Southeast & Caribbean Region

 

NOAA’s Southeast and Caribbean Regional Collaboration Team (SECART) initiated NOAA in the Caribbean (NOAA Carib) in 2011 as a forum to improve communication and coordination among NOAA and its partners working in the Caribbean. NOAA Carib fosters more effective engagement with stakeholders and more efficient delivery of services, as well as improves collaboration in the region. It is also intended to help build and strengthen collaborative partnerships focused on implementation of the NOAA Caribbean Strategy (.pdf).

NOAA Carib includes NOAA employees and partners currently active in research, management, training, or other efforts in the Caribbean. NOAA Carib recognizes the same geographic scope described in the NOAA Caribbean Strategy — the Caribbean Large Marine Ecosystem. While the initial focus is on Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, NOAA Carib seeks to maintain resource exchanges with Florida and, as appropriate and practicable, with partners in the wider Caribbean.

 

To read the NOAA Caribbean Strategy, please click here.

To read the latest NOAA in the Caribbean Newsletter in English, please click here.

Para leer el más reciente Boletín de NOAA en el Caribe, por favor oprima aquí.

ISRS Consensus Statement on Coral Bleaching and Climate Change

NOAA in the Caribbean Partners Meeting – May 9-11, 2016

NOAA’s Support for States’ Marine Coastal Ecosystem Resilience Efforts

The 2010 Puerto Rico High Resolution C-CAP land cover is now live in the Digital Coast Data Registry (https://coast.noaa.gov/dataregistry/search/collection/info/ccaphighres)

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The Clean Energy Finance Summit (13-15 June, The Palms Hotel, Miami) is the place where capital is secured and deals structured in Latin America and Caribbean’s renewable energy market – but why is that the case?

The Summit will feature 70 expert speakers providing over 27 hours of content and bring over 200 industry experts and decision makers together; and one of the key reasons this is the number 1 dedicated finance and investment event for the LATAM & Caribbean renewable energy space are the Networking Opportunities at the Clean Energy Finance Summit. These include:

• Bespoke 1-2-1 Partnering Platform
• Speed Networking Session
• 26 hours of Networking Opportunities
• Ice Breaking Drinks Reception

DOWNLOAD THE BROCHURE TO LEARN MORE

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Caribbean Regional Response Team Activities in the US Caribbean

Upcoming CZMA Section 312 Program Evaluation Public Meetings

 

 

Mission
NOAA in the Caribbean (NOAA Carib) is a forum for communication, partnership, and user engagement that supports the delivery of the agency’s mission in the domestic and international Caribbean.
Goal
Identify and respond to local and regional challenges, needs, and opportunities in the Caribbean region by increasing communication and providing a platform that connects NOAA, its core partners, and key users in the region.
Guiding Principles
  • Share information within NOAA and with external partners regarding engagement in the region and the products and services NOAA offers.
  • Enhance stakeholder communication with NOAA personnel and access to NOAA resources and capabilities.
  • Serve as a connecting link between NOAA headquarters and line offices, and NOAA activities in the Caribbean region.
  • Improve collaboration among NOAA and its regional partners.
  • Stress the application of “an integrated NOAA approach”, where NOAA employees understand and are knowledgeable about NOAA activities in the region, and look for opportunities to provide additional value to efforts through integration.
  • Facilitate implementation of the NOAA Caribbean Strategy via alignment of NOAA Carib activities, protocols, and membership.
Objectives
Objective 1.
Facilitate the identification of local and regional needs and opportunities in the Caribbean, and work within NOAA to inform and champion resourcing of and support for Caribbean efforts.Objective 2.
Improve coordination and application of NOAA capabilities by enhancing internal NOAA communications on Caribbean efforts and facilitating two-way exchange of information between NOAA, its partners, and its user community.Objective 3.
To support NOAA’s Caribbean Strategy by tracking and communicating NOAA’s progress towards achieving the Strategy’s goals and objectives, and by using the Strategy as the primary organizational framework for NOAA Carib activities and composition.
Geographic Scope
NOAA Carib recognizes the geographic scope (Caribbean Large Marine Ecosystem) described in the NOAA Caribbean Strategy. A nested approach is used to first focus on the U.S. Caribbean while maintaining resource exchanges with Florida and with partners in the wider Caribbean.
Organization
NOAA Carib is guided by a steering committee that is representative of the broad expertise of the agency and its core partners.

NOAA in the Caribbean Steering Committee members:

 NOAA Offices:

