Life at Sea or Scientist on Land: NOAA Corps Offers Both

Posted Tue, 03/14/2017 - 14:47
By Cmdr. Jesse Stark, NOAA Corps

A life at sea, or a career conserving natural resources?

That was the choice I was contemplating while walking along the docks in Port Angeles, Washington, back in 1998. A chance encounter that day with the chief quartermaster of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Ship Rainer showed me I could do both.

NOAA Scientist Supports Alaska Pipeline Leak Response

Posted Mon, 03/13/2017 - 15:18

NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration is assisting the U.S. Coast Guard in responding to a leaking natural gas pipeline in Cook Inlet, Alaska.

The leak was first reported to federal regulatory agencies on Feb. 7, by Hilcorp Alaska, LLC, which owns the pipeline located about 3.5 miles northeast of Nikiski, Alaska.

5 Ways the Coast Guard and NOAA Partner

Posted Wed, 03/01/2017 - 15:22

How do the Coast Guard and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration work together? There are many waysthe two government organizations partner to keep the nation’s coasts and waterways safe for maritime commerce, recreational activities, and wildlife. Check out the five here:

Below Zero: Partnership between the Coast Guard and NOAA

Posted Tue, 02/28/2017 - 15:25
By Lt. Cmdr. Morgan Roper, U.S. Coast Guard

For more than 200 years, the U.S. Coast Guard and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have partnered together in maritime resiliency, environmental sustainability and scientific research. In fact, a variety of NOAA projects encompassed over 50 percent of Coast Guard Cutter Healy operations for 2016, including a Coast Guard and NOAA collaborative effort to chart the extended continental shelf and survey marine habitats and biodiversity. Today, more than ever in the past, the Coast Guard and NOAA are working together on numerous levels of profession in the U.S. Arctic Region, which happens to be Coast Guard Alaska‘s northern area of responsibility, or AOR. From daily sector operations and district-led full scale exercises to partnering on the national level in workgroups under the Arctic Council, Coast Guard and NOAA have a strong working relationship supporting and representing the U.S. in cold weather operations and Arctic initiatives.

Sea Urchins Battle to Save Hawaii Coral Reef

Posted Tue, 02/21/2017 - 15:31

Can tiny sea urchins save a Hawaiian coral reef? In Oahu’s Kaneohe Bay, with a little help from scientists, it appears they can.

Kaneohe Bay has been plagued for decades by two species of invasive algae that blanket the native coral reefs, blocking the sun. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and partners developed two methods to destroy the invaders, vacuuming them up, and releasing hungry native sea urchins to munch them away.

Rescuing Oiled Birds, Leave it to the Experts

Posted Wed, 02/15/2017 - 16:01
By Allison O’Brien, Department of the Interior

This week, NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration is looking at some common myths and misconceptions surrounding oil spills, chemical releases, and marine debris.

Birds, especially those that spend most of their time on the water, are vulnerable to the effects of oiling. Oil can clog feathers and cause them to mat, separate, or lose their natural waterproofing. Birds coated with oil may not be able to fly, may get sick from accidentally ingesting oil while trying to clean their feathers, or may drown from reduced buoyancy.

Restoration: The Other Part of Spill Response

Posted Tue, 02/14/2017 - 16:06

Typically, during an oil spill or chemical release, media images show emergency responders dressed in protective gear, skimming oil off the ocean’s surface or combing coastal beaches for oiled animals.

As dramatic as they are, those images can leave the impression that cleaning up after a spill is the end of the story. Often the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration continues working on spills years after response efforts have ended, determining how to restore the environment.

Chemical Pollution in the Great Lakes

Posted Thu, 02/09/2017 - 16:08
By Anna McCartney, Pennsylvania Sea Grant

Sailors that discovered the Great Lakes called them Sweetwater Seas because they contained drinkable water. Today, that water is under threat from chemical pollution. A recent report from the International Joint Commission, a U.S. – Canadian panel that monitors Great Lakes water quality, states the efforts to clean up the lakes over the past 25 years are “a mix of achievements and challenges.”