At the Agencies
On April 5, two federal agencies issued a
that will revise the listing for
green sea turtles
under the Endangered Species Act, including reclassifying turtles originating from two breeding populations from endangered to threatened status due to successful conservation efforts. In addition, NOAA Fisheries and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will divide the turtles globally into 11 distinct populations segments, allowing for tailored conservation approaches for each population. Three of the segments will be reclassified as endangered, and the rest as threatened. Green sea turtles have been listed as a threatened species, with the exception of the endangered breeding populations, since 1978.
On April 21, NOAA announced that Jonathan R. Pennock, Ph.D., the director of New Hampshire Sea Grant and a longtime coastal scientist, will be the new leader of NOAA's National Sea Grant College Program. The announcement comes as Sea Grant is celebrating 50 years of serving America's coastal and Great Lakes communities by providing innovative science to address a range of environmental and economic issues." Jonathan will bring to NOAA Sea Grant a strong scientific background and significant experience creating vibrant research programs and forging partnerships that are making a difference for coastal communities," said Craig McLean, NOAA assistant administrator for NOAA Research.
EPA Study Supports Long-term Benefits of Green Infrastructure and Low Impact
Development. This modeling study estimates the flood loss avoidance benefits from application of small storm retention practices for new development and redevelopment nationwide. Twenty watersheds were modeled in areas where significant growth is expected between 2020 and 2040, using the FEMA Hazus model and
national-scale datasets. The area of the watersheds ranges between 500 and 3,000 square miles. Results show that, over time, the use of green stormwater infrastructure can save hundreds of millions of dollars in flood losses while only applying the practices to new development and redevelopment. If retrofitting were to occur, the avoided losses would be even more significant.
In the News
The Great Barrier Reef - the
largest living structure on Earth
- is dying as a result of El Nino and climate change. Last week, scientists from the
ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies
completed an extensive survey of the iconic reef and found that
has been impacted by the
most severe coral bleaching event
on record. "We've never seen anything like this scale of bleaching before," Terry Hughes, convenor of the National Coral Bleaching Taskforce, said in a statement. "In the northern Great Barrier Reef, it's like 10 cyclones have come ashore all at once." Coral bleaching is a phenomenon in which stressed corals expel algae and turn white. If not given time to recover, bleached corals can perish.
This year is off to a record-breaking start for global temperatures. It has been the hottest year to date, with January, February and March each passing marks set in 2015, according to new data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
March was also the 11th consecutive month to set a record high for temperatures, which agencies started tracking in the 1800s. With the release on Tuesday (April 12) of its global climate report, NOAA is the third independent agency - along with NASA and the Japan Meteorological Association - to reach similar findings, each using slightly different methods.
To promote living shorelines, the USFWS Coastal Program worked with the NOAA, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, The Nature Conservancy and others to develop a website with the purpose of informing coastal property owners about the benefits of living shorelines, restoration techniques, and resources that are available to help them create living shorelines.
In the States and Regions
The Senate Appropriations Committee approved funding legislation on Thursday that includes a $112 million investment in Maryland waterways, according to a news release from Sen. Barbara Mikulski's office. The committee approved the Fiscal 2017 Energy and Water Development funding legislation, enabling it to move to the Senate floor this week, the release said.
Town officials agreed last week to increase the coastal budget by a few million dollars in the near future to possibly save several million dollars in the long run.
The Shore Protection Board reviewed more than two dozen projects included in staff's proposed coastal budget for budget year 2017-18 that begins in October. Board members recommended that the Town Council proceed with all the projects and adopt a $9.8 million budget - $7 million more than was budgeted in 2014 as part of the town's 10-year coastal management program.
Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority
signed an agreement with the
Army Corps of Engineers
on Tuesday (April 19) that will guarantee corps review of permits for two land-building sediment diversions on the Mississippi River within three years, with the state paying $1.5 million to cover the additional cost of the review speed-up. The agreement was announced Wednesday at a meeting of the authority on the sixth anniversary of the blowout of BP's Macondo well off Louisiana's coast, which triggered an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig that killed 11 workers and began an 87-day flow of oil and gas that stained the Gulf coastlines of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and parts of Florida and Texas.
Gov. John Bel Edwards urged state agencies to work in unison on coastal projects as the state rewrites its restoration blueprint and prepares to receive millions of dollars dedicated to the coast starting next year. The Democratic governor issued an executive order requiring state departments to follow the path set out by the state's Coastal Master Plan. He announced the order during Coastal Day events today at the state Capitol.
West Coast and Pacific Islands
Businesses interested in U.S. Army Corps of Engineers work have two opportunities to learn about future projects and how to compete for them.
The Corps will host two separate Industry Day events: April 26 and 27. Both events will be at the 911 Federal Building at 911 NE 11th Ave., Portland, Oregon. Seating is limited and registration is required
The Beaver Island Habitat Rehabilitation and Enhancement Project is progressing through the planning stage. Project construction is still a few years away due to funding constraints but details of this multi-million dollar project are being identified.
The two primary objectives are restoration of deep water habitat within the interior lakes and diversification of the forest community. The habitat rehabilitation project covers the lower three-fourths of Beaver Island. This area is owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and managed as part of Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge. The project is part of the Upper Mississippi River Restoration Program, a Corps funded program that focuses on restoration of Upper Mississippi River habitat.
Officials from the Environmental Protection Agency and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources have given conditional approval to the final work plan for the wet dredge pilot project at the Ashland Lakefront Project. Beginning Monday (April 18), equipment will begin to arrive on site to prepare for dredging and the related on land sediment and water management work. Once all site setup is complete and environmental controls are in place, crews expect to begin dredging in late-May.
Announcements & More
The Wisconsin Sea Grant College Program and the Wisconsin Coastal Management Program seek
postdoctoral and post Masters candidates interested in tackling science and policy challenges related to increasing coastal community resilience across the Great Lakes region. Together, these programs will fund this first ever state Science-Policy Fellow position, n
amed in honor of a longtime Sea Grant coastal engineering expert Phil Keillor, to celebrate his legacy in building resilience in Wisconsin communities.
The Fellow will work closely with Wisconsin Coastal Management Program's Natural Hazards Work Group, Sea Grant's coastal engineer, local government representatives, and researchers from a variety of fields to tackle the important challenge of connecting science related to coastal processes with communities that could benefit from the information. This Fellow will be stationed in downtown Madison
with the Coastal Management Program at the Wisconsin Department of Administration, and will be working with researchers from across the state, region and country, in addition to stakeholders and policy-makers in Wisconsin. For more information, please click here
On April 21, The Senate Appropriations Committee advanced the FY2017 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS) Appropriations Act with funding to support economic growth, state and local law enforcement, space exploration, and scientific innovation and research. The $56.3 billion measure is $563 million above the FY2016 enacted level and $1.6 billion above the budget request. The bill is $183 million below the President's budget request when considering spending without rescissions and CBO scorekeeping adjustments.
The bill was approved 30-0
Majority News Release.
OneNOAA Science Seminars, 2016
Title: An Overview of Social Science Research within the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science.
Date & Time: May 5, 2016 12:00 pm - 1:00 ET
Title: Engaging the Public in Marine Reserves and Protected Areas: The Oregon Marine Reserve Partnership
Seminars are open to the public. For remote access, location, abstracts and more, visit the OneNOAA Science Seminar Calendar at:
Date & Time: August 11, 2016 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Seminars are posted in Eastern Time and subject to changes without notice; please check the web page for the latest seminar updates.
May 3 - 5, 2016
May 17 - 18, 2016
June 19 - 24, 2016
July 18 - 20
December 10 -15, 2016
**The deadline for proposals for the RAE-TCS Summit is May 2nd