*Photo credit: Captain Albert E. Theberge, NOAA Corps (ret.), NOAA Photo Library
Improving Marine Forecasts
Over a recent five-year period the U.S. Coast Guard investigated well over 100 vessel-related incidents per year in the Southeast marine environment, which speaks to the importance of marine weather information. SECOORA members and partners have been maintaining critically important weather and wave stations for over a decade. The observations from these stations have been demonstrated to measurably improve NWS marine weather forecasts.
SECOORA is working to provide:
- A more geographically rich set of integrated and real-time web-available wind, wave, circulation and current data to promote safe and efficient maritime transportation and recreational boating. This information will measurably improve NWS marine weather forecasts, increase efficiency of maritime shipping, and improve boater safety.
- Enhanced access to maritime weather information through improved web-based applications, interfaces, and user-selected options for information delivery.
Project Spotlight: HF Radar in the Southeast
High frequency radar (HF radar) has been nationally recognized as a solution to provide the level of detail required by scientists and forecasters to measure surface current speed and direction. A third WERA installation along the GA/SC coast was installed on Jekyll Island, GA with primary funding from the Georgia Research Alliance, the original equipment money allocated by SEACOOS, plus a significant contribution from SkIO. This third installation will increase overlapping shelf coverage for surface current measurements to include the entire Georgia shelf and shelf edge, to the Florida border, and will facilitate collaborative work across our southern border into Florida. It will add critical overlapping redundancy with existing installations, providing essential two-installation operation during periods when one installation of the three may go down (lightening strikes, power outages, etc). For more information contact Trent Moore or Dana Savidge at the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography.
In addition to the traditional offshore energy activities in the Gulf of Mexico, the Southeastern U.S. states currently have other active offshore initiatives. These include natural gas pipelines, potentially will include new drilling for hydrocarbons, and also involve “alternative” efforts to harness wind and currents in offshore areas with the potential to make contributions to our nation’s energy options. SECOORA has the expertise to effectively investigate and provide monitoring data to support these initiatives.
Through active partnerships with state Departments of Energy, state and local permitting authorities, industry, and other stakeholders, SECOORA can provide a network of expertise to support investigation, installation, and monitoring of offshore energy projects.
Project Spotlight: SECOORA Co-Sponsors Renewable Ocean Energy and the Marine Environment Conference
At the recent Renewable Ocean Energy & the Marine Environment conference SECOORA coordinated the "Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning" plenary session and also a "Managing Information to Support Decision Making" track. SECOORA had a large presence at the meeting. Members attending included Mitch Roffer, Cliff Merz, Dwayne Porter, Manhar Dhanak, and Billy Edge. Debra Hernandez, SECOORA Executive Director said, "It was a great opportunity to network with leaders working in the alternative energy sector and to learn about cutting edge science and data management issues for this growing industry." View presentations from the conference. Over 90% of the participants who returned their evaluation form agreed that the conference increased their knowledge of renewable ocean energy and the marine environment and 100% of these participants agreed that the information gained at the conference will be useful in their work.