  • NOAA Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological LaboratoryThe Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML), a federal research laboratory located in Miami, Florida, is part of NOAA’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research.  AOML’s research spans three themes: oceans and climate, hurricanes and tropical meteorology, and coastal oceans and ecosystems. AOML conducts mission-oriented scientific research to understand the physical, chemical, and biological characteristics and processes of the ocean and atmosphere, both separately and as a coupled system, based on oceanic and atmospheric measurements, modeling and analysis. While much of AOML’s research is global in nature, a particular emphasis is placed on research focused on the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, and Florida coastal areas.
  • NOAA Coral Reef Conservation ProgramThe Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP) is a partnership between the NOAA Line Offices that work on coral reef issues: the National Ocean Service, the National Marine Fisheries Service, the Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, and the National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service. The CRCP brings together expertise from across NOAA for a multidisciplinary approach to managing and understanding coral reef ecosystems. The CRCP supports state and territorial coral projects and partners, including in the U.S. Caribbean, and also provides support to international efforts to manage and protect the coral reef ecosystem.
  • NOAA Fisheries Service, Southeast Regional OfficeThe National Marine Fisheries Service or NOAA Fisheries Service is responsible for the management, conservation and protection of living marine resources under mandates such as the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act, and the Endangered Species Act. The NOAA Fisheries Service, Southeast Regional Office is located in St. Petersburg, Florida and covers eight coastal states, as well as the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
  • NOAA Fisheries Service, Southeast Fisheries Science CenterNOAA Fisheries Service, Southeast Fishery Science Center (SEFSC) conducts multidisciplinary research programs to support national, international, and regional conservation and management of the nation’s living marine resources. The SEFSC, headquartered in Miami, FL, is organized into five laboratories across the southeast region of the U.S.: 1) Miami, FL, 2) Panama City, FL, 3) Beaufort, NC, 4) Galveston, TX and Lafayette, LA, and 5) Pascagoula, MS and Stennis, MS. The SEFSC is responsible for scientific research on living marine resources that occupy marine, coastal, and estuarine habitats of the continental southeastern (SE) United States, as well as the U.S. Caribbean — Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Navassa Island. SEFSC is a principal partner in the National Coral Reef Ecosystem Monitoring Program funded by the NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program.
  • NOAA National Centers for Coastal Ocean ScienceThe National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science provides research, scientific information and tools to help balance the nation’s ecological, social and economic goals. Our partnerships with local and national coastal managers are essential in providing science and services to benefit communities around the nation. NCCOS supports a variety of research in the Caribbean, including the Seafloor Characterization of the U.S. Caribbean and the Caribbean Coral Reef Ecosystem Monitoring projects and the National Coral Reef Monitoring Plan.
  • NOAA National Weather Service, Weather Forecast Office, San JuanThe National Weather Service’s (NWS) mission is to provide weather forecasts and hazardous weather warnings to the public, broadcast media, and the aviation industry. The NWS Weather Forecast Office San Juan is staffed 24 hours a day and provides forecasts for users across Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In May 1899, the U.S. Weather Bureau established its Weather Office in Puerto Rico immediately upon taking command of the island. That same year, a network of rain gauges was placed around the island and the collection and dissemination of daily weather observations began.
  • NOAA Office of Coast SurveyNOAA’s Office of Coast Survey ensures safe, efficient, and environmentally sound marine transportation that brings an uninterrupted flow of people and goods into and out of our nation’s ports. Since President Thomas Jefferson asked for a survey of the coast in 1807, Coast Survey has been the nation’s trusted source for nautical charts covering the coastal water of the U.S. and its territories. Today’s Coast Survey produces the navigational products, data, and services to move commerce and protect life and property at sea.
  • NOAA Office of Ocean and Coastal Resoure Management/Coastal Services CenterWhile not official yet, NOAA’s Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management (OCRM) and the NOAA Coastal Services Center (CSC) are combining to create a new office for coastal management. The new office will focus on building and broadening the partnerships needed to accomplish effective coastal management. Goals include maintaining healthy coastal ecosystems, supporting a community’s resilience in the face of hazardous weather, and encouraging economically vibrant communities. The new office will include the National Coastal Zone Management Program, National Estuarine Research Reserve System, the Coral Reef Conservation Program, and the Digital Coast. Locally, these initiatives provide technical assistance, data, and tools to the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Natural Resources, the Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources, the Jobos Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, and other NOAA partners.
  • NOAA Southeast and Caribbean Regional TeamNOAA’s Southeast and Caribbean Regional Team (SECART) was established to improve NOAA’s responsiveness to challenges and priorities in the region from the Carolinas to the Florida Keys and US Caribbean. SECART fosters stronger collaborative ties internally and with partners and constituents; works with constituents to evaluate and improve NOAA products and services; and promotes awareness and understanding of NOAA’s regional capabilities, services, and priorities. SECART started the NOAA in the Caribbean initiative to help perform these functions within the Caribbean sub-region. SECART coordinates closely with the NOAA in the Caribbean Steering Committee and has provided them with resources and support.
  • Caribbean Tsunami Warning Program and US Tsunami Warning Centers The US National Weather Service (NWS) established the Caribbean Tsunami Warning Program in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico in 2010 as a first step of a phased approach for the establishment of a Caribbean Tsunami Warning Center (CTWC). The office is co-located with the Puerto Rico Seismic Network at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez. It currently provides education and preparedness services and support and guidance for enhanced tsunami observations, including seismic and sea level systems, tsunami forecasting, and communications. Given significant advances in Tsunami outreach and education activities and monitoring and sensing capabilities in the Caribbean and sdjacent regions, as of 2013, NOAA is evaluating whether to establish a Regional Tsunami Warning Center at the University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez or to consider proposing an alternative that does not result in a traditional NWS Tsunami Warning Center, but ensures an equal or improved level of service.

