Solution specific articles for Marine, Ocean, Coastal, Science & Information.

Amy Berman Receives Prestigious Margaret Davidson Award!

Congratulations to Lynker’s Amy Berman for receiving the prestigious Margaret A Davidson Award!

The Margaret Adelia Davidson (MAD) Award recognizes Office for Coastal Management employees that embody and model the values embraced by Margaret Davidson. These values include:

  • Innovation (New Ideas or Approaches and Risk Taking)
  • Extreme Networking and Partnership (Creating New or Unique Connections and Maintaining Existing Ones)
  • Challenging the Norm (Speaking Up for Positive Change; Not Standing on Dogma)
  • Motivating and Mentoring Others
  • Random Acts of Kindness and Caring

Estimating the Value of NOAA’s Digital Coast

The Digital Coast, a NOAA-hosted platform containing data, tools, training, and more, is a valuable resource communities use to address coastal issues. Lynker team members support NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management to create and maintain these resources and provide technical support to the communities that rely on them. Up until this point, staff have depended on testimonies from users to measure the worth of everything the Digital Coast has to offer. While these accounts do a great job of showcasing the variety of issues the Digital Coast can help to mitigate, they can’t put a dollar value on what this website provides. 

Resources for the Future, a nonprofit organization, recently developed a report—The Societal Value of NOAA’s Digital Coast—indicating just how valuable this platform is. Research techniques included case studies, literature reviews, and examinations of typical uses; one study alone estimates that a one-time use of the Sea Level Rise Viewer to move critical infrastructure yielded societal benefits of $1.1 million to $2.2 million. Another study estimates that trainings yield benefits of $1.8 to $9.7 million annually—concluding, collectively, that the Digital Coast offers “considerable demonstrated value to the public across its variety of programs.”  We’re so proud of all of our Lynker team members working to support this platform every day!

2020 Vessel Traffic Data Now Available

Vessel traffic data is one of the most important data sets when it comes to management of port operations, assessing port access and coastal shipping routes for maritime transportation, vessel carbon production modeling and research, offshore infrastructure and aquaculture siting, renewable energy siting and leasing, establishment of transit corridors, and species and habitat management. Thanks to our team, what used to take 18 months to get online, now only takes four!

AIS (automatic identification system), or vessel traffic data, has been identified by the regional ocean planning community as one of the most critical data sets for planning and analysis and included as a joint milestone under the implementation plan for the E.O. 13840 – Ocean Policy to Advance the Economic, Security, and Environmental Interests of the United States. While originally designed as a vessel collision-avoidance tool, the collection and aggregation of AIS data has become invaluable to a variety of uses.

Mission Complete! 94,472 Pounds of Debris Removed!

94,472 pounds of marine debris removed! Lynker is proud to be part of the 25-day Papahanaumokuakea Marine Debris Project (PMDP) team’s cleanup mission to Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument during the 15th anniversary of the monument. The crew of 12 removed debris from Laysan Island, Lisianski Island, Midway Atoll, French Frigate Shoals and Kure Atoll.  The team removed derelict fishing nets and plastics from approximately 200 acres of shoreline habitat in the northwestern Hawaiian islands.  The crew sailed into Kewalo Basin back on April 21 with a staggering 94,472 lbs of marine debris removed from five island locations within Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument.  Of this total, nearly 80,000 lbs consisted of derelict fishing nets and 15,000 lbs of plastics.  The success of this mission completely surpassed initial goals, exceeding expected debris removal estimates by 25,000 lbs, and making this PMDP’s most successful mission to date.  Way to go team!

The Imua has returned to Honolulu with a heavy load and a happy crew!

Photo Credit:  Andy Carre

A juvenile Hawaiian monk seal rests on top of a pile of ghost nets on the windward shores of Laysan Island in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.

Photo Credit: Matthew Chauvin

Lynker Promotes Dr. Chris Hawkins as New VP of Marine, Ocean and Coastal Sciences and Information (MOCSI) Group – West!

Chris Hawkins is newly promoted to lead the Marine, Ocean & Coastal Sciences and Information Group West (MOCSI West).  Chris most recently served as the Executive Director of Lynker’s Sustainable Pacific Program, where he helped establish a tremendous number of partnerships with non-profits and other capacity-challenged organizations to promote sustainable coastal and marine resources. In his new role, Chris will lead MOCSI’s efforts on the West Coast, Alaska and the U.S. Pacific Islands. Lynker has a broad environmental science, management, and technology portfolio supporting the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, other federal and state agencies, and various industry and non-profit partners. Chris has worked in the U.S. Pacific Islands since 2002 and is honored to continue to serve these needs of our coastal communities and Lynker’s great employees.

