Posts tagged with

ocean

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:

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.

Emergency Response and Assessment 40 Years after Argo Merchant

Posted Mon, 12/12/2016 - 14:02
By Robin Garcia

On Dec. 15, 1976, the tanker Argo Merchant ran aground off the coast of Nantucket Island, Massachusetts. Despite attempts to refloat the tanker, the Argo Merchant split in half in strong winds and high waves, spilling more than 7.5 million gallons of oil. It was the largest oil spill in United States history at the time.

50th Anniversary of Bodega Marine Laboratory

Posted Mon, 10/03/2016 - 16:44

The Bodega Marine Laboratory is 50 years old and going strong along with the partnership between NOAA and the University of California (UC).

Back in 1956, undeveloped land stretched across a peninsula to Bodega Head. In 1966 the first lab opened under the supervision of UC Berkeley, by the 1980s UC Davis took the helm. Since then the laboratory has more than doubled in size and the research scope greatly expanded to include fields as diverse as organismal biology, coastal ecology, climate change effects and ocean acidification, toxicology, bio-engineering, physical oceanography, and biotechnology.

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What Scientists Learned About Cleaning up Oil Spills by Covering a Delaware Beach with Oil — on Purpose

Posted Thu, 09/15/2016 - 17:07

Most people don’t want to spill oil onto beaches. But after the disastrous 1989 Exxon Valdez spill covered the remote, rocky beaches of Alaska’s Prince William Sound with crude oil, Al Venosa was itching to do exactly that.

As an environmental scientist with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Venosa had been called up to Alaska to help study the Exxon Valdez oil spill and its cleanup. In particular, he was interested in an oil spill cleanup technique that was getting a lot of attention at the time—an approach known as “bioremediation.” It involved adding oil-eating microbes and extra nutrients to an oiled beach to accelerate the natural background process of microbes breaking down, or biodegrading, oil.

Collecting Data from the Sky for Oil Spill Response

Posted Thu, 08/25/2016 - 17:35

What does the oil on the surface of the water look like from the sky? The appearance of oil after an oil spill provides responders with valuable information that helps them determine the severity of a spill and to plan for the most effective response. NOAA scientists use satellites, airplanes, helicopters, and drones to examine oil on the ocean’s surface.

Abandoned Vessels of Florida’s Forgotten Coast

Posted Tue, 08/09/2016 - 17:41
By Adam Davis, OR&R Scientific Support Coordinator

There is a stretch of the Florida Panhandle east of the more heavily developed beach destinations of Destin and Panama City that some refer to as the “Forgotten Coast.” This area has vast tracts of pine forest including large stands of longleaf pine and savanna, towering dunes and nearly undeveloped barrier islands, seemingly endless coastal marsh, and miles and miles of winding shoreline along its expansive bays and coastal rivers.

Oil Spills, Seeps, and the Early Days of Drilling Oil Along California’s Coast

Posted Wed, 07/20/2016 - 18:06

One of the challenges of the 2015 pipeline oil spill near Santa Barbara, California, was distinguishing between oil released from the pipeline and oil released naturally from the many seeps in the area. This challenge could become even more complicated when you consider the history of oil drilling in southern California [PDF] that dates back to the 1860s.

Washington Sea Grant Launches New Program to Prevent Small Oil Spills that Add Up

Posted Tue, 07/05/2016 - 18:15
This is a guest post by Lauren Drakopulos of Washington Sea Grant.

To paraphrase an old saying, “There’s no use crying over spilled oil.” But many people in Washington worry a lot about oil pollution in Puget Sound and other coastal waters around the state.

What many don’t realize is that the biggest source of oil spills to date in Puget Sound isn’t tankers and freighters but small recreational and commercial vessels. Small oil spills from these types of vessels account for 75 percent of the oil spilled in local waters over the last 10 years.

In Florida, Rallying Citizen Scientists to Place an Ocean-Sized Problem Under the Microscope

Posted Thu, 06/30/2016 - 18:22
This week, we’re exploring the problem of plastics in our ocean and the solutions that are making a difference. To learn more about #OceanPlastics this week, keep your eye on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, NOAA’s Marine Debris Blog, and, of course, here.

Have you ever looked under a microscope at what’s in a sample of ocean water? What do you think you would find?

These days, chances are you would spot tiny bits of plastic known as microplastics, which are less than 5 millimeters long (about the size of a sesame seed).

The Florida Microplastic Awareness Project is giving people the opportunity to glimpse into Florida’s waters and see a microscopic world of plastic pollution up close. This project integrates citizen science—when volunteers contribute to scientific research—with education about microplastics.