Resource Management Partners:

  • Caribbean Fishery Management CouncilThe Caribbean Fishery Management Council (CFMC) is one of eight regional fishery management councils, established under the Magnuson-Stevens Act for the conservation and orderly utilization of the fishery resources of the United States of America. The CFMC includes the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico (PR) and the United States Virgin Islands (USVI). It has ten members, seven with vote and three with voice but no vote. The CFMC has its headquarters in San Juan, Puerto Rico. It is unique in being the only council that does not include one of the fifty states of the Union and in sharing fish stocks with many Caribbean nations. The CFMC is responsible for the creation of management plans for fishery resources (FMPs) in the US Caribbean Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) off PR and the USVI. FMPs are submitted to the US Secretary of Commerce for approval and implementation in the EEZ. Once implemented, local Governments may adopt compatible legislation for the conservation of the fishery resources within local waters.
  • Virgin Islands Department of Planning and Natural Resources, Division of Coastal Zone Management The mission of USVI Department of Planning and Natural Resources is to protect, maintain, manage and preserve the natural and cultural resources of the Virgin Islands through proper coordination of economic and structural development in collaboration with local, federal and non-governmental organizations, for the benefit of present and future generations so that they will live safer, healthier lives in harmony with their environment and cultural heritage. The Department of Planning and Natural Resources administers the Virgin Islands Coastal Zone Management Program. Their mission is to meet the mandates of the US Virgin Islands Coastal Zone Management Program Act by collaborating, coordinating, and partnering with various local and national government agencies, schools and educational institutes, residential communities and private industry.

 Research and University Partners:

  • Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric StudiesThe Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies (CIMAS) is located in the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (RSMAS) at the University of Miami (UM). CIMAS serves as a mechanism to bring together the research resources of Partner Universities that include FAU, FIU, FSU, Nova, UF, UM/RSMAS, UPRM, USF, and UVI, with those of NOAA in a Center of Excellence. CIMAS conducts research, education, training, and outreach aligned with NOAA’s mission, and facilitates the involvement of faculty, students, and post-doctoral investigators in NOAA-funded research focused upon seven themes: climate research and impacts; tropical weather; sustained ocean and coastal observations; ocean modeling; ecosystem modeling and forecasting; ecosystem management; and, protection and restoration of resources.
  • Puerto Rico Sea Grant College ProgramFor more than three decades, the University of Puerto Rico Sea Grant College Program has had the mission of promoting the conservation and sustainable use of marine and coastal resources. It is part of a network of 33 programs under the guidance of the National Sea Grant Office of NOAA. Since its inception, the Program has worked toward the reduction of user conflicts and the promotion of benefits and recreational and economic opportunities offered by marine resources in the Caribbean region. The Program includes research, outreach, and education. With the support of its Communications Office and in part through targeted funding, the Program provides scientific information to stakeholders, as well as education and outreach products and support.
  • Southeast Regional Climate CenterThe Southeast Regional Climate Center (SERCC) provides operational climate service programs and expertise in climate and weather extremes for the southeastern United States and Caribbean. SERCC conducts research on climate and translates this research into operational tools for users. SERCC, along with five other RCCs, houses and develops products for the Applied Climate Information System, which is a national climate database and decision system used by a number of federal agencies, including NOAA’s National Weather Service.

Find information about upcoming events in the Caribbean here:

Helpful Caribbean resources:

example tsunami evacuation map for Puerto Rico

Link to: NOAA Caribbean Strategy Approved by Administrator

For more information, contact:

Makeda Okolo, NOAA Carib Steering Committee Chair

Email: makeda.okolo@noaa.gov

 

To be added to the NOAA Carib list-serve, contact:

Geno Olmi, SECART Coordinator and NOAA Carib Steering Committee member

Email: Geno Olmi

Phone: (843) 740-1230

 

To submit ideas for the NOAA Carib Newsletter or be added to the newsletter distribution list, contact:

Email: CaribbeanNews@noaa.gov

 

Table of Contents:

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Release of a New Report on Marine Protected Areas in the U.S. Virgin Islands

The National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NOAA/NCCOS) is pleased to announce the release of a new report on marine protected areas in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

This document presents a comprehensive overview of results from more than a decade of work by the NOAA National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) Biogeography Branch and the Department of the Interior National Park Service (NPS) to assess status and trends within and around federally managed marine protected areas (MPAs) of the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI).

The report titled, Marine Protected Areas of the U.S. Virgin Islands: Ecological Performance Report is now available on the NCCOS webpage.

The report provides: (Section 1) an overview of the history of MPAs, types of MPAs and associated regulations, and a list of all MPAs in the USVI; (Section 2) an ecological performance report for three intensively surveyed MPA units managed by NPS, including 20 biological metrics for fish and benthic habitat; sightings of large-bodied fishes with moderate to high vulnerability to fishing; and (Section 3) synthesis, summary and recommendations for management.

This report is the first time that an assessment of ecological performance has been conducted for MPAs in the USVI. The information, data synthesis, interpretation and recommendations are intended to help focus management actions and goal setting, inform outreach products and adjust expectations regarding ecological performance for MPAs in the region. The data presented here provide important baselines required for tracking MPA performance through future monitoring efforts.

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New Climate Resilience Toolkit Helps Communities Prepare 
for a Changing World

Online tools and training resources to help build a resilient nation

In advance of a White House meeting with members of the President’s State, Local and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience, the Administration has launched the first phase of the U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit called for in President Obama’s Climate Action Plan.