 

American Shoreline Podcast Highlights Lynker Staff and NOAA Coastal Management Fellowship

NOAA’s Coastal Management Fellowship provides on-the-job education and training opportunities in coastal resource management for postgraduate students. Each fellow is matched with a state coastal management program to work on projects proposed by the state and selected by NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management. The fellowship has had over 120 fellows since 1996. Lynker staff manage the applications from potential fellows and the state coastal management programs, work to connect candidates with the state programs, and manage the program during the fellow’s two-year position. The American Shoreline Podcast interviewed Lynker staff during the 2020 Social Coast Forum in February to learn more about the history of the fellowship and the value it provides in preparing the next generation of coastal managers.

 

Urban Runoff Poses Threat to Pacific Herring Survival

Lynker’s Aquaculturist, Mark Tagal, is the second author in a recently published paper in ScienceDirect titled Urban Stormwater and Crude Oil Injury Pathways Converge on the Developing Heart of a Shore-Spawning Marine Forage Fish. In this paper he looked at the role storm water plays in the development of forage fish, in this case, Pacific Herring.  Turns out the water that runs off the roads after a big storm can be just as damaging as an oil spill. PAHs in urban road runoff are readily bioavailable to Pacific herring embryos threatening their survival. To read more about this important study click here https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0166445X20304045

Over 82,000 Pounds of Trash Removed to Protect Vulnerable Hawaiian Wildlife

Papahanaumokuakea Marine Debris Project’s (PMDP) Lynker staff, in partnership with USFWS, removed 82,000 pounds of hurricane debris from Lalo (the French Frigate Shoal), a remote atoll within Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, that provides essential habitat for nesting seabirds, threatened green sea turtles, and endangered Hawaiian monk seals. For 16 days they collected derelict fishing nets, plastics and hurricane debris including lumber, roofing, steel cable, scrap metal, boat hulls, tires, and fiberglass.

“Papahanaumokuakea is the most amazing landscape on earth, both ecologically and culturally, and one that sustains our most vulnerable Hawaiian wildlife species,” said Lynker’s Kevin O’Brien. “Picture tiny sandy islands where nearly every square foot of land is used by seabirds, turtles and seals for critical nesting, burrowing, basking and pupping. So it’s a good feeling when we come away from one of these cleanups with a massive pile of rubbish, because each pound of debris removed from this landscape directly translates into square footage of new, safe, available space for wildlife to use. This type of tangible positive action is what our organization works to provide for the wildlife of Papahanaumokuakea.”

Lynker secures funding for COVID 19 Community Assistance on Hawaii Island

Lynker is pleased to announce that we have received an award from Hawaii County’s CARES Act funding to support families and children in need as a result of the COVID19 pandemic. Our Sustainable Pacific Program, working with and through three non-profits (as mentioned in the attached video) – Montessori Education Center of Hawaii (MECH), Kama‘aina Kids, and Friends of the Future – secured funding to support social distancing requirements for MECH students, emergency childcare for essential workers and other families, and community food assistance in the Waimea area. Funding will also be used for personal protective equipment, additional staffing, scholarships, and enhanced cleaning costs related to COVID19 at MECH and the Kama‘aina Kids facility. Funding for Friends of the Future will help them continue the Grab-n-Go meal program that has provided meals twice per week to the community since the pandemic began in March 2020, and allow them to provide daily lunches to children at Kama‘aina Kids. These worthy causes dovetail nicely with Lynker’s regional focus on Pacific Island communities and science education.

Said Ms. Sarah Pautzke, Lynker’s local project coordinator for this effort, “We could not be happier for these organizations. They have all, in their own way, stepped up to meet the challenges posed to Waimea area families by this pandemic – as have many others. We are so thankful to Hawaii County for supporting these efforts and we at Lynker are honored to provide project management and coordination support!”

Lynker and MKF received grant from Hawaii County CARES Act

Lynker is a proud partner of Malama Kai Foundation (MKF), providing human resource services for its executive director position, as well as grant development support. For those of you who have not heard of MKF they are a Hawaii based non-profit best-known for its support of Hawaii’s Day-Use Mooring Buoy Program, Reef Talks, and Ocean Warriors. Now, there’s another way that MKF is helping our community! MKF has received a grant from the County of Hawaii, Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, to fund youth scholarships in partnership with Jack’s Diving Locker and The Nakoa Foundation. Jack’s Diving Locker is providing an award winning line-up of snorkel and scuba camps for kids ages 6-18 and The Nakoa Foundation offers day-camps based on sailing, and Hawaiian culture and language focusing on social tolerance and environmental responsibility through the perpetuation of cultural traditions and practices aboard traditional Hawaiian voyaging canoes. To learn more about Malama Kai Foundation.