Breaking Waves: Ocean News

10/16/2018 - 04:00
Opponents of the 160-mile Bayou Bridge pipeline, which will cross Native American land and 700 bodies of water, have chained themselves to machinery As the flat-bottom fishing boat speeds through waterways deep inside Louisiana’s Atchafalaya basin, the largest river swamp in the US, the landscape suddenly shifts from high banks of sediment and oil pipeline markers on either side to an open grove of cypress trees towering above the water. Flocks of white ibis appear, seemingly out of nowhere, to nest and hunt amid the moss-dripped, century-old wetland forest. “This is what the entire basin is supposed to look like,” explained Jody Meche, president of a local crawfishermen alliance and a lifelong resident with a thick Cajun accent. Continue reading...
10/16/2018 - 03:32
Big six energy firm drops fossil fuels for generation and say cheap green energy is the future Scottish Power has ditched fossil fuels for electricity generation and switched to 100% wind power, by selling off its last remaining gas power stations to Drax for more than £700m. Iberdrola, Scottish Power’s Spanish parent company, said the move was part of its strategy to tackle climate change and would free it up to invest in renewables and power grids in the UK. Continue reading...
10/15/2018 - 15:51
Ocean Leadership ~ I grew up in Panama City, Florida. It’s not only where I was born but where I fell in love with the ocean and where I learned to swim, to “pick” oysters, to fish, and to be wary of hurricanes threats such as Betsy in 1965 (seemingly named after my older sister). Without that early introduction to the salty bay water in our neighborhood and the beaches nearby, my life may well have followed a whole different trajectory. The widespread destruction Hurricane Michael bought to the region last week is a very personal reminder of the changes and increasing threats occurring in our coastal communities. As we deal with changes in climate that affect the ocean — rising sea levels, acidifying waters, migrating fish, bleaching corals — there must be a renewed importance placed on understanding and observing ocean conditions. I mentioned last week that during my recent trip to Florida, I met with the Gulf of Mexico Ocean Observing System (GCOOS) Board of Directors, who are leading exemplary efforts to ensure coastal and open ocean data in the Gulf are collected, archived, and made readily available for analytic processes used in research and regulatory monitoring, just they are in emergency preparation and response. GCOOS is one of the 11 International Ocean Observing Systems (IOOS) Regional Associations, which are all now certified by NOAA as government-approved sources of environmental data. The importance of these entities in helping us understand ocean change, the speed at which it is occurring, and additional threats it will cause and interact with in the future cannot be understated. I salute and compliment all those at IOOS and other organizations working tirelessly to observe and understand the ocean, just as I do those who are selflessly working to rescue and provide relief to those affected by Hurricane Michael … Hurricane Florence, Typhoon Mangkhut, and the many other disasters that are impacting our changing ocean coasts around the globe. Bipartisan legislation reauthorizing IOOS has moved through the full Senate (S. 1425) and the House Natural Resources Committee (H.R. 237). I am optimistic that when Congress returns following the midterm elections, they will come together quickly to pass this important legislation, just like they did with the Save Our Seas (SOS) Act (S. 3508). The SOS Act, which was signed into law last week, takes the first step in addressing the marine debris crisis by reauthorizing NOAA’s Marine Debris Program and by fostering cooperation between the U.S and other countries. I’m pleased at the bipartisan cooperation that helped enact the SOS Act — and the work from countless groups in helping raise this issue with Congress, including a COL-hosted briefing on plastic pollution — and I hope the IOOS reauthorization can also make it across the finish line before this Congress reaches an end. Member Highlight Global Sea Levels Could Rise 8 Feet By 2100, More In NJ, Rutgers Study Says By the dawn of the next century, South Jersey’s barrier islands will pretty much disappear at high tide, based on data in a Rutgers University review of scientific literature. Global sea levels could rise by almost eight feet by 2100 and 50 feet by 2300, if emissions remain high and the physics of ice sheets work against us, according to the review. Read our most recent and past newsletters here: The post Jon White – From the President’s Office: 10-15-2018 appeared on Consortium for Ocean Leadership.
