News and Updates Archive

2013-2014

 

August 2014

 

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]

 

June 2014

 

Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Amendments Act of 2014 Passes

On June 17, theSenate passed an amended Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Amendments Act of 2014, or S. 1254, which first passed the Senate by unanimous consent on February 12, 2014. On June 9, 2014, the amended bill passed the House by unanimous consent. The bill then returned to the Senate for final consideration.

 

Washington Delegation Staff Attend Duwamish River Restoration Project Event

On June 17, staff for the Washington Delegation celebrated the completion of the Duwamish River Restoration Project in Seattle, WA. The Duwamish River Restoration Project is a partnership among NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service, West Coast Region, NOAA’s National Ocean Service, and Boeing. Boeing worked with NOAA and other partners to restore habitat for fish, shorebirds, and wildlife harmed by historical industrial activities on this heavily used urban river. The project is one of the largest habitat restoration projects on the Lower Duwamish River, and involved reshaping the shoreline and adding 170,000 native plants and large woody debris to the shore. The plants and woody debris provide areas where young salmon can seek refuge from predators in the river. Other restoration projects included creating two acres of wetlands to provide resting areas for migrating salmon, and transforming more than a half mile of former industrial waterfront back into natural shoreline.

 

NOAA Fleet Update - June 2014

The NOAA Fleet Update - June 2014 [PDF], provides the status of the ships and aircraft in NOAA’s fleet, including current location and planned mission(s), information on our Teacher at Sea program, as well as support provided for unmanned systems and to our federal partners.

NOAA’s ships and aircraft play a critical role in the collection of oceanographic, atmospheric, hydrographic, and fisheries data. NOAA’s fleet of research aircraft and ships are operated, managed, and maintained by NOAA’s Office of Marine and Aviation Operations (OMAO), which includes both civilians and the commissioned officers of the NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps (NOAA Corps), one of the seven Uniformed Services of the United States.

Another great update from the NOAA Teacher at Sea Program, and a participant aboard NOAA Ship Pisces

"The NOAA Ship Pisces is a state-of-the art research vessel. Even when in transit to a specific operational location, it is always recording data and making observations of the ocean and the atmosphere." - TAS Spencer Cody http://teacheratsea.wordpress.com/2014/05/28/spencer-cody-a-sea-of-uncertainty-may-28-2014/

 

39th Annual NOAA Fish Fry

On June 11, Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and over 40 Senate and House staff joined NOAA officials at the annual NOAA Fish Fry. The event featured a variety of fish prepared by guest chefs from across the U.S.

 

Dr. Sullivan Participates in WGA Roundtable

On June 9, NOAA’s Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA Administrator, Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, participated in a roundtable discussion titled Managing Drought, hosted by the Western Governors’ Association (WGA) during its meeting in Colorado Springs, Colorado. At the event, Dr. Sullivan signed a renewed Memorandum of Understanding between NOAA and the WGA.

Westgov.org News Article and a copy of the MOU

Dr. Sullivan and Governor Hickenlooper and at the MOU signing between NOAA and WGA.

 

House Passes the Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Amendments Act

On June 9, the House passed S 1254, the Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Amendments Act of 2013. The bill passed the Senate by unanimous consent on February 12, 2014. Representative Suzanne Bonamici (D OR-1) and Representative Bill Posey (R FL-8) proposed an amendment to the bill that made minor technical changes. Both the amendment and S 1254 passed unanimously out of the House Science, Space, and Technology committee by voice vote on May 21, 2014. Since the House passed an amended S 1254, the bill will go back to the Senate for final consideration.

 

Senator Cardin Staff Tour NESDIS Facility and Visit NOAA Offices

On June 6, staff for Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) toured NOAA’s National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS), Satellite Operations Center in Suitland, Maryland. During the tour, staff were briefed by NESDIS officials on the facility’s environmental satellite operations of national and global significance. Later in the day, Senator Cardin’s staff were briefed by NOAA leadership including the Acting Assistant Administrator for NOAA’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, Craig McLean, and leadership for the National Ocean Service at NOAA offices in Silver Spring, Maryland.