See more at: http://enews.oceannews.com/enews-articles/new-climate-resilience-toolkit-helps-communities-prepare-for-a-changing-world?utm_source=Ocean+E-news+November+19%2C+2014&utm_campaign=Ocean+E-news+11-19-14&utm_medium=email

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Lionfish Web Portal

 

We are excited to announce the release of the Lionfish Web Portal.  Here is the link: http://lionfish.gcfi.org/index.php.

The web portal provide much information and services that will be useful to coastal managers, researchers, educators, and the general public.  Here are a few key features:

      • Live feeds on the front page including twitter (#lionfish), google news, youtube video, Flickr, etc.).  Make the web porgal your home page to keep up to date!
      • A searchable database of lionfish related literature (e.g., check out all the 2014 lionfish article citations)
      • Image and video contests
      • Myths busted, fact sheets, videos, lists of educational websites, workshops and conferences, class room ideas
      • Researcher corner and forum where researchers can interact and share questions and answers (great for students)
      • Control methods and commercial harvesting resources (lists of products, vendors, commercial harvesters)
      • Links to lionfish management plans
      • and much, much, more…

Many thanks to GCFI, REEF, CONANP, ICRI, NOAA, Oregon State University, University of the West Indies, and NC State University, and many other partners for their assistance with developing this portal.  Please visit the about us page for a complete list of authors.

 

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NOAA announces the selection of two sites in the Southeast and Caribbean Region as the next Habitat Focus Areas under NOAA’s Habitat Blueprint

 

NOAA announces the selection of two sites in the Southeast and Caribbean Region as the next Habitat Focus Areas under NOAA’s Habitat Blueprint.  In the Southeast, Biscayne Bay in Florida was selected from 5 possible candidates, and in the Caribbean, the Northeast Reserves and Culebra Island in Puerto Rico was selected from 3 possible candidates. They will provide an opportunity for NOAA to maximize our habitat conservation investments to benefit marine resources and coastal communities.

The Northeast Ecological Reserves and Culebra Island support important recreational, subsistence and commercial fishing, marine transportation, tourism, and threatened and endangered species.  The area has been designated as a coral reef conservation priority area by Puerto Rico’s marine resource management community. The area also includes a designated marine ecological corridor, a terrestrial corridor reserve, the first no-take marine reserve in Puerto Rico, and the Culebra National Wildlife Refuge.

The ecological richness of the area is vulnerable to impacts from development activities, land-based sources of pollution, fishing impacts, and impacts of climate change, such as increased ocean acidification and increased intensity and frequency of hurricanes.  As a Habitat Focus Area, NOAA and partners will support activities that reduce the impacts of recreational use of coastal and marine habitats, help to reduce land based sources of pollution to improve water quality and enhance wetlands, mangroves, seagrass, and coral reef habitats, and restore coral habitats by expanding efforts to identify ideal locations for, and increase the number of, coral nurseries and outplantings.

Biscayne Bay is a shallow water, subtropical ecosystem with extensive seagrass cover and a mangrove fringe along most of its shoreline. The bay contains nearly 150,000 acres of essential fish habitat, which support a wealth of living marine resources, including protected species for which NOAA has trustee responsibilities such as sea turtles, dolphins, and several threatened coral species. The bay also provides products and functions worth billions of dollars to the economy.

Water quality issues are a paramount concern for Biscayne Bay. Especially troubling is the recent appearance and extensive coverage of algal blooms in the southern, most pristine area of the Bay.  Scientists and resource managers are concerned Biscayne Bay may reach a “tipping point” with possible widespread loss of seagrass cover (some loss has already occurred) that may be impossible to halt or reverse.  As a Habitat Focus Area, NOAA and partners will work to better understand the frequency, duration, and impacts of algal blooms in Biscayne Bay, and educate local communities on the relationship between nutrient inputs and the health of the bay. NOAA will also examine the economics of the bay in relation to its ecological health, and promote and utilize green infrastructure where possible to support resilient coastal communities.

The Habitat Blueprint is NOAA’s strategy to integrate habitat conservation throughout the agency, focus efforts in priority areas, and leverage internal and external collaborations to achieve measurable benefits within key habitats such as rivers, coral reefs, and wetlands. Under the Habitat Blueprint, NOAA selects certain Habitat Focus Areas to prioritize long-term habitat science and conservation efforts.

      • The goals in all Habitat Focus Areas include:
      • Sustainable and abundant fish populations
      • Recovered threatened and endangered species
      • Protected coastal and marine areas and habitats at risk
      • Resilient coastal communities
      • Increased coastal/marine tourism, access, and recreation

NOAA has already identified Habitat Focus Areas in California’s Russian River watershed, the Pacific Island’s Guam and West Hawaii sites,  the Great Lakes’ Muskegon Lake and the St. Louis River estuary, and the Northeast’s’ Penobscot and Choptank Rivers.  In some of these areas we are already seeing results in recovering threatened and endangered species, improving rainfall, flooding, and frost forecasts, and increasing community resiliency to flood damage

 

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U.S. Caribbean Fishery Independent Survey Workshop

NOAA Fisheries convened a workshop at the Southeast Fisheries Science Center in Miami September 16-18, 2014 to describe and evaluate fishery independent monitoring programs in the US Caribbean for applicability to stock assessment. Over 35 regional experts from ~10 different entities (Federal, territorial, university and private) participated. Over 20 surveys were examined and discussed in the context of their relevance to US Caribbean stock assessments.  Workshop participants contributed to priority setting exercises that will help set goals for refining or initiating surveys to enhance management of fishery resources in the US Caribbean.

