NOAA CSCOR/COP News

Author: 
Catherine Naum, NOAA CSCOR

NOAA's Center for Sponsored Coastal Ocean Research/ Coastal Ocean Program (CSCOR/COP) sponsors competitive research programs that provide scientific information, tools, and predictive capabilities to assist decision makers in meeting the challenges of managing our Nation's coastal resources (www.cop.noaa.gov). The following represents recent program activities.

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS

Results from CSCOR-sponsored Research Inform Management of Salmon in the Pacific Northwest

Researchers involved in the Global Ocean Ecosystem Dynamics (GLOBEC) program examined how salmon react to ocean conditions and used their findings to explain why fewer spring Chinook are returning to the Columbia Basin. In general, GLOBEC researchers predict that less than favorable ocean conditions over the next few years will result in lower returns of salmon in the Pacific Northwest than were previously expected. These findings were communicated to the regional director of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) in two memos. With new insight provided by GLOBEC research, indicators of ecological change are being developed to assist fisheries management and decision making. These memos are part of the management information package used to arrive at decisions, and were highlighted in the regional newsletter The Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife News Bulletin released on December 16, 2005 (http://www.cbbulletin.com/Free/124691.aspx). These efforts are part of the GLOBEC NE Pacific Program which strives to 1) examine the effects of climate variability and change on the distribution, abundance, and production of marine animals, and 2) develop models that explain and forecast ecosystem dynamics and responses. For more information, contact Beth Turner at elizabeth.turner@noaa.gov

Modeling Needs for Ecosystem-Based Management in the Gulf of Maine Identified in Workshop Report

The Gulf of Maine contains rich habitats that are affected by many human activities. To facilitate the coordination of marine research and monitoring in and around the Gulf of Maine, NOAA's Center for Sponsored Coastal Ocean Research supported the Modeling Needs Related to the Regional Observing System in the Gulf of Maine workshop in July, 2005. One in a series of workshops coordinated by the Regional Association for Research on the Gulf of Maine, it provided a venue to identify management needs for modeling and prediction in relation to the emerging regional observing systems in the Gulf of Maine. In addition, the workshop identified (1) priority management needs that could be addressed by multidisciplinary models which use observing system data, and ways to link these needs more closely with model development, (2) critical issues for moving regional multidisciplinary modeling forward and, (3) critical data needs for model development and applications. The broad scope of the workshop brought together resource managers and marine research scientists from many disciplines. The workshop report is now available online at http://www.rargom.org/theme/RARGOM_Report%2005-1.pdf. To view PowerPoint presentations and posters presented at the meeting, please visit http://www.rargom.org/meetings/07July2005/index.html. For more information, contact Beth Turner at elizabeth.turner@noaa.gov

Multi-agency Workshop Furthers Understanding of the Complex Science Surrounding the Prevention and/or Mitigation of Brown Tide Blooms

Brown tide blooms have occurred in coastal waters from Maryland to Rhode Island. These episodic blooms have had serious impacts on benthic seagrass habitat and the hard clam and scallop fisheries of the Peconic Bay and Great South Bay systems of Long Island, NY. A one-day workshop was held on November 29, 2005 in Yaphank, New York, to discuss what is known about the causes of, and potential approaches to preventing or mitigating, harmful blooms of the phytoplankton, Aureococcus anophagefferens, in Northeast and Mid-Atlantic embayments. Workshop participants represented the brown tide research community, the management communities of New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Suffolk County Department of Health Services, the New York Seafood Council, the Peconic Estuary Program, the South Shore Estuary Reserve Office, the Nature Conservancy, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources, the US Geological Survey, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Environmental Protection Agency. The research presented was largely supported through the Brown Tide Research Initiative, a joint effort between the interagency Ecology and Oceanography of Harmful Algal Bloom (ECOHAB) program and New York Sea Grant. This workshop will be followed by a Brown Tide Research Initiative Public Symposium to be held on Monday, March 20, 2006, from 7-9 pm at Suffolk County Community College, in Riverhead, New York. The symposium will inform interested stakeholders about what is known about the causes of these blooms, and the science behind possible management options. For more information, contact Susan Banahan at Susan.Banahan@noaa.gov.

Harmful Algal Research and Response: A National Environmental Science Strategy 2005-2015 (HARRNESS)

In late fall, 2005 the National Plan for Algal Toxins and Harmful Algal Blooms, Harmful Algal Research and Response: National Environmental Science Strategy 2005-2015 (HARRNESS), was finally released. The development of HARRNESS reflects an intensive collaborative effort, including an open forum discussion of 200 participants at the 2003 US National HAB Meeting, a detailed web-based questionnaire yielding more than 1,000 targeted responses, a workshop of 50 US HAB experts, an Advisory Committee to guide, and a Steering Committee to assemble and review the most current information available. Development of the report is a response to the resounding need of the US research and management community for a more coordinated effort to advance scientific understanding about the current state of the HAB problem, and improve methods of detection, control, and mitigation of HAB events.

HARRNESS was produced by the Ecological Society of America with support from the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Ocean Service. For a PDF version of the HARRNESS report, please visit http://www.esa.org/HARRNESS/harrnessRe-port10032005.pdf. For more information, please contact Marc Suddleson at Marc.Suddleson@noaa.gov.