 

Oklahoma Delegation Staff Visit the National Weather Center

On June 3 and 5, staff for Representative Tom Cole (R OK-4), Representative James Lankford (R OK-5), and Representative Jim Bridenstine (R OK-1) toured the National Weather Center in Norman, Oklahoma, where they were briefed by officials from NOAA’s office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research and the National Weather Service (NWS) on an experiment occurring in the Hazardous Weather Testbed that is part of a broad effort to revitalize the NWS watch/warning paradigm known as Forecasting a Continuum of Environmental Threats.

 

Senate Committee on Appropriations Approves CJS Bill

On June 5, the Senate Committee on Appropriations (Chair, Senator Barbara Mikulski, D-MD) marked up the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies spending bill for FY15, which includes funding for NOAA. The bill approves $51.2 billion of which, $5.4 billion would be for NOAA.  There were no NOAA-related amendments to the bill, and a date for floor consideration has not yet been determined, but could be as soon as the week of June 16.

 

Representative Kennedy Visits NWS Forecast Center

On June 2, Representative Joe Kennedy III (D MA-4) visited and toured the NOAA National Weather Service (NWS), Weather Forecast Office and Northeast River Forecast Center, which are co-located in Taunton, MA — part of Representative Kennedy’s district. Representative Kennedy was briefed by officials from NOAA’s NWS on the office's weather prediction, outreach, and flood forecasting operations, and by National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service Regional Climate Service officials on potential impacts to the district from a changing climate. This event was coordinated as part of NOAA's ongoing outreach plan to create a Weather Ready Nation.

 

Implementing Legislation for International Fisheries Treaties Submitted to Congress

On June 2, the Obama Administration submitted to Congress implementing legislation for three International Fisheries Treaties: the North Pacific Convention, South Pacific Convention and NAFO Convention Amendment, which would enable U.S. participation in two new regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs) in the North and South Pacific Ocean and support a revised mandate in the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization. These treaties will strengthen our ability to advance U.S. fishing interests and promote sustainable fisheries management overseas.

U.S. participation through these RFMOs will improve international fisheries governance, increase reliance on science-based management and strengthen our ability to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. Our participation in these RFMOs has direct impact to U.S. interests. The United States is a coastal State for each RFMO, meaning that we have fisheries and marine habitats directly adjacent to their convention areas. Our full participation allows us an important voice in management measures that will prevent significant adverse impacts on vulnerable marine ecosystems on the high seas that could impact U.S. resources.

The U.S. approach to science-based fisheries management has become a global model of success.  We are leading the way in scientific and technological advancements and in the development of innovative management strategies for sustainable fisheries. Advancing theses three new International Fisheries Treaties will help us push for international cooperation to achieve effective and responsible marine stewardship and ensure sustainable fisheries management globally.

 

President Signs National Oceans Month Proclamation

President Obama has signed a Proclamation in honor of National Oceans Month - June 2014. NOAA policy staff drafted the proclamation and NOAA was the lead agency on clearance and submission of the Proclamation for the President’s consideration and signature. The text of the Proclamation may be found at:
http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/05/30/presidential-proclamation-national-oceans-month-2014

 

May 2014

 

House Approves CJS Bill

On May 30, the House approved HR 4660, the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 201, by a vote of 321-87. The bill contains $51.2 billion in total discretionary funding – a reduction of $398 million below the fiscal year 2014 enacted level. NOAA would get about $5.3 billion, fully funding two major satellite programs and boosting the appropriations for the National Weather Service above the Administration's request. Several NOAA-related amendments were considered during the floor debate, including:

 

House Committee Passes Bill to Amend Magnuson

On May 29, the House Committee on Natural Resources (Chair, Representative Doc Hastings, R WA-4) held a markup on, and passed, HR 4742, the Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act. The bill is to amend and reauthorize the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act of 2006 and a number of amendments were considered prior to approving the final bill, which will now go to the House floor for a vote at a later date to be determined.

Before passage, committee members approved by voice vote 11 amendments to the measure:

Additionally, the committee voted down five amendments to the legislation:

 

Staff for Senator Udall Tour David Skaggs Research Center

On May 28, staff for Senator Mark Udall (D-CO) toured NOAA’s David Skaggs Research Center in Boulder, CO. NOAA officials briefed Senator Udall’s staff on the Earth System Research Laboratory’s Global Monitoring, Chemical Sciences, Physical Sciences, Space Weather Prediction, and Weather Forecasting services.