10/15/2018 - 15:14
Ocean Leadership ~ (Credit: Chief Petty Officer David Mosley / U.S. Coast Guard) From: Ocean News Weekly/ By: Ocean Leadership Staff  What It Was The Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard held a hearing titled: “The Future of the Fleets: Coast Guard and NOAA Ship Recapitalization” Why It Matters Establishing reliable and consistent maritime domain awareness in the Arctic is essential for U.S. national security. The melting ice in the warming region is creating new shipping routes and access to oil and gas in once unnavigable terrain, and other nations are already taking advantage of this with fleets of heavy icebreakers leading the way. These vessels, capable of breaking through several meters of ice, are a necessity for traversing these harsh areas, but the U.S. fleet currently only contains two operational icebreakers, compared to the 41 that belong to Russia. Key Points Chairman Dan Sullivan (AK) and Ranking Member Tammy Baldwin (WI) began the hearing by agreeing that aging fleets of U.S. Coast Guard icebreakers and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) ships are reaching the end of their service life. Chairman Sullivan outlined the Coast Guard’s important roles ranging from maritime first responder to national security maintenance. Ranking Member Baldwin noted that NOAA’s ships conduct many important data collection services — weather warnings and forecasts, hurricane modeling, and fish stock assessments — critical to the nation’s coastal economy. Rear Admiral Michael Haycock (Assistant Commandant for Acquisition, U.S. Coast Guard) echoed these statements in his testimony and updated the subcommittee on progress toward awarding a detail design and construction contract in fiscal year (FY) 2019 for the construction of up to three new heavy polar icebreakers. Ms. Marie Mak (Director, Contracting and National Security Acquisitions, Government Accountability Office (GAO)) emphasized the need to develop a sound business case and a long-term strategic plan that specifies acquisition needs and tradeoffs for the polar icebreakers. GAO’s research found that ship programs routinely exceed cost and schedule targets and fail to meet performance goals when not following a thorough plan. Ms. Mak stated that the Coast Guard’s plan for its polar icebreaker program contains risks in technology, design, cost, and schedule that are not informed by realistic assessments and will likely exceed the proposed timeline. Chairman Sullivan expressed frustration regarding the extended timeline and suggested leasing foreign icebreakers to bridge the gap. Haycock stated there were no suitable foreign icebreakers capable of meeting Coast Guard needs and assured the subcommittee the schedule is accelerating, in part to a shortened design timeline and an integrated program office with the U.S. Navy that utilizes Navy expertise and leverages best practices for both services to maintain an accelerated acquisition schedule. Rear Admiral Michael Silah (Director, Office of Marine and Aviation Operations, NOAA) was an invited witness but was unable to attend due to Hurricane Michael’s landfall. In his written testimony, Silah stated, “NOAA’s aging vessels are increasingly unreliable and expensive to maintain. At the conclusion of Quarter 3 FY 2018, unscheduled maintenance on the NOAA fleet had cost $13.5 million and caused more than 425 lost operational days at sea.” He also explained The NOAA Fleet Plan, a living document that evaluates the status of the current fleet, future needs, and a course of action. This plan outlines a solution for long-term recapitalization of the NOAA fleet. Quotable “The need for the Polar Security Cutter is greater now than it has ever been…If we want to have year-round access to the polar regions for national security, national sovereignty, search and rescue, and any other missions the Coast Guard does – we need to keep making progress on that.” — Rear Admiral Michael Haycock (Assistant Commandant for Acquisition, U.S. Coast Guard) Find Out More Watch the full hearing Related Coverage From Ocean Leadership    Breaking The Ice For Coast Guard Authorization On Thin Ice America Losing To Russia 40-3 In Arctic Icebreaker Race U.S. Presence In The Arctic – Armed Icebreakers? U.S. Coast Guard’s Role In Maritime Security Coast Guard Makes Dire Warning About Drilling In The Arctic Want to receive articles like this straight to your inbox? Sign up for our newsletter! The post The Future Of The Fleets appeared on Consortium for Ocean Leadership.