For more information, please visit http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sustainable_fisheries/caribbean/fish_indep_wkshp/index.html.

 

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NOAA Coral Reef Watch has just released new products on its website

These are:

      1. Full global and regional implementation of our new daily 5-km satellite coral bleaching thermal stress product suite, which replaces our heritage 50-km product suite. (Access to our 50-km products will continue for the next several months); and
      2. Version 3 of our weekly-updated Four-Month Coral Bleaching Thermal Stress Outlook, now at 50-km resolution, replacing version 2 of the Outlook.

Please send your feedback about these products to coralreefwatch@noaa.gov.

 

The details:

5-km Global Products:

These have been up on our website for a while now but have been relocated to our home page (http://coralreefwatch.noaa.gov/satellite/index.php). Noticeable to our users will be the increased spatial (5 km) and temporal (daily) resolutions of the products and some adjustments to our color scales. Less noticeable, but just as important, the new products use a next-generation satellite SST data set and a new climatology. Changes to the color scales have been made to provide better identification of values by those with limited color vision, to enhance the transitions at significant value intervals, and to accommodate higher thermal stress values that we unfortunately now need.

5-km Regional Products:

The 5-km product selectors on the home page and side navigation bar now point to a new system that provides access to coral bleaching thermal stress data for all reefs worldwide. Our new Regional Virtual Station system can be accessed from different pages on the Coral Reef Watch website, including our Google Maps interface at http://coralreefwatch.noaa.gov/vs/map.php and via our new Google Earth file. For now, you will need to download a new kmz at http://coralreefwatch.noaa.gov/satellite/ge/index.php to run the 5-km products in Google Earth. In the future, we will merge our existing and new Google Earth files into a single kmz file.

The Regional Virtual Stations represent a change from the way we have looked at Virtual Station data in the past. They have been designed to take advantage of higher resolution data while simultaneously providing comprehensive information on all reefs in a jurisdiction or sub-region. We realized early on that data from a single 5-km pixel (satellite data grip point) provide much higher spatial detail but are less representative of a region’s thermal conditions, especially certain regions that now contain hundreds to thousands of 5-km pixels. Additionally, many managers wanted to know what was happening across their entire jurisdiction. Rather than constructing Virtual Stations based on single 5-km pixels as we did in our heritage 50-km Virtual Stations, we created Regional Virtual Stations based on data from all of the 5-km grids within an individual jurisdiction (e.g., Main Hawaiian Islands). We also added the bleaching thermal stress outlook for the coming 1-4, 5-8, and 9-12 week periods to the new Virtual Stations/Gauges to help managers better prepare for potential coral bleaching events.

An alert for a region is meant to inform users that they should look at the map products for more detail. These Regional Virtual Stations will be used in a series of our products including

      • Regional Gauges
      • Two-year time series graphics
      • Multi-year time series graphics
      • Virtual Stations map with data overlays in a Google Maps interface
      • Virtual Stations map with data overlays in a Google Earth file
      • Email Bleaching Alerts (one alert per region, sent out twice-weekly, free to subscribers) – coming soon

However, we realize our approach has its costs as well. Some of the pros and cons we have identified in this switch are:

Pros of Regional Virtual Stations:

      • Utilization of higher resolution data
      • Quick guidance for an entire jurisdiction or sub-region
      • Better sense of regional impacts

Cons of Regional Virtual Stations:

      • Lower geographic specificity for individual islands and reefs
      • Less information on patterns within jurisdictions or sub-regions

As the alerts are meant to draw users to the maps, we think this will still provide the spatial pattern of the thermal stress – now at 5-km resolution.

For now, our Satellite Bleaching Alert emails will remain tied to our 50-km products. Very soon we will be converting this system to our 5-km data and will convert users’ subscriptions to match the new Regional Virtual Stations. If you are not yet signed up for this system, you can still do so on the old system at

http://coralreefwatch-satops.noaa.gov/VS/virtual_station_alerts.html.

We also have expanded the geographic network to include all coral reefs around the world based on available references. These included the Millennium Coral Reef project maps, the IUCN Coral Reefs of the World three-volume set, the UNEP/WCMC World Atlas of Coral Reefs, several country scale atlas publications, and a few other resources. If we have missed a coral reef that you know of, please let us know the name and coordinates of the missing reef.

We do plan to produce an extensive set of Virtual Stations to represent single reefs using one to a few 5-km pixels. This is a major undertaking that we are planning as a next phase of our implementation. However, this list of over a thousand virtual stations will be rather unwieldy for many users. We also may provide products that allow users to better query individual or groups of pixels. For now, that is best done using the netCDF files we have made available for all of our 5-km products. These will be fully compatible with the NOAA CoastWatch Data Analysis Tool (CDAT) available from our website, ArcGIS, and many other tools.