 

NOAA Officials Host Hurricane Awareness Tour

On May 23, local Senate and House staff joined NOAA officials for the final stop on NOAA’s Hurricane Awareness Tour in Tampa, FL. The Tour has been conducted for over 30 years and is a critical piece of a campaign to raise public awareness about, and preparation for, the upcoming 2014 Hurricane Season. The goal of the Tour is to protect communities through preparation and awareness.

 

National Hurricane Preparedness Week Proclamation

On May 23, President Obama signed a Presidential Proclamation in honor of National Hurricane Preparedness Week – May 25-30. NOAA’s National Weather Service drafted the proclamation and NOAA was the lead agency on clearance and submission of the Proclamation for the President’s consideration and signature. The text of the Proclamation may be found at:
http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/05/23/presidential-proclamation-national-hurricane-preparedness-week-2014

 

 

NOAA Fleet Update - May 2014

The NOAA Fleet Update - May 2014 [PDF], provides the status of the ships and aircraft in NOAA’s fleet, including current location and planned mission(s), information on our Teacher at Sea program, as well as support provided for unmanned systems and to our federal partners.

NOAA’s ships and aircraft play a critical role in the collection of oceanographic, atmospheric, hydrographic, and fisheries data. NOAA’s fleet of research aircraft and ships are operated, managed, and maintained by NOAA’s Office of Marine and Aviation Operations (OMAO), which includes both civilians and the commissioned officers of the NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps (NOAA Corps), one of the seven Uniformed Services of the United States.

Norfolk, VA - The NOAA Ship Nancy Foster is currently moored at NOAA Marine Operations Center-Atlantic, next to the NOAA Ship Gordon Gunter prior to heading just outside Chesapeake Bay to do sediment sampling and water column research with our colleagues at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Photo: Ens. Conor Maginn, NOAA

 

2014 Hurricane Season Outlook Interagency Briefing for Congress

On May 22, over 50 Senate and House staff were briefed by officials for NOAA’s National Weather Service and National Ocean Service, and officials for the Federal Emergency Management Agency and American Red Cross. The briefing highlighted proactive measures each agency is taking to better prepare U.S. citizens and communities for the 2014 Hurricane Season. The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation hosted the briefing.

 

House Markup of Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Act

On May 21, the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology (Chair, Representative Lamar Smith, R TX-21) held a markup on S 1254, the Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Amendments Act of 2013. The bill, introduced by Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL), passed the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation on July 30, 2013, and the full Senate by unanimous consent on February 12, 2014. Representatives Suzanne Bonamici (D OR-1) and Bill Posey (R FL-8) proposed an amendment to the bill that made minor technical changes. Both the amendment and S 1254 passed unanimously out of committee by voice vote.

 

NOAA Officials Host Hurricane Awareness Tour

On May 19-22, all-interested Senate and House staff, and local and state officials, joined NOAA officials for a Hurricane Awareness Tour in hurricane-vulnerable locations across the United States; Corpus Christi, TX; Houston, TX; New Orleans, LA; Tallahassee, FL; and Tampa, FL. The Tour has been conducted for over 30 years, and is a critical piece of a campaign to raise public awareness about, and preparation for, the upcoming 2014 Hurricane Season. The goal of the Tour was to protect communities through preparation and awareness. Officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency joined the TX Tour stops.

Day four for the NOAA Hurricane Awareness Tour brought us to Tallahassee, Florida. The NOAA P-3 Orion aircraft was joined by a USAF Reserve C130-J hurricane hunter aircraft that's based at Keesler AFB in Biloxi, Mississippi. More than 1200 students from area schools came out to visit both planes!

 

DOC Commerce Day on the Hill

On May 20, the Department of Commerce (DOC) hosted Commerce Day on the Hill for all-interested Senate and House staff. At the event, DOC bureaus showcased its mission to create the conditions for economic growth and opportunity using interactive displays. NOAA’s displays emphasized fisheries management and how coastal resilience and weather forecasts save lives.