10/15/2018 - 14:39
Ocean Leadership ~ The Biology Department at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) invites exceptional candidates to apply for our full-time exempt tenure track position on our scientific staff. We seek to hire at the Assistant Scientist level; however, extraordinary candidates may be considered at Associate Scientist without Tenure, Associate Scientist with Tenure, or Senior Scientist levels. The successful candidate will complement our existing interdisciplinary strengths in biology, biological oceanography, and marine ecology. We are particularly interested in applicants who conduct research in marine zooplankton ecology using novel observational, experimental and/or modeling approaches. Expertise may include (but is not limited to) physiology, behavior, trophic interactions, or the impacts of climate change. Applicants should have a doctoral degree, postdoctoral experience, and a record of scientific research publications in scholarly journals. Scientific staff members are expected to develop independent, externally-funded, and internationally-recognized research programs. They also have the option of advising graduate students and teaching courses through the MIT/WHOI Joint Program in Oceanography and Oceanographic Engineering, Opportunities for interdisciplinary research exist through collaborations with colleagues in the other science departments, centers, and labs as well as with researchers in the broader Woods Hole scientific community. Members of WHOI’s scientific staff are expected to provide for their salaries from grants and contracts; however; the Institution provides salary support when no other funding is available, as well as significant internal funding opportunities for developing innovative research projects. Candidates hired at the Assistant Scientist level will receive an initial appointment for four years with salary guaranteed. HOW TO APPLY: Please visit and respond to Job Reference 18-10-01. Applicants should include, as a single PDF document: a cover letter, curriculum vitae (CV), three-page research statement that clearly describes your research interests, names and contact information of four references, and copies of up to three relevant publications. The package should also be sent separately to the chair of the Biology Department at with the subject line “Biology Department Scientific Application”. Application deadline is 12/17/2018. WHOI is a member of the Higher Education Recruitment Consortium (HERC). Please visit HERC for more information. WHOI is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer/Disabled/Veterans/M/F. We encourage Veterans and those with Disabilities to apply. Applications are reviewed confidentially. Applicants that require accommodation in the job application process are encouraged to contact us at (508) 289-2253 or email for assistance. The post Assistant Scientist in Biology, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) (Dec. 17) appeared on Consortium for Ocean Leadership.
10/15/2018 - 14:00
More than 300 mammal species have been eradicated by human activities, say researchers Humanity’s ongoing annihilation of wildlife is cutting down the tree of life, including the branch we are sitting on, according to a stark new analysis. More than 300 different mammal species have been eradicated by human activities. The new research calculates the total unique evolutionary history that has been lost as a result at a startling 2.5bn years. Continue reading...
10/15/2018 - 12:59
Grenfell United group wants to know why residents were not told of soil contamination fears Survivors of the Grenfell fire have demanded urgent meetings with ministers and senior health officials following revelations that significant amounts of toxins were found in soil close to the tower in preliminary findings of a major study. The disclosures have prompted Grenfell United, which represents the families of the 72 people who died, to ask why no one who knew about the early results of the research had warned residents of the potential contamination problem. Continue reading...
10/15/2018 - 12:10
Activists have attempted to blockade a fracking site in Lancashire as operations began for the first time in seven years in the UK. Campaigners from Reclaim the Power used a van to block the entrance to the site on Preston New Road near Blackpool early on Monday. One protester climbed on top of a scaffold and locked his neck to it. Police dispersed the protesters and the energy company Cuadrilla commenced with planned operations Fracking begins in UK for first time since 2011 Continue reading...
10/15/2018 - 12:00
Chairman of Coalition’s backbench energy committee says Morrison government should wind up program The chairman of the Coalition’s backbench energy committee, the outspoken conservative Craig Kelly, says the government needs to axe current subsidies for households and businesses to install renewable energy technology like solar panels. With the Morrison government in the middle of formulating its new energy policy, and with Labor now promising to maintain subsidies for households and businesses to install small-scale renewable energy until 2030, Kelly told Guardian Australia the Coalition needed to wind up the program. Continue reading...
10/15/2018 - 11:55
Ocean Leadership ~ (Credit: Putneypics/Flickr) By the dawn of the next century, South Jersey’s barrier islands will pretty much disappear at high tide, based on data in a Rutgers University review of scientific literature. (From The Press of Atlantic City/ By Michelle Brunetti Post) — Global sea levels could rise by almost 8 feet by 2100 and 50 feet by 2300, if emissions remain high and the physics of ice sheets work against us, according to the review. “And that rise would be 10 feet in New Jersey (by 2100),” said lead author Robert Kopp, director of Rutgers’ Institute of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences. At 10 feet of rise, “about 7 percent of the current New Jersey population and $190 billion (of real estate) would be permanently flooded, and more would be exposed to more frequent flooding,” Kopp said. Even with just 6 feet of sea-level rise, the highest that can be visualized on Rutgers’, parts of New and Shore roads on the mainland in Atlantic County would be underwater, as well as many properties within blocks of the bay. The trend is the same for other coastal counties as well. The paper is a review of 20 studies published between 2012 and 2018, said Kopp. It is published in this month’s Annual Review of Environment and Resources. Stewart Farrell of Stockton University’s Coastal Research Center said data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration estimate low… Read the full article here:  The post Member Highlight: Global Sea Levels Could Rise 8 Feet By 2100, More In NJ, Rutgers Study Says appeared on Consortium for Ocean Leadership.