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!”
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”
The 3D Nation Elevation Requirements and Benefits Study focuses on 3D elevation data on land and under water.
A new StoryMap on the 3D Nation Elevation Requirements and Benefits Study, which was published in September 2022, is now available. Sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), and conducted by Dewberry, the 3D Nation Study documents nationwide requirements and benefits of 3D elevation data both on land and under water. 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 report, website, and StoryMap now available”
The Columbia River and its tributaries comprise one of the largest river systems in North America, flowing from British Columbia, Canada and through the United States to its final destination, the Pacific Ocean. The river is used extensively for transporting various cargoes into and out of the United States including forest products, grain, containerized cargo and bulk products like salt and cement. Upstream of Portland, barge and recreational traffic navigate the river to Kennewick, Washington or Lewiston, Idaho on the Snake River. For the people that use this river for its resources, this traffic almost assuredly has some type of ecological impact.
Continue reading “Supporting the mighty Columbia River through strong partnerships”
Although NOAA has a significant presence in the Great Lakes, this is the first time a white-hulled NOAA hydrographic ship has deployed there since the early 1990s. As a result of survey work in the Great Lakes, NOAA Ship Thomas Jefferson surveyed 450 square nautical miles of lake bottom in Lake Erie – an economically important and ecologically sensitive region. The ship also surveyed 274 square nautical miles in Lake Ontario in October. In both lakes, there were 42 confirmed and new shipwrecks identified along with 22 additional features!
Continue reading “NOAA Ship Thomas Jefferson completes productive field season in the Great Lakes”
The Empowering Women in Hydrography project is a global effort led by the International Hydrographic Organization and Canada that seeks to initiate, organize and track a series of activities and initiatives which will enable more women to participate equitably in the field of hydrography and to assume leadership roles within the hydrographic community. NOAA is contributing to the project via an ‘at-sea experience’ on NOAA hydrographic ships for three women each year over the four year lifespan of the project. After a global call for nominations, three women were selected to join NOAA ships for the 2022 survey season. Firosa Tomohamat from Suriname’s Maritime Authority, joined NOAA Ship Thomas Jefferson from August 8 to 26, 2022 while surveying the Great Lakes.
Continue reading “NOAA contributes to Empowering Women in Hydrography through at-sea experience, part 3”