As the New Blue Economy grows along with demands for a climate-ready workforce, NOAA is connecting the dots between climate resilience and the need for a workforce skilled in science and technology supporting ocean and coastal mapping. Exposure to key disciplines, from geodesy, oceanography, and science data management to modeling, hydrography and GIS-based cartography, is critical to building robust interest, opportunities and expertise in the government and industry geospatial careers supporting climate resilience. NOAA works with a variety of partners to advance workforce development in these foundational geospatial areas. In particular, hydrography – measuring water depths, locating hazards, and describing the seafloor – is a challenging but exciting field dependent on skilled technicians, surveyors, and scientists to acquire mapping data using state-of-the-art technologies. With only 50% of U.S. coastal, ocean and Great Lakes waters mapped, there is a lot of work to do! Read on to learn about a hydrographic surveying project NOAA is supporting with Northwestern Michigan College in the Great Lakes.
Continue reading “NOAA helps develop undergraduate course in lakebed mapping”
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.
Continue reading “Research vessel Bay Hydro II makes history on Mayland’s Elk River”
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.
Continue reading “3D Nation Study Hub Site now available!”
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.
Continue reading “NOAA represented at the International Hydrographic Organization Assembly in Monaco”
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.
Continue reading “Planned data collection for Southern Alaska highlights agency partnership”
The federal Interagency Working Group on Ocean and Coastal Mapping (IWG-OCM) has released the fourth annual report on progress made in mapping U.S. ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes waters. Knowledge of the depth, shape, and composition of the seafloor has far-reaching benefits, including safer navigation, hazard mitigation for coastal resilience, preservation of marine habitats and heritage, and a deeper understanding of natural resources for sustainable ocean economies. The 2020 National Strategy for Mapping, Exploring, and Characterizing the United States Exclusive Economic Zone (NOMEC) and the Nippon Foundation-GEBCO Seabed 2030 Project make comprehensive ocean mapping a priority for the coming decade. The Unmapped U.S. Waters report tracks progress toward these important goals.
Continue reading “The Interagency Working Group on Ocean and Coastal Mapping announces progress report on mapping U.S. ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes waters”
NOAA Corps Rear Adm. Richard T. “Rick” Brennan, recent director of NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey, was deeply dedicated to NOAA’s mission and was an integral part of building connections across NOAA programs to benefit coastal communities around the United States. One example of Rick’s leadership was the Southern California Seafloor Mapping Initiative, a partnership between Coast Survey, Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS), National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) and National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). Among many important accomplishments of this coordinated mapping effort was the survey of a previously uncharted reef in Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. Through legislative action led by U.S. Congressman Salud Carbajal of California’s 24th District, this reef has been officially designated as “Brennan Reef.”
Continue reading “Naming Brennan Reef, a previously uncharted pinnacle in Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary”
NOAA hydrographic survey ships, navigation response teams, and contractors are preparing for the 2023 hydrographic survey season. The ships and survey vessels collect bathymetric data (i.e. map the seafloor) to support nautical charting, modeling, and research, but also collect other environmental data to support a variety of ecosystem sciences. NOAA considers hydrographic survey requests from stakeholders such as marine pilots, local port authorities, the Coast Guard, and the boating community, and also considers other hydrographic and NOAA science priorities in determining where to survey and when. Visit our “living” ArcGIS StoryMap to find out more about our mapping projects and if a hydrographic vessel will be in your area this year!
Continue reading “NOAA releases 2023 hydrographic survey season plans”
On February 14, 2023, NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey released NOAA Custom Chart version 2.0, a dynamic map application, which enables users to create their own paper and PDF nautical charts derived from the official NOAA electronic navigational chart (NOAA ENC®), NOAA’s premier nautical chart product.
Continue reading “NOAA Custom Chart version 2.0 now available to the public“