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November 10, 2014

Why did red tide not reach the West Florida Continental Shelf in 2010?

Robert Weisberg, SECOORA Principal Investigator, and his affiliates were recently published in the journal Harmful Algae*, Volume 38. The paper, “Why no red tide was observed on the West Florida Continental Shelf in 2010,” analyzes why Karenia Brevis, Florida red tide organism, did not reach the Florida coastline in 2010. They concluded that the lack of red tide along the west coast of Florida in 2010 was due to anomalously large and protracted upwelling of nutrient-rich waters of deep ocean origin caused by Loop Current and eddy interactions with the shelf slope1. Both the physics of the circulation and the biology of the organism are necessary conditions for a K. brevis bloom to occur near shore; neither alone, however, is a sufficient condition1. This paper reinforced the growing recognition that we need an interdisciplinary and integrated ocean observing system. *Harmful Algae is a multi-partner project that was funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s ECOHAB Program and included 14 research papers from seven institutions. The research team studied four red tide blooms caused by the harmful algae species K. brevis in 2001, ’07, ’08 and ’09, plus the non-bloom year 2010. Their goal was to understand which nutrients supported these red tides and the ...

November 5, 2014

High-Frequency Radar Stations Could Save Lives, Track Spills in Gulf and Atlantic

Nonprofit groups call for network of high frequency radar monitoring stations along the U.S. Gulf and Southeastern Atlantic coasts Two coastal ocean observing organizations are calling for a major expansion of the high frequency radar (HFR) system in the Gulf of Mexico and along the Southeastern Atlantic coast as a cost-effective way to gain near real-time information about surface currents, wave heights and winds. The consortiums - which comprise of scientists, private enterprise, governmental and non-governmental organizations - say the information to be gained by the expansion of the HFR system is vital to protecting public health and safety, protecting coastlines and developing restoration programs. The groups collaborating to develop the plan to fund and implement the expansion are the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System Regional Association (GCOOS-RA) and the Southeast Coastal Ocean Observing Regional Association (SECOORA), which are coordinating with the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System Program office (IOOS). IOOS is the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration-led program responsible for managing the U.S. IOOS at the national level. The GCOOS-RA and SECOORA are responsible for developing a network of business leaders, marine scientists, resource managers, non-governmental organizations and other stakeholder groups. Combined, their data provide timely information ...

October 27, 2014

UM, NOAA Track Hurricane Edouard Intensification by Aircraft

  Images credit: Benjamin Jaimes, Ph.D. As tropical storm Edouard was forming in the Eastern Atlantic west of the Cape Verde Islands, a team of hurricane scientists from NOAA’s Hurricane Research Division (HRD) and the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science were taking to the skies to deploy a series of highly specialized instruments to collect critical information on ocean and atmospheric conditions along the storm’s predicted track. For the last four years, UM Rosenstiel School Professor Nick Shay, a SECOORA Prinicipal Investigator, and researchers Benjamin Jaimes and Jodi Brewster have been working closely with engineers at Lockheed Martin in Marion, Massachusetts, the manufacturer of the expendable ocean probes, to prepare the instruments to collect the valuable data necessary to help forecast where and when a newly developed tropical storm would intensify into a category hurricane. On Friday, Sept. 12 when Edouard was a mere day-old tropical storm, the research team, including Jaimes from the UM Rosenstiel School Upper Ocean Dynamics Laboratory and UM alumni and NOAA hurricane scientist Eric Uhlhorn, departed St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands aboard NOAA’s P3 hurricane hunter aircraft. On this first flight they deployed a total of 27 of ...

September 16, 2014

SECOORA, IOOS, and Partners Training the Next Generation of Ocean Experts

This summer SECOORA partners hosted Pedro Matos-Llavona from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez for a summer internship as part of the NOAA Educational Partnership Program (EPP) and the Integrated Ocean Observing System (U.S. IOOS). The collaborative effort between SECOORA partners Dave Easter (U.S. IOOS), Felix Jose (Florida Gulf Coast University- FGCU) and Jay Law (University of South Florida College of Marine Science- USF CMS) provided Pedro the chance to practice as an oceanographer, gaining hands-on experience and knowledge in the field. "I believe this internship opportunity helped Pedro to learn advanced methods in oceanographic data analysis, which would help him to pursue a career in coastal ocean monitoring”- Felix Jose, FGCU. During his internship Pedro spent half his time analyzing data under the mentorship of Felix Jose at Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU). Pedro learned about time series data analysis. Using Harmonic Analysis, Pedro analyzed ADCP data from a USF COMPS Buoy off Fort Myers Beach for the duration June-July 2013. He filtered the data for tidal and non-tidal components and compared it with wind data collected from the same station. Pedro was trained in using matlab software for processing and plotting oceanographic data. The matlab program that he developed ...

September 11, 2014

SECOORA Partners Trace Flow of Currents from Rivers to Reefs

Image Credit: GRNMS Gray’s Reef National Marine Sancutary staff joined researchers from Georgia Southern University to release 50 gallons of fluorescent red dye into the Altamaha River outflow on September 9, 2014. The plume of dye that results, will be monitored visually and with instrumentation as it flows from the release point along the Georgia coast and offshore. Tracking the path of the dye will provide estimates of the extent to which the Altamaha River delivers dissolved substances, including contaminants and nutrients, along the Georgia coast and to hard-bottom reefs, such as Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary, occurring up to 20 miles offshore. In addition to releasing the dye, 2 satellite-enabled drifters will be deployed to collect information on how larger materials, such as dead stalks of marsh grass, may disperse after being transported by ocean currents from the Altamaha River estuary. Local teachers were engaged in building the drifters and data obtained from the drifter paths will be made available to the public and to local school teachers for use in the classroom. As with the buoys, these drifters will be clearly labeled so please do not remove them if spotted offshore. Alternatively, please contact the investigators if a drifter is found ...

July 24, 2014

SECOORA 2014 Annual Report

This marks SECOORA’s second Annual Report in which we highlight how our collective efforts are impacting the southeast region. As you read the report, please note the information you find valuable and send us your feedback. Please click the image below to read our Annual Report.

March 11, 2014

Glider Released off Southeast Coast

A glider has been deployed off the Atlantic coast of Florida with the mission to detect hotspots of reef fish activity in and around marine protected areas using funding provided by NOAA’s Southeast Fisheries Science Center (SEFSC). The University of South Florida’s Teledyne Webb Research Slocum Glider is equipped with a sensor suite, including two passive acoustic recording systems developed by Loggerhead Instruments and a Vemco VMT tag receiver provided by the Ocean Tracking Network at Dalhousie University. Post-mission analysis of the passive acoustic recordings will be conducted by Loggerhead Industries.  The resulting data sets will be used to augment NOAA Fisheries SEFSC and NOAA Ocean Service (NCCOS) collaborative research on reef fish spawning aggregations and will contribute to their coral reef fish monitoring programs. The glider will travel north along the continental shelf edge using the Gulf Stream to transport it until it reaches South Carolina, where the glider will attempt to transit onshore to about the 50m isobath.  The remainder of the mission will entail traversing along shore in the Edisto and North Charleston Marine Protected Areas.  For this effort, navigation is primarily being assisted by the utilization of the regional-scale nowcast/forecast ocean modeling system developed at North Carolina State University, as ...

January 3, 2011

Basic Observation Buoy (BOB) III Workshop: A Collaborative Success

Basic Observation Buoy (BOB) III Workshop: A Collaborative Success