With the threat of wetland loss so acute, NOAA is partnering with state
and federal agencies to develop and implement strategies designed to restore
and sustain Louisiana’s coastal areas. As part of this large-scale effort,
the freshwater restoration project at Davis Pond will ensure that water
flows through a two-mile channel to spread into a ponding area that covers
most of the project's 10, 084 acres. But a far greater area will benefit
-- 33,000 acres of marsh will be preserved and 777,000 acres of marshes
and bays will benefit. As the world's largest freshwater diversion project,
this effort will reintroduce fresh water, nutrients and sediment to the
salt-threatened area, which stretches south to the Gulf of Mexico.
Shown visiting the site, just north of New Orleans, are Vice Admiral
Lautenbacher (right); Scott Rayder (center), chief of staff; and Jack
Fredine, project manager for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Key to the project is a reinforced concrete diversion structure with
four 14-by-14-foot gates. Built into the mainline Mississippi River levee,
it will divert up to 80 gallons per second to help restore vanishing wetlands
that stretch to the Gulf of Mexico.
Tina Reid reports that NOAA’s National Data Buoy Center just hosted the
South Mississippi Regional Special Olympics and that participation hit
an all-time high. More than 250 athletes and their families and over 400
volunteers took part. Dr. Paul Moersdorf, NDBC’s director, chaired the
event. His assistant, Cheryl Firth, was coordinator. Tina, who handles
public outreach for the center, said that NDBC’s employees all pitched
in, with many serving as an athlete’s “buddy” for the day. Located at
the Stennis Space Center, NDBC’s mission is to quickly provide the marine
meteorological observations that forecasters need to make sound operational
decisions. NDBC is part of NOAA’s National Weather Service.
NDBC’s Bob Cage (right) with “buddy” Tim Rofanello, who took part in
the 100-foot walk and the distance throw.
Dr. Paul Moersdorf (right), event chair, cheered on coordinator Cheryl
Firth as she greeted crowd.
Oregon & Washington
In announcing new funding, Bill Hogarth, director of NOAA Fisheries, said,
"Regulations have little impact if they cannot be enforced." To help enforce
federal and state environmental protection acts, NOAA Fisheries’ Office
of Law Enforcement is providing a million dollars to fund new joint enforcement
agreements in Oregon and Washington.
In Oregon, $100,000 in funding to Oregon’s
Police, Fish and Wildlife Division will be used over the next year to
conduct patrols enforcing marine fisheries regulations at sea, dockside
and on land. The agreement allows Oregon to conduct over 600 hours of
patrols. NOAA’s Tom Shuler, special-agent-in-charge in the northwest,
said the new partnership is "a step in the right direction, helping us
to meet our regulatory responsibilities and improve the health of fisheries
populations."… $900,000 is also being provided to Washington’s Department
of Fish and Wildlife, providing funding for nearly 13,000 hours of marine
patrols, fishing vessel monitoring and waterborne inspections of catches
and fishing gear. Additional patrols will be conducted to protect salmon
listed under the Endangered Species Act.
NOAA Fisheries now has joint enforcement agreements with 23 coastal states
and territories. Although various enforcement agreements have existed
in prior years, Congress last year appropriated funding to expand partnerships
through the cooperative enforcement program. In total, the states and
territories will now receive over $14.6 million.
More from Washington
NOAA’s Marine Operations Center Pacific has a Morale and Welfare Committee
that, for the past seven years, has bolstered both for Seattle’s Childhaven
Organization. Located on Lake Union in the heart of Seattle, the marine
center supports operations for NOAA’s Pacific fleet. Just blocks away,
Childhaven is a non-profit set up to provide therapy and a positive environment
for abused children. NOAA staff feature Childhaven at annual Combined
Federal Campaign kick-off ceremonies and support Childhaven events throughout
the year. There’s a St. Patrick’s Day Shamrock Box Lunch fund-raiser,
a Back-to-School program to raise funds for school supplies, and an “Adopt-a-Family”
program to fulfill Christmas wishes. Michele Bullock reports that last
year Marine Center staff adopted a family with two little girls.
Photo by Michele Clark
Filling wishes for a family in crisis are (back, left to right) Gary
Gales and Tim Wright; (middle, left to right) Michele Bullock and Michael
Borries; (front, left to right) Ron Roberts, Michele Clark, Carol Martin,
Jodi Stebbins, and Larry Mordock.
