Research vessel Bay Hydro II makes history on Mayland’s Elk River

NOAA survey vessel Bay Hydro II in it's homeport at the Patuxent River Naval Air Station.
By Lt.j.g. Carly Robbins, junior officer in charge R/V Bay Hydro II

Situated on the east side of the Chesapeake Bay, 162 nautical miles above the Virginia Capes, Elk River is the western approach to the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal. The canal is one of the busiest waterways in the country. It connects the Chesapeake and Delaware Bays, servicing the ports of Baltimore, Wilmington, and Philadelphia. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers regularly surveys the dredged channels in the approaches and in the canal, but they are not responsible for the remaining waters of the Elk River. The Elk River was last surveyed in the early 1900s, making depths on the nautical chart close to 100 years old! As a result, NOAA R/V Bay Hydro II was tasked to conduct a modern hydrographic survey of Elk River in Spring 2023.

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3D Nation Study Hub Site now available!

The 3D Nation Elevation Requirements and Benefits Study focuses on 3D elevation data on land and underwater.

A new ArcGIS Hub Site sharing the results of the 3D Nation Elevation Requirements and Benefits Study, which was published in September 2022, is now available. The site currently features a tool which allows users to filter business use ranks by each state. The site will be updated with more immersive dashboards as they become available.  This study was sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), and conducted by Dewberry.  The study documents nationwide requirements and benefits of 3D elevation data both on land and underwater. The study also estimates the costs associated with meeting these requirements and evaluates multiple scenarios for enhancing national elevation mapping programs.

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NOAA represented at the International Hydrographic Organization Assembly in Monaco

An image of the harbor of Monte Carlo.

In early May, NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey Deputy Hydrographer John Nyberg, Ph.D., was elected as a director of the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) during its Third Assembly. The six-year term begins in September and promises to be a critical time for the evolution of digital navigation infrastructure and capacity worldwide, with the implementation of the S-100 hydrographic model. John was nominated by the secretaries of commerce, defense, and state. His role will be to serve as part of the directing committee which is composed of a Secretary General and two directors to manage the day-to-day operations of the organization in order to advance the goals of the Member States.

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Planned data collection for Southern Alaska highlights agency partnership

Integrated Ocean and Coastal Mapping (IOCM) is the practice of planning, acquiring, integrating, and sharing ocean and coastal data and related products so that people who need the data can find it and use it easily. NOAA’s IOCM program also aims to make the most of limited resources, with a goal to map once, use many times. The IOCM program is happy to share that the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and NOAA have entered into a cost-sharing agreement to conduct mapping activities off Kodiak Island, Alaska in support of Seascape Alaska, a regional mapping campaign. This multiyear study is funded primarily by the USGS on the survey vessel, NOAA Ship Fairweather. NOAA’s Coast Survey is also providing project management, environmental compliance evaluation, data acquisition and processing, and quality assurance. The data will be archived at NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information, so that other users can access as well.

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