North Atlantic Region

Study area for FY15 internship project.

Study area for FY15 internship project.

ReCo goal: Address regional challenges by connecting people and resources.

Screen shot of new tool as displayed on the Wakefield WFO website

Screen shot of new tool as displayed on the Wakefield WFO website

When the NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office (NCBO) Director and the Hydrologist-in-Charge of the Middle Atlantic River Forecast Center (MARFC) first met, they expressed a desire to bring NOAA Fisheries and the National Weather Service closer together in the Mid-Atlantic. Now three years later, that aspiration is a reality due in no small part to a collaborative internship opportunity offered by NCBO and funded by the NART. Ecologists are using the discharge model developed during the inaugural internship to understand the movement of fish and aquatic organisms, the duration and extent of wetland inundation, and effects on aquatic ecology in the Chesapeake/ Choptank habitat focus area. A water resources engineering graduate from Pennsylvania State University made this possible while working at the MARFC. In its second year of implementation, the internship focus was coastal flood impacts in the southern Chesapeake Bay, especially at risk due to a combination of land subsidence and rising sea levels. Project principals wanted to develop a modified Coastal Flood Impacts viewer focused on Norfolk, VA and based on water levels from the NOAA tide gauges at Sewells Point, Money Point and the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. A geography graduate from the College of  William & Mary worked at the National Weather Service’s Wakefield Weather Forecast Office and extended the scope of the internship to include GIS layers based off tide gauges throughout the lower Chesapeake (instead of just the Norfolk area). He worked with partners at Old Dominion University, the City of Norfolk, collaborators within the National Ocean Service, National Weather Service and NOAA Fisheries to develop a suite of GIS visualizations now available on the Wakefield WFO website.

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