naval Air Station, Jacksonville. The aircraft will receive new wings and significant additional upgrades as part of a service life extension program that will allow our WP-3D Orion aircraft to continue supporting all of NOAA’s critical missions for years to come. The process will take approximately one year and once completed, NOAA’s second WP-3D will enter its own re-winging and upgrade maintenance period in 2016.
[Photo: Victor Pitts, FRCSE Jacksonville]


Senate Hearing on Fisheries Data

On May 20, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard (Chair, Senator Marco Rubio, R-FL) held a hearing titled, “Improvements and Innovation in Fisheries Research and Data Collection.” The Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA Administrator, Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, testified and a copy of the written testimony may be viewed on the Congressional Testimony page of the OLIA website.


House Committee Markup of FY16 Appropriations Bill

On May 14, the House Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (Chair, Representative John Culberson (R TX-7)), held a markup of the FY16  appropriations bill that covers the Department of Commerce and NOAA and other agencies under the committee’s jurisdiction. The committee approved a version of the bill that would cut $274 million from NOAA’s budget. The bill next goes before the full Committee on Appropriations, which may consider it as early as next week, and details of the budget allocations for the various offices and programs will not be released until just prior to full committee consideration.


Senator Graham Staff Tour Hollings Marine Lab

On May 14, staff for Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) joined officials from NOAA’s National Ocean Service for a tour of the Hollings Marine Laboratory in Charleston, South Carolina, where they were briefed on the Lab’s mission to provide science and biotechnology applications to sustain, protect, and restore coastal ecosystems, with emphasis on links between environmental condition and the health of marine ecosystems. The Lab is the product of a long-term Joint Project Agreement among the following organizations: NOAA, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Medical University of South Carolina, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, College of Charleston.


Louisiana Delegation Staff Attend PORTS® Events

On May 11-13, staff for the Louisiana Delegation joined officials from NOAA’s National Ocean Service, the Morgan City Harbor and Terminal District, and the Greater Lafourche Port Commission for the dedication of new Physical Oceanographic Real Time Systems (PORTS®) in Morgan City and Galliano, Louisiana, to increase safety for ships in and out of the Port of Morgan City and Port Fourchon.


Representative Courtney Attends BOTC

On May 6, Representative Joe Courtney (D CT-2) joined NOAA’s Assistant Secretary of Environmental Observation and Prediction, Manson K. Brown; the Director of NOAA’s Office of Marine and Aviation Operations and the NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps, Rear Admiral (two star) David Score; and officials from the United States Coast Guard at the 125th NOAA Corps Basic Officer Training Class (BOTC) graduation. The new NOAA Corps Officers graduated alongside the newest class of U.S. Coast Guard officer candidates at the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut. Representative Courtney provided the keynote address and Assistant Secretary Brown provided the commencement address.


Representative Curbelo Visit Florida Keys Sanctuary

On May 5, Representative Carlos Curbelo (R FL-26) and his local staff joined officials from NOAA’s National Ocean Service, Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, for a beach clean up event in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.

Representative Boustany Hosts Hurricane Preparedness Forum

On May 5, Representative Charles Boustany (R LA-3) joined officials from NOAA’s National Weather Service and National Ocean Service at a Hurricane Preparedness Forum in Morgan City, Louisiana. This public meeting provided an opportunity to discuss the outlook for the 2015 hurricane season and the needs and preparations for the public of south Louisiana. With the 10th Year Anniversary of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the Forum was also an opportunity to look back at the impacts and highlight improvements in forecasting, preparation, and response.