 

Four-Month Coral Bleaching Thermal Stress Outlook, Version 3:

This update to our Bleaching Outlook features three changes, which should be fairly transparent to users. Version 3 is based on NOAA/NCEP’s latest Climate Forecast System (CFS) Version 2 (CFSv2), continues to be updated every Tuesday, and now features 50×50 km (0.5°x0.5°) resolution. Version 3 of our Bleaching Outlook also replaces earlier versions of the Outlook on our Google Maps interface and our existing Google Earth file.

 

We encourage all of you to look over these new tools and send us your comments at coralreefwatch@noaa.gov. As always, your bleaching observations (including observations of no bleaching) are greatly appreciated. Bleaching observations can be sent to coralreefwatch@noaa.gov and/or entered into the NOAA/ReefBase collaborative online bleaching report form: http://www.reefbase.org/contribute/bleachingreport.aspx

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NOAA Tool Useful for Protecting Corals from Runoff

Tool used in study that shows hydroseeding can reduce runoff in coral areas.

 

Local officials are using National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s OpenNSPECT, the Nonpoint Source Pollution and Erosion Comparison Tool, to estimate the amount of runoff, sediment, and pollutants that drain into coastal waters where corals reside, and to explore how various restoration and land use activities might impact corals.

Land use activities such as timber management, agriculture, and development produce byproducts that can contaminate waterways inhabited by coral communities. Land-based sources of pollution can disrupt growth and cause disease or death in corals.

OpenNSPECT users can enter land cover, soil, rainfall, and elevation data to generate estimates on how various land use and climate scenarios impact water quality. The results are used to identify areas that might benefit from changes to proposed development strategies.

Puerto Rico offers a good example. Coral managers in Puerto Rico used OpenNSPECT to evaluate the effectiveness of protecting corals by restoring highly erodible, exposed lands through hydroseeding, a planting process that uses a slurry of seed and mulch.

OpenNSPECT showed that hydroseeding reduced sediment runoff from treated areas into the Guánica Bay – Rio Loco watershed by greater than 80 percent. The January 2015 technical report provides details on the process used to compare before and after scenarios.

Users can download OpenNSPECT at www.coast.noaa.gov/digitalcoast/tools/opennspect.  Virtual trainings for OpenNSPECT are offered four times each year for users with intermediate computer-mapping, or GIS, skills. This instructor-led training demonstrates the various tool functions and provides hands-on exercises for participants.

OpenNSPECT was developed by the NOAA Office for Coastal Management. NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Join us on Twitter and Facebook.

 

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CoCoRaHS in the U.S. Virgin Islands

The U.S. Virgin Islands is now participating in the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, and Snow (CoCoRaHS) Network. CoCoRaHS is a unique, non-profit, community-based network of volunteers of all ages and backgrounds working together to measure and map precipitation. By providing high-quality, accurate measurements, the observers are able to supplement existing networks and provide useful results to scientists, resource managers, decision makers, and other users.

CoCoRaHS volunteer observers in the U.S. Virgin Islands are helping to fill in important pieces of the climate puzzle that affects the Caribbean. Their efforts are making important contributions to scientists’ understanding of floods and even drought situations in the region. Due to its complex topography, ground observations are necessary to understand precipitation patterns in the Virgin Islands. Combining CoCoRaHS with National Weather Service Cooperative Observer Program observations provides good area coverage across the Islands.

CoCoRaHS takes in data from volunteer observers across the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, and now the U.S. Virgin Islands. If you would like to become a CoCoRaHS observer, all you need is the desire to watch and report weather conditions, an internet-connected computer, and a four-inch diameter plastic rain gauge. For more information on how to join the volunteer observing network, visit the CoCoRaHS website. And, visit the U.S. Virgin Islands CoCoRaHS web page to learn more about the latest addition to the network.

NOAA’s  Southeast and Caribbean Regional Team (SECART)  and the National Center for Environmental Information teamed up with the NOAA’s National Weather Service Southern Region to initiate the collections in Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands.  Most of the credit for this effort, however, goes to the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Puerto Rico – and especially Odalys Martinez – for on the ground implementation.

NOAA’s National Center for Environmental Information archives CoCoRaHS data as part of the Nation’s long-term climate record. This official record, known as the Global Historical Climatology Network (GHCN), is an integrated database of climate summaries from global land surface stations. Once a CoCoRaHS observer has recorded at least 100 daily observations, his or her station data become part of the GHCN dataset. Once added to GHCN, these data can be used in larger scale regional analysis products such as maps showing precipitation totals and departures. And, these maps can then be useful in determining the regional climate of an area for a period of months to years.

 

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GCFI Ocean Innovation Award – Innovative Solutions for Changing Seas

The Ocean Innovation Award will support projects based on innovative and creative approaches to improve the sustainability of living marine resources and create healthy oceans in the wider Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean regions. The award will focus on supporting new professionals and students in the development of innovative approaches that improve science and increase management effectiveness. Everything is on the table. For example, the OIA may fund innovations for developing more efficient survey and monitoring programs, improved data collection, recovery and use of historical data, advances in methodologies and analytical tools, new approaches for linking science and management to address stakeholder needs, and responding to impacts from a changing climate. The only requirement is that the project is solution-based.

Institutions, organizations and, in rare cases, individuals, are eligible to apply for the award whether they work directly on marine issues or have specific competencies in pre-identified priorities. For example, engineering departments in a university may have the ability to address a specific issue with skills that may not be normally associated with marine science departments.

