On August 28, staff for Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) toured NOAA’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory and the National Marine Fisheries Service’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center in Seattle, Washington. Staff were briefed on current research at the facilities, which includes: integrated ecosystem assessments, ocean acidification, seafood safety and aquaculture, carbon programs, and tsunami forecasting.
On August 26, Representative Mario Diaz-Balart (R FL-25) toured NOAA’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML), in Miami, Florida, where he was briefed on AOML’s wave glider deployments in the Gulf of Mexico, ocean acidification research, and the current Hurricane Weather Radar and Forecast model and future development. Representative Diaz-Balart also observed an unmanned aerial vehicle flight and was briefed in how new observations can best improve hurricane forecasts.
On August 22, Representative Bill Flores (R TX-17) visited NOAA’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, Earth System Research Laboratory’s (ESRL) Mauna Loa Observatory in Hilo, Hawaii, and was briefed on the Observatory’s programs, which measure greenhouse gases, ozone and ozone-depleting substances, solar radiation, and aerosols (particles).
|Representative Flores at the Mauna Loa Observatory.|
On August 21, Senator Mark Begich (D-AK) joined the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce, Penny Pritzker, as well as NOAA’s Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA Administrator, Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, at a business leaders' roundtable event in Anchorage AK.
On August 21, Representative Peter DeFazio (D-OR) joined officials from NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service, Office of Habitat Conservation for a tour of the Waite Ranch property and Siuslaw River Restoration Site in Mapleton, OR, during a site visit coordinated by NOAA grantees Ecotrust and McKenzie River Trust. The Waite Ranch property is adjacent to the Siuslaw River in OR, and has been acquired by the McKenzie River Trust for the purpose of habitat restoration, which is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2015. The restoration work will include removal of a levee, which will reconnect approximately 210 acres of tidal estuary habitat and ten miles of tidal channels to the Siuslaw River. The project will provide important habitat for Endangered Species Act-listed OR Coast Coho salmon, Steelhead, Chinook salmon, and many other estuarine species.
On August 15, staff for the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation visited NOAA’s National Weather Service, Weather Forecast Office (WFO) in Rapid City, SD. During the visit, staff received a tour of the facility, and were briefed on the WFO's mission, operations, and work with partners, and observed a radiosonde (weather balloon) launch.
On August 15, Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) attended an event in Muskegon, MI, to commemorate NOAA’s Great Lakes restoration efforts, and announcement of an additional $5.5 million in NOAA Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funding for future projects. Senator Levin was also briefed by officials from NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service on habitat restoration and conservation efforts, and toured other restoration initiatives in the region.
NOAA Fleet Update - August 2014
The NOAA Fleet Update - August 2014 [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.
NOAA Ship Oscar Dyson pushing through first-year sea ice in the Bering Sea.
On August 12, staff for the Maine Delegation attended a roundtable hosted by NOAA’s North Atlantic Regional Team at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute in Portland, ME. NOAA officials discussed the agency’s activities and collaborations in support of Maine’s response to a changing climate, its impacts on fisheries, and NOAA’s work to make Maine communities more resilient. The roundtable also highlighted the Penobscot Bay watershed Habitat Blueprint focus area, and addressed the need for, and progress on, an ocean acidification network for the Northeast. Attendees also visited a CO2 monitoring buoy in the Gulf of Maine aboard the University of New Hampshire's R/V Gulf Challenger. Partners from the state’s coastal program, emergency management, and private industry also attended.
On August 11, staff for Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Senator Mark Begich (D-AK) met with the Director of NOAA’s Office of Marine and Aviation Operations (OMAO) and the NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps, Rear Admiral David Score (two star), in Ketchikan, AK. During the meetings, Rear Admiral Score briefed the Senators' staff on the latest fleet updates for OMAO, the NOAA Corps, and efforts related to the Ketchikan homeport.
On August 8, Representative Bill Huizenga (R MI-2) visited NOAA’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, Lake Michigan Field Station in Muskegon, MI. Representative Huizenga toured one of the facility’s research vessels and was briefed on NOAA’s research, restoration and regional collaborations in the Great Lakes.
On August 4, staff for Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) visited the National Marine Fisheries Service, Northeast Fisheries Science Center’s Aquaculture Laboratory in Milford, CT. NOAA officials provided a tour of the facility and briefed staff on the Laboratory’s aquaculture and ecosystem programs, educational outreach, and research.
On July 23, the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation (Chair, Representative Duncan Hunter, R CA-50) held a hearing titled, “Implementing U.S. Policy in the Arctic.” The Director of NOAA’s National Ocean Service, Office of Response and Restoration, Dave Westerholm, testified. A copy of the written testimony may be viewed on the Congressional Testimony page.
On July 23, Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL), Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), Representative Ander Crenshaw (R FL-4), and Representative Corrine Brown (D FL-5), joined NOAA’s Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA Administrator, Dr. Kathryn Sullivan; the Assistant Administrator of NOAA’s National Ocean Service, Dr. Holly Bamford; and other NOAA, federal, state, and local officials at the dedication of the Physical Oceanographic Real-Time System (PORTS) in Jacksonville, Florida.
On July 23, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation (Chair, Senator Jay Rockefeller, D-WV) met in an executive session to consider several items, including a couple of bills of interest to NOAA:
The Committee passed both bills, which will go to the Senate floor for a vote at a later date to be determined.
On July 11, staff for Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) visited NOAA’s National Ocean Service, National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS), Cooperative Oxford Lab on the Eastern Shore. The staff were provided with an overview of NCCOS projects as they relate to climate change in the Chesapeake Bay and also received briefings on native oyster restoration projects, NOAA educational programming, the lab’s research, and living shoreline initiatives. The final part of the tour included a trip on the research vessel, Potawaugh, which is the NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office’s primary platform for acoustic survey work.
On July 8, staff for Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS) toured NOAA’s National Weather Service National Data Buoy Center as part of a NASA-hosted tour of the Stennis Space Center in Gulfport, MS. During the tour, the staff were provided with an informational briefing on the Center’s mission and operations.
On July 3, Delegate Gregorio Sablan (D-CNMI) visited and toured the NOAA Ship Oscar Elton Sette while the ship was docked in Saipan, Commonwealth of the Northern Marianna Islands. During the tour, Delegate Sablan was briefed by members of the NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps and ship’s crew on the vessel’s mission, programs, and activities.
NOAA Fleet Update - July 2014
The NOAA Fleet Update - July 2014 [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 both civilians, mariners, and officers of the United States NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps (NOAA Corps), one of the nations’ seven Uniformed Services.