Sheridan County is now Wyoming’s second StormReady community, earning
the designation from the National Weather Service for disaster preparedness
and severe weather educational activities. The StormReady program
arms America’s communities with the skills, education and tools necessary
to save lives and property. In Sheridan County, these tools include a
round-the-clock emergency center, a NOAA Weather Radio transmitter, a
weather information network for emergency managers, and an emergency alert
plan that factors in amateur radio operators and river gages to monitor
flood levels. Laramie is Wyoming’s first StormReady community.
There are now 340 StormReady communities in 39 states.
“Fast action allows people to take proactive measures to protect themselves
from harm – before severe weather strikes,” said Steve Kuhl, (left), warning
coordination meteorologist in Billing, Montana, where Sheridan County’s
closest weather service office is located. Also at the StormReady
designation ceremony were (second from left to right) local commissioners
Steve Cox, Charley Whiten and Bradford Waters; emergency coordinator Tom
Walker; Billings meteorologist-in-charge Keith Meier; and Mayor Bob Wood,
of Dalton, a Sheridan County community.
John Gordon (left), meteorologist-in-charge, recently showed U.S. Representative
Bud Cramer, of Huntsville, the future home of the weather service’s new
forecast office at the National Space Science and Technology Center. Under
construction near the University of Alabama’s Huntsville campus, the new
forecast office is expected to open within a year. Once it does, the 18-member
staff will be responsible for providing weather forecasts and warnings
for an 11-county area in northern Alabama. Staff will also work closely
with NASA on a range of weather and space-related projects. John said
he’s particularly interested in investigating the development of a lightning
warning system. John comes to Huntsville from Nashville, where he was
lead forecaster and actively engaged in building hazardous weather awareness
among students, civic groups and emergency managers. He is also a flight
meteorologist for Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunters.
Dr. Michael Tillman, science director of NOAA’s Southwest Fisheries
Science Center in La Jolla, briefed 40 of the nation’s science teachers
in late March. The teachers visited the center during a field trip set
up in conjunction with the National Science Teachers Association’s annual
convention in San Diego. In welcoming the teachers, Dr. Tillman highlighted
the LaJolla lab’s effective student outreach programs with California
State University in Los Angeles and the University of California in San
Diego. There were also presentations on tuna/dolphin and Antarctic research,
and a close-up look at Pacific green sea turtles and other marine life.
Anything to Boost the Combined Federal Campaign!!
Murray’s been sporting a stylish ponytail for the past five years.
But he pledged to cut it if his colleagues beat last year’s Combined
Federal Campaign record for Long Island Division One. A systems meteorologist
for the National Weather Service’s eastern region in Bohemia, NY,
Kevin served as a loaned executive, knocking on doors of federal facilities
all across Long island. Although the Twin Towers disaster weighed
heavily on everyone’s mind, Kevin was still able to raise an impressive
$90, 231, beating last year's record by nearly $2,000. So here he
is, having his locks loped off by Rose Miller, NOAA technical training
Kevin was assisted in the eastern region by CFC coordinator Andy Nash,
the region’s meoscale meteorologist. Andy handles small scale/short-term
events, particularly aviation and severe weather events. Because of his
hard work, the region raised $12, 666, breaking its previous record by
over $1,500 -- and with about 75 percent participation.
Two Charleston National Ocean Service centers have an outstanding track
record of Combined Federal Campaign accomplishment in their area. But
now each has set a record for winning dual Per Capita Achievement Awards.
Each center was cited for both highest dollar total and highest employee
participation, contributing to their area's over $1.6 million in contributions.
Celebrating are CFC coordinators Joe Wade, Coastal Services Center; and
Violet Legette, Center for Coastal Environmental Health and Biomolecular
Thanks to NOAA’s James Moore and Debbie Pickerign, students at Maryland’s
High Point High School now have 20 much-needed PCs in their library. Beyond
strengthening students’ access to the Internet, online services, and production
software, the computers are helping 10th grade independent study students
and 11th grade U.S. history students learn to make presentations using
Macromedia Flash 5. Already newly expert students are helping the novices.
James and Debbie helped match the computers to High Point students' needs
through a "computers for learning" program in which excess government
computers are donated to the schools that most need them. Debbie is NOAA's
warehouse branch chief. James spearheads the program for NOAA.
A hit at the Miami International Boat Show, NOAA staff distributed
materials to over 2,000 people. Materials highlighted such NOAA priorities
as severe weather awareness, NOAA Weather Radio, living marine resources,
marine sanctuaries, and coastal ecology. Shown (left to right) are Robert
Ebaugh and Roberto Garcia, Miami forecast office; Hugh Cobb, Tropical
Prediction Center; and Tim Rulon, Marine Services.