Requests for proposals will be issued annually as additional funds become available. Applications will be reviewed by an OIA committee comprised of GCFI Board members, funders, and experts in the relevant fields. The committees will identify the Ocean Innovation theme topics for this award, distribute a Request for Proposals, evaluate the proposals, and fund selected projects. Heavy weight will be placed on innovation. A very short application will be required and the proponents of proposals selected for consideration will have the opportunity to present their ideas within a ‘GCFI Shark Tank’ format over AdobeConnect. GCFI may choose to withhold the selection of an annual award if no proposal meets the program objectives.

This Ocean Innovation Award is sponsored in part by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in partnership with GCFI. For more information please contact GCFI Ocean Innovations Award email oceaninnovations@gcfi.org.

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A new lidar data set, 2014 USGS EAARL Topobathy Lidar: USVI, is now available for download from the Digital Coast.

 

To access the data: http://coast.noaa.gov/dataviewer/index.html?action=advsearch&qType=in&qFld=ID&qVal=4940

To access the metadata: http://coast.noaa.gov/dataservices/Metadata/TransformMetadata?u=http://coast.noaa.gov/data/Documents/Metadata/Lidar/harvest/2014_EAARLB_StCroix_StThomas_m4940_metadata.xml&f=html

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NOAA Fisheries Climate Science Strategy

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries) announces release of the NOAA Fisheries Climate Science Strategy.  The full Strategy, Highlights document and other information are available at:  http://www.st.nmfs.noaa.gov/ecosystems/climate/

The Strategy responds to growing demands for information and tools to prepare for and respond to climate impacts on marine and coastal resources – and the people, businesses and communities that depend on them.

From warming oceans and rising seas, to droughts and ocean acidification, climate-related impacts are expected to increase with continued changes in the planet’s climate system.

The Strategy is part of a proactive approach to increase the production, delivery, and use of climate-related information to fulfill NOAA Fisheries mission.  The Strategy identifies seven objectives to provide decision-makers with information to reduce impacts and increase resilience in a changing climate.

The Strategy is designed to be customized and implemented through Regional Action Plans that build regional capacity, partners, products and services to address the Strategy’s seven objectives.

For more information, see http://www.st.nmfs.noaa.gov/ecosystems/climate/ or contact Roger Griffis, Climate Change Coordinator (301-427-8134 or roger.b.griffis@noaa.gov).

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The Nature Conservancy Marine Protected Areas Program

The Nature Conservancy has been working throughout the Caribbean Region focusing on establishing and expanding Marine Protected Areas, promoting sustainable fisheries efforts and coral conservation in an effort to protect and sustain the region’s natural resources and human livelihoods. Over the years there has been many accomplishments that have helped us to advance our conservation objectives in collaboration with our partners.

To learn more about the Conservancy’s Caribbean Program and some of the successes made in the year 2015, feel free to visit: http://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions/caribbean/caribbean-2015-impact-report.pdf .

 

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CARICOOS General Assembly: Ten Years of the Caribbean Coastal Ocean Observing System: Friday April 28, 2017, Añasco, PR. 

CARICCOS seeks to have a stakeholder-centered meeting where users can learn about CARICOOS products and services and provide feedback on the priorities, direction, and reach of the observing system. During this event participants will hear the latest from CARICOOS and its ten-year journey. But most importantly, participants will learn from fellow stakeholders about current applications and foreseeable needs for ocean observing in the Caribbean. Topics include recreational boating, fisheries, beach safety, marine mammals, reef restoration, coastal infrastructure, outreach, search & rescue, and much more. During the afternoon the group will break out into small groups to assess  particular data needs, get feedback on products and services, and discuss any other way CARICCOS can make themselves useful to user groups. Find out more and register in English.

 

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Clean Energy Finance Summit

(13-15 June, The Palms Hotel, Miami)

The Clean Energy Finance Summit (13-15 June, The Palms Hotel, Miami) is the place where capital is secured and deals structured in Latin America and Caribbean’s renewable energy market – but why is that the case?

The Summit will feature 70 expert speakers providing over 27 hours of content and bring over 200 industry experts and decision makers together; and one of the key reasons this is the number 1 dedicated finance and investment event for the LATAM & Caribbean renewable energy space are the Networking Opportunities at the Clean Energy Finance Summit. These include:

• Bespoke 1-2-1 Partnering Platform
• Speed Networking Session
• 26 hours of Networking Opportunities
• Ice Breaking Drinks Reception

DOWNLOAD THE BROCHURE TO LEARN MORE

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The Caribbean Community Climate Change Center and NOAA/AOML have reached an agreement for a Phase 2 extension of the Coral Reef Early Warning System

 

The Caribbean Community Climate Change Center (C5) and NOAA/AOML have reached an agreement through a Memorandum of Understanding for a Phase 2 extension of the Coral Reef Early Warning System (CREWS) to at least five new countries in the Eastern Caribbean.  Under this agreement, AOML (partially funded by the Coral Reef Conservation Program), will provide consultation and information systems support, to include programming of the data gathering buoy, transmittal of the near real-time data back to AOML, ecological forecasts for coral bleaching (and other marine environmental events), a Web presence, and stakeholder engagement in the entire process through facilitation by our Sea Grant representative, Dr. Pamela Fletcher.  The data to be collected by the buoy will include minimally, winds (speed and gusts), barometric pressure, precipitation, photosynthetically active/available radiation (PAR, light), air temperature, sea temperature, and salinity; other instruments may be added through arrangement with the host countries.  AOML scientists will seek to establish new research collaborations with the host country scientists, conservationists, and Marine Protected Area managers.

