June 4, 2012

Beach Monitoring GIS System

Example of Beach Monitoring GIS SystemManagement IssueState public health agencies, in conjunction with local governments, routinely monitor the bacterial water quality of the Southeast’s ocean swimming beaches. These monitoring data are used to post swimming advisories, with the goal of allowing the public to make informed decisions concerning recreating in waters presenting a potential for adverse health effects. Per current EPA guidelines, agencies test for the bacterial indicator, Enterococcus, to determine bacterial water quality and issue water quality swimming advisories. The method used to determine Enterococcus concentrations requires a 24-hour incubation period before results can be assessed. Decision makers are therefore issuing and lifting advisories based on the previous day’s water quality. In partnership with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC), a collaborative team including the University of South Carolina and University of Maryland, is enhancing a user application with new models and an automated, database driven tool for bacteria estimates and visualization of model results for enhanced prediction and analysis of this public health concern.ApproachThe project builds on previous efforts and incorporates new models that provide rainfall estimates using radar-based data which can be averaged over a watershed area. These radar data provide improvements ...

June 4, 2012

Marine Weather Forecasting in the Carolinas

BackgroundThe Carolinas Regional Coastal Ocean Observing System (RCOOS), a network of coastal and ocean observing platforms funded by the NOAA Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) and SECOORA, is a coordinated and multifaceted observing system for North Carolina and South Carolina. The Carolinas RCOOS is a complete operational system that deploys and maintains coastal and oceanographic observing systems, provides data management and analyses for observations and model development, and conducts outreach and partnership activities in both states. Information collected through the Carolinas RCOOS aids NOAA’s National Weather Service (NWS) in making marine forecasts and determining when to issue Special Marine Advisories.ApproachThe Carolinas RCOOS currently operates 9 real time stations in North Carolina and South Carolina coastal waters, which collect and report weather and oceanographic conditions. Data including wave height, period and direction, wind speed, gust and direction, air temperature and water temperature are collected via surface and sub-surface equipment mounted on buoys and piers. This information is used by the general public as well as by a number of State and Federal agencies.ValueNOAA’s NWS meteorologists routinely use Carolinas RCOOS observing data. During March 2007, the network of buoys off the Cape Fear coast indicated the passage of a cold front much ...

July 21, 2010

Ocean Observing Supports Recreational Opportunities at Local Florida Park

Fred Howard Park, located on the Gulf of Mexico in the City of Tarpon Springs, Pinellas County, Florida, is a popular destination for kite surfers, wind surfers, kayakers, and beachcombers. Visitors come from an hour or more away on a regular basis to use this unique area for its recreational opportunities. Knowing the weather and wind conditions in the area is a big deciding factor that helps them to plan their activities in the park. In addition, its physical location, jetting into the Western Gulf of Mexico, provides valuable advance water level and coastal inundation information to local emergency management personnel during extreme weather events.The Fred Howard Park meteorological/tidal station is a part of the University of South Florida’s (USF) Coastal Ocean Monitoring and Prediction System (COMPS). Initial site funding was via a cooperative effort between USF/COMPS, a State of Florida Emergency Management Preparedness and Assistance Trust Fund (EMPATF) competitive grant, the Pinellas County Park System, and the City of Tarpon Springs Office of Emergency Management. Physically located on the southwest corner of the second causeway bridge, it became an operational COMPS weather station in June 2004.In September 2008, the causeway bridges needed replacement, and the station was ...

April 30, 2010

Basic Observation Buoy (BOB): Educational Water Quality Monitoring

What is BOB?Basic Observation Buoy (BOB) is a floating platform with capacity to carry a suite of environmental sensors. BOB can be moored to bottom or to a dock in quiet waters. Based on concepts developed by Doug Levin, Ph.D., located at NOAA’s IOOS (Integrated Ocean Observing System) Program Office, BOB is an exciting collaborative among SECOORA scientists and educators.The BOB project involves precollege to undergraduate level student-designed, built and deployed buoys that host data collection, storage, and transmission capabilities.The target cost for a BOB is $1500, inclusive of the buoy structure, sensor(s), data storage, and transmissionSensors determine the parameters collected by BOB and may include meteorological parameters, as well as wind speed and conductivity/salinity, dissolved oxygen, pH, chlorophyll A, and turbidity.BOB I Workshop: Selecting instruments for BOB, Image Credit: Lundie SpenceBackground DocumentsA Manual for Building a BASIC OBSERVATION BUOY (BOB)Basic Observation Buoy (BOB) Objectives for 2010BOB/FLO Sensor SuggestionsBuilding Buoys for Observing and STEM Education (August 17, 2009 MTS-IEEE Oceans Conference Proceedings)Build-A-Buoy (BABs) Content Based, Hands-On, Education for KindergartenersGuide to the Elementary Basic Observation Buoy (eBOB)BOB in ActionEmail communications@secoora.org to add  your projects here!BOB has been incorporated into undergraduate and ...

April 30, 2010

Virtual Hurricane

Take your students by storm by using the SECOORA virtual hurricane classroom – featuring an “eye”-catching poster, hurricane information and activity websites, a hurricane glossary, and classroom activities. COSEE SouthEast, COSEE Gulf of Mexico, North Carolina SeaGrant, South Carolina SeaGrant, and UGA's Marine Extension Service are SECOORA education partners in developing these materials. Forming Hurricanes PosterThis 36 by 32 inch poster, Forming Hurricanes, brings gusts of excitement to the classroom. Learn about concepts such as causes of hurricanes, hazards associated with hurricanes, and hurricane facts for the southeast Atlantic United States.To get a full sized printed poster, contact your Sea Grant office:North Carolina Sea Grant: Terri Hathaway South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium: Carolyn RobinsonCOSEE-SE Education Specialist for Georgia:  Angela Bliss Florida Sea Grant: Program AssistantCOSEE Gulf of Mexico and The Pier Aquarium.  Contact the Pier Aquarium for shipping and handling charges.For educators outside of FL, SC, GA and NC, contact the NOAA Outreach Unit: NOAA Outreach Distribution Unit 1305 East-West Hwy. Room 1W524 Silver Spring, MD 20910.Atlantic Hurricane Tracking Chart         A chart to track hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean.Print out the chart. ...