 

Representative Boustany and NOAA Officials Host 2014 Hurricane Season Briefings

On May 12 and 14, Representative Charles Boustany Jr. (R LA-3) and officials from NOAA’s National Weather Service and National Ocean Service hosted public briefings in Lafayette, AL, and Morgan City, LA, respectively. The topic of the briefings was the upcoming 2014 hurricane season. Representative Boustany and NOAA officials discussed the preparation south Louisianans need to respond to hurricanes and tropical cyclones threatening the state.

 

Representative Frelinghuysen and Hurricane Hunter Pilot Tour Schools

On May 13, Representative Rodney Frelinghuysen (R NJ-11) was joined by a Hurricane Hunter Pilot from NOAA’s Office of Marine and Aviation Operations and the NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps for a series of visits to schools in the Morristown, NJ, area, where they spoke to hundreds of students. The purpose of the visits was to emphasize the importance of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and to educate the students about NOAA’s work and the valuable contributions its aircraft fleet and Corps pilots provide to the nation.

 

C-J-S Bill Advances–Excerpted from CQ.com

On May 8, House appropriators advanced a measure to fund the Justice and Commerce departments, along with science agencies, after endorsing a GOP gun proposal and sidelining a series of Democratic firearm policy amendments. The draft fiscal 2015 bill would provide $51.2 billion in discretionary funds, a $398 million decrease from currently enacted spending levels. The Appropriations Committee approved the measure by voice vote.

The measure would provide $8.4 billion for the Commerce Department, a $171 million increase above currently enacted levels. Within that agency, House appropriators would keep funding for NOAA virtually equal” to fiscal 2014 at $5.3 billion, according to the committee, while emphasizing spending on weather forecasting and warning systems.

“Simply put: these investments save lives. They saved lives in Arkansas and Mississippi, and they will save lives wherever the next severe weather event strikes,” said C-J-S subcommittee Chairman, Representative Frank Wolf (R VA-1).

Despite the relatively flat funding for NOAA, some of the committee’s top Democrats slammed GOP cuts to the agency’s programs outside of weather forecasting, particularly a 24 percent reduction to the climate research account.

 

Representative Davis and Staff For Senator Boxer Attend Lasker Commissioning

On May 2, Representative Susan Davis (D CA-53) was joined by staff for Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA); state and local officials; NOAA’s Deputy Under Secretary of Operations, Vice Admiral Mike Devany; and officials from NOAA’s Office of Marine and Aviation Operations and National Marine Fisheries Service for the commissioning of the Reuben Lasker in San Diego, CA. The Lasker is the fifth in a series of the most technologically advanced fisheries survey vessels in the world and will primarily support fish, marine mammal and turtle surveys off the U.S. West Coast and in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean. The new ship will improve NOAA’s ability to manage fisheries stocks and recover protected species. It is named after the late Dr. Reuben Lasker, who served as the Director of SWFSC’s Coastal Fisheries Division and as adjunct professor at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, U.C. San Diego.

Lasker
Please enjoy some more photos of the NOAA Ship Reuben Lasker commissioning ceremony at the USS Midway Museum in San Diego!
Lasker crew

 

April 2014

 

NOAA FY 2015 Budget Hearing

On April 30, the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, Subcommittee on Environment (Chair, Representative David Schweikert, R AZ-6) held a hearing on NOAA’s FY 2015 budget request. NOAA’s Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA Administrator, Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, testified.  A copy of the written testimony may be viewed on the Congressional Testimony page.

 

Markup on Legislation to Amend the Endangered Species Act

On April 30, the House Committee on Natural Resources (Chair, Representative Doc Hastings, R WA-4) held an executive session and markup. The following bills to amend the Endangered Species Act of 1973 were considered:

HR 4315, HR 4316, and HR 4318 passed out of committee and were sent to the House floor for consideration, date: TBD.

 

FY 2015 Budget Briefings for Congress

Recently, a number of Members of the Senate and House and congressional staff were briefed by NOAA leadership on the FY 2015 NOAA Budget Request (and/or the Line Office/Program FY 2015 request). Below are the briefings that occurred, noting date, Member or staff, briefer(s), and OLIA Lead(s):

April 30

April 29

April 28

April 17