Under a previous arrangement for Phase 1, stations were installed in Belize (2), Trinidad & Tobago (2), Dominican Republic (2), and Barbados.  Unfortunately, the stations in Belize were badly damaged by Hurricane Earl, and the Barbados station was inadvertently damaged through a local accident.  Phase 1 is not funded under this new agreement.

Below is the proposed schedule for the site surveys and stakeholder engagement meetings for the Phase 2 stations; however, dates and countries visited may change.  It is not known at this time when the follow-up of station installations will be conducted.  The new buoy architecture is still being researched.

 

Phase 2 CREWS/C5 Dates and Countries for Site Surveys & Outreach

Proposed for 2017

July 10 – 14  -  Antigua & Barbuda
August 21 – 25  -  St. Vincent & the Grenadines
September 11 – 15  -  St. Kitts & Nevis
October 16 – 20  -  St. Lucia
November 13 – 15  -  Grenada

 

Provisional Dates and Countries in 2018

5-day week beginning January 8, 22, or  29  -   Dominica
5-day week beginning February 5, 12 or 26  -  Suriname and/or Guyana

 

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Jobs

Mentorship Program in Caribbean is Pairing up MPA Managers Across Region
(No defined application deadline)

Junior Ranger Program Curriculum Development Consultant
(Application Deadline: June 9, 2017)

The Nature Conservancy – Resilient Islands Project Manager
(Application Deadline: June 14, 2017)

The Nature Conservancy – Climate Adaptation Specialist (Kingston, Jamaica)
(Application Deadline: June 14, 2017)

The Nature Conservancy – Resilient Islands Project Manager (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic)
(Application Deadline: June 14, 2017)

Resident Lecturer in Environmental Policy and Socioeconomic Values, Turks & Caicos Islands
(Start Date: August 15, 2017)

National Coral Management Fellowship Position Announcements 2018-2020
(Application Deadline: July 11, 2017)

The Nature Conservancy – Applied Scientist
(Application Deadline: July 7, 2017)

 

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Funding Opportunities

Resources & Tips:

Quick Refreshers

  • Dr. S. Joesph Levine has posted a “Guide for Writing a Funding Proposal.” This guide breaks writing a grant proposal into sections, and for each section he provides writing hints and examples that make this an easy quick reference.
  • The Foundation Center Learning Lab provides resources to grant seekers designed to help you be successful in your grant search. The proposal writing short course is a two-part introduction to grant seeking. For additional resources from the Foundation Center, check out the virtual classroom menu.

Grant Writing Guides

  • The Non-Profit Guides organization designs grant writing tools to help nonprofits win grant funds. The “10-Point Grant Writing Guide” is specifically aimed at nonprofit organizations and provides sample inquiry letters, cover letters, and budgets.
  • A Guide to Proposal Planning and Writing” (PDF) by Jeremy T. Miner and Lynn E. Miner explains what motivates grant makers, where to find out about public and private grants, and how to get started.
  • The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance has a guide for “Developing and Writing Grant Proposals.” This guide provides another perspective on grant seeking.
  • The Minnesota Council on Foundations provides a guide for “Writing a Successful Grant Proposal.” Although specifically geared for Minnesota, this guide helps grant seekers understand what information funders want and provides some guidance on how to answer these questions.
  • Purdue University has developed a set of Proposal Enhancement Tools. These tools were designed to help writers develop a strong grant proposal by clearly identifying the audience and the potential impacts to that audience. This set contains seven worksheets and can be downloaded in PDF format

Open Opportunities:

The SPAW-Regional Activity Center and the Reserve Naturelle de Saint-Martin (RNSM) are glad to share with you the news that the BEST 2.0 programme portal is now live. Please explore the platform to find information useful for applying for a grant, including the operational manual, explanations about small (<100 000 Euros) and medium (< 400 000 Euros) grants, eligibility criteria, application procedure and frequently asked questions.

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Federal Funding for Resilience Projects

 

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NOAA is announcing a federal funding opportunity to support applied management projects and activities under the Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program. Bycatch reduction is a top priority for NOAA Fisheries, as outlined in our National Bycatch Reduction Strategy, because bycatch contributes to overfishing, threatens endangered and threatened species and protected marine mammals, and can close fisheries, significantly impacting U.S. economic growth. This Program seeks to support the development and testing of fishing gears that reduce bycatch. NOAA Fisheries managers and Regional Fishery Management Councils need new bycatch reduction technology to meet the MSA requirements to minimize bycatch and habitat impacts.

The 2017 FFO outlines four high priority areas including developing innovative and effective technologies, improving understanding of post release mortality, developing techniques to reduce interactions between corals and sponges, and international bycatch issues. In the past we have awarded up to $2.4 million for one year projects.

For more information, visit the BREP homepage.

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For a list of Federal Funding Opportunities (FFOs), please visit:

 

 


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