• NOAA Fleet Update - September 2014

    The NOAA Fleet Update - September 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.
     
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News and Updates

 

 

September 2014

 

Congressional Recess

The Senate has adjourned and is in recess until November 12. The House is now planning to adjourn on September 19, and will also return in mid-November.

 

Congress Passes Funding Bill

On September 17, the House passed HJ Res 124, the Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2015, which will fund the government through December 2014. The Senate then approved the bill on September 18, which is now headed to the President’s desk for signature.

 

Staff for Senate Committee Tour NESDIS Facility

On September 18, staff for the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation visited the NOAA Satellite Operations Facility in Suitland, Maryland, where they were briefed by officials for NOAA’s National Environmental Satellite and Data Information Service (NESDIS) and given a tour of the facility.

 

Senate Committee Approves Assistant Secretary Nominee

On September 17, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, And Transportation (Chair, Senator Jay Rockefeller, D-WV) met in executive session and approved the nomination of Vice Admiral Manson K. Brown (Coast Guard, ret.) to be NOAA’s Assistant Secretary for Environmental Observation and Prediction. The nomination now goes to the Senate floor for a vote at a later date to be determined.

 

Senate Markup of International Fisheries Treaties

On September 17, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation (Chair, Senator Jay Rockefeller, D-WV) met in executive session to consider several items, including:

The Committee approved the bills, and they will be sent to the Senate floor for a vote at a later date to be determined.

 

Representative Pearce Interviews NWS Officials

On September 16 and 17, Representative Steve Pearce (R NM-2) interviewed officials from NOAA's National Weather Service’s (NWS), Midland Weather Forecasting Office (WFO) to discuss rainfall and flooding threats to the region from tropical storm Odile as part of Representative Pearce’s Congressional Review radio show. Both interviews emphasized the short-term forecast and the concept, "turn around don't drown." NWS officials also discussed how September is the wettest month of the year per climatology.

 

NOAA Hosts North Atlantic Roundtable for Delaware Delegation

On September 16, staff for the Delaware Delegation attended a roundtable hosted by NOAA’s North Atlantic Regional Team at the St. Jones Reserve Site of the Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve in Dover, Delaware. The Roundtable was called “Supporting Vibrant Delaware Communities and Economies” and NOAA officials from the National Weather Service (NWS), National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), and National Ocean Service (NOS) briefed participants on the products, services, and activities of NWS' Eastern Region and Mount Holly Weather Forecast Offices, NMFS' Science Center and Chesapeake Bay Office, and NOS' Office of Response and Restoration and National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science Cooperative Oxford Laboratory provide. NOAA’s local hosts and partners, including: Delaware Coastal Programs and Delaware Sea Grant, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, the Delaware River Basin Commission, the University of Delaware, and Greater Brandywine Village also particpated.

 

Senate and House Staff Tour NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer

On September 13, all interested Senate and House staff joined officials from NOAA’s Office of Marine and Aviation Operations (OMAO), the NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps, and NOAA's Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research for a tour of the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer. During the tours, held as part of the Star Spangled Banner 200th Anniversary Celebration in Baltimore, Maryland, congressional staff met with the officers and crew of the vessel to learn more about OMAO, the NOAA Corps, and the ship’s mission, programs, and activities.


Senator Mikulski and Representative Culberson Tour NOAA Ship and Attend Reception

On September 12, Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and Representative John Culberson (R TX-07) toured the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer to learn more about NOAA’s Office of Marine and Aviation Operations, the NOAA Corps, and the ship’s mission, programs, and activities. Senator Mikulski and Representative Culberson also joined NOAA leadership at a reception at the National Aquarium in Baltimore, Maryland. The NOAA leadership present at the reception included:

Senate Staff Transit on NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer

On September 10, staff from the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation joined officials from NOAA’s Office of Marine and Aviation Operations (OMAO) the NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps, and NOAA's Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research for a transit up the Chesapeake Bay from Annapolis to Baltimore, Maryland, on the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer. During the transit, the congressional staff met with the officers and crew of the vessel to learn more about OMAO, the NOAA Corps, and the ship’s mission, programs, and activities.

 

House Natural Resources Hearing on Endangered Species Act Legislation

On September 9, the House Committee on Natural Resources (Chair, Representative Doc Hastings, R WA-4) held a hearing on proposed legislation to amend the Endangered Species Act. The Director of NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service, Office of Protected Resources, Donna Wieting, testified. A copy of the written testimony may be viewed on the Congressional Testimony page.

 

Senate Field Hearing on the Chesapeake Bay Agreement

On September 8, the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, Subcommittee on Water and Wildlife (Chair, Senator Ben Cardin, D-MD) held a field hearing in Annapolis, MD, on the recently-signed Chesapeake Bay Agreement (CBA), which seeks to improve Chesapeake Bay habitat, fisheries, and water quality. NOAA is one of seven federal signatories to the CBA, and discussed its role in meeting the ten goals of the Agreement. The Director of NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service, Chesapeake Bay Office, Peyton Robertson, testified. A copy of the written testimony may be viewed on the Congressional Testimony page.

 

Senator Levin Attends Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary Celebration

On September 6, Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) attended a Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary Community Celebration in Alpina, MI. At the event, Senator Levin and officials from NOAA’s National Ocean Service, Office of National Marine Sanctuaries spoke about the research, public input, and support from local and regional officials that led to expanding the Sanctuary’s boundaries from 450 square miles to 4,300 square miles.

 

NOAA Fleet Update - September 2014

The NOAA Fleet Update - September 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.
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NOAA Aircraft P-3 (N42RF)
Photo Credit: Aircraft Operations Center (AOC), NOAA

 

August 2014

 

Senator Cantwell Staff Tour NOAA Facilities

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.

 

Representative Diaz-Balart Tours AOML

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.

 

Representative Flores Tours Mauna Loa Observatory

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.

 

Senator Begich Joins Commerce Leadership for Roundtable Event

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.

 

Representative DeFazio Tours Siuslaw River Restoration Site

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.

 

Senate Committee Staff Visit WFO

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.

 

Senator Levin Attends Great Lakes Restoration Event

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.
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NOAA Ship Oscar Dyson pushing through first-year sea ice in the Bering Sea.
[Photo: Allen Smith, NOAA]

 

Maine Delegation Staff Attend Roundtable on Climate and Fisheries

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.

 

Senator Murkowski and Senator Begich Staff Briefings on OMAO

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.


Representative Huizenga Visits Great Lakes Lab

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.

 

Senator Blumenthal Staff Visits Milford Lab

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.

 

July 2014

 

House Hearing on Arctic Issues

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.

 

Florida Delegation Attends PORTS Dedication

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.

 

Senate Committee Markup

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.

 

Senator Cardin Staff Visit Oxford Lab

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.

 

Senator Cochran Staff Visit Buoy Center

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.

 

Delegate Sablan Tours NOAA Ship Oscar Elton Sette

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.
 
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NOAA Ship Hi'ialakai spent much of the day on July 1 on Sand Island at the Midway Atoll, HI.
[Photo: Tim Monaghan, NOAA]