Solution specific articles for Marine, Ocean, Coastal, Science & Information.
Lynker employees Bill O’Toole, Emily Bruton, Luke Brantley, and Mark Tagal attended the Aquaculture America 2020 national conference and exposition in early February 2020. There were over 150 exhibitors and 70 plus sessions covering the latest trends in global aquaculture and burgeoning technologies driving the field. Among the many associations, societies, and companies present, some of innovative ideas put forward regarded native Hawaiian fishing practices, NOAA entanglement simulators, and emerging techniques for micro-algae production.
Lynker is also a key partner to HATCH (hatch.blue) an international accelerator program designed to help aquaculture innovators promote their solutions to customers around the world. Lynker is working with HATCH and the National Energy Laboratory (NELHA) of Hawaii in the Hawaii Ocean Science and Technology park (HOST) to support ongoing research efforts and assist in bringing them to market.
For more information, please contact Liz Tarquin, Lynker VP for our Marine, Ocean, and Coastal Science and Information Group.
Lynker President Joe Linza and Lynker Vice Presidents Jill Meyer and Liz Tarquin were on hand to help NOAA National Ocean Service (NOS) officials hand out NOS Team Member of the Year and Group Team Member Awards for 2019. The following Lynker awardees are being recognized for their outstanding contributions in support of the NOS mission over the past year. Congratulations!
NOS Employees of the Year
Lynker President Joe Linza stopped in to see Lynker employees RADM Sam De Bow (VP) and Katie Fitzenreiter (Oceanographic Data Specialist) who were helping staff the NOAA booth supporting The Office of Coast Survey (OCS) and the Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services (COOPS) at the October 2019 Annapolis, MD Powerboat and Sailboat Shows. These are the Nation’s Largest In-Water Boat Shows. Lynker interacted with the recreational mariner community and answered technical questions about charting and tide products. High praise was received for the work NOAA does to promote the safety of navigation.
There were significant high tides over the weekend and a tropical storm offshore, which pushed water up the Chesapeake Bay, resulting in a lot of people with soggy shoes and wet pant legs asking questions about the tides. The chart below displays the predicted tide (shown in blue) against the measured tides (shown in green).
Lynker HR attended Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment first annual Nic ECO (Explore Career Options) event last week. We met a lot of talented students interested in a career in the environmental field. We identified exciting potential candidates that Lynker is looking for to fill internships and full-time openings in the future.
Lynker Bioacoustician and Marine Mammal Specialist, Eden Zang, recently assisted in deploying deep water acoustic recorders in waters off Maui and Kauai. These passive acoustic recorder packages will be deployed until Spring 2020 to study the presence and distribution of humpback whales in Hawaiian Island Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary (HIHWNMS) waters. The recorders will also monitor other biological and anthropogenic (human-related) sources of sound as part of NOAA’s SanctSound project examining soundscapes across seven national marine sanctuaries and one national marine monument. Eden’s work will contribute directly to NOAA’s nationwide efforts to baseline sound levels and acoustic conditions in the sanctuaries, and measure and model their effects on marine mammals and other living marine resources inhabiting US waters from the Eastern Caribbean to the Western Pacific.
The US Secretary of Commerce recognized NOAA Fisheries’ ESA and MMPA programs with a Gold Medal Award for their contribution to regulatory efficiencies and effectiveness in protecting and sustaining at-risk marine and ocean living resources. The Department of Commerce Gold Medal is the highest honor award of the United States Department of Commerce. Since 1949, the Gold Medal is presented by the Secretary of Commerce for distinguished performance. Particularly noted, Lynker’s Dean-Lorenz Szumylo spearheaded the implementation of the ESA Section 7 Mapper, an interactive, GIS-driven visualization tool NOAA scientists, federal action agencies, and the general public use to help identify ESA-listed species and critical habitats along the East Coast. Dean was previously awarded NMFS Team Member of the Year for his efforts regarding this tool.
The innovative Mapper tool provides a dynamic web interface used to locate areas where Section 7 Consultations are recommended due to the presence of ESA-listed fish, marine mammals, or sea turtles at various life stages, exhibiting specific behaviors (such as migrating, foraging, spawning, rearing, or calving). The Mapper currently covers consultation areas along major waterways and marine zones of the Greater Atlantic Region and is expanding to include the South Atlantic and Eastern Gulf of Mexico later this year. The tool allows users to draw a project site on a map, determine which consultation areas overlap, and generate a detailed report of ESA species found there. In addition to greatly expediting the process of determining whether further consultation with NOAA Fisheries is necessary, the tool has reduced the number of unnecessary consultation requests received and has improved the quality, accuracy, and reliability of data needed to support regulatory compliance.
Version 2 is now out and represents a major update to the underlying Section 7 Consultation Area data. In the new version of the mapper, users now have increased control over the map display. They can toggle individual data layers on and off, rearrange the drawing order of data layers, and use a new tool that easily allows them to “swipe” away the data to view the underlying basemap.
Lynker’s Hideyo Hattori, who serves as site liaison for the NOAA Coral Reef Conservation and Coastal Zone Management programs in American Samoa, is partaking in local Samoan delicacy – palolo worms! These worms are only available for a short time between mid-October and early November and are collected with a net for preparation in many local dishes. Hideyo collected and prepared these worms himself for our jurisdictional workshop here in American Samoa!
Lynker staff at NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management prepared the following story for @NOAADigitalCoast about how coastal managers are collecting valuable data on bat migration in Pennsylvania. Just in time for #Halloween!
Coastal Grant Initiates Bat-Monitoring Towers across Pennsylvania
Approximately 50 monitoring towers provide the “missing link” in bat migration data—a must for Lake Erie offshore planning—and NOAA, the Pennsylvania Coastal Program, and Texas Tech made the first two towers possible.
Until recently, little was known about how and where bats migrate over Pennsylvania’s Lake Erie coastal region. Construction of the state’s first two monitoring towers gave scientists a whole new understanding of Lake Erie bat migration patterns—essential data for conservation and potential offshore wind plans—and led to about 50 towers being built statewide. That state “first” was made possible by NOAA, the Pennsylvania Coastal Resources Management Program, and Texas Tech.
Before tower construction, scientists wondered whether bats on long migrations flew over Lake Erie or remained along the shoreline. A NOAA grant administered by Pennsylvania’s Coastal Resources Management Program enabled Texas Tech to build the first two towers in the coastal zone, install the international MOTUS Wildlife Tracking System, and tag 102 bats digitally during the first fall and spring migration. Data confirmed that the migrating bats flew across Lake Erie in both seasons. Surprisingly, they did not follow a consistent migratory corridor but flew across the lake from many points and pathways.
The funding of the first two towers was the catalyst needed for other organizations throughout the state to invest in scores of additional tracking towers. Tower technology not only fills data gaps in bat research and potential offshore plans but can track birds as well, adding value to the data collection. (2019)
Partners: NOAA, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s Coastal Resources Management Program, and Texas Tech
The shellfish industry depends on harmful algal bloom alerts from Kachemak Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. Lynker’s staff writer at NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management shares the details:
Kachemak Bay Reserve Alerts Thousands to Poisoned Shellfish Dangers
Communicating harmful conditions helps keep shellfish consumers safe.
A harmful algal bloom alert for Alaska’s Kachemak Bay is saving the lives of recreational and subsistence shellfish consumers—thanks to NOAA’s Kachemak Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, which monitors 12 sites for toxic phytoplankton and publishes weekly reports for communities and the state’s shellfish-poisoning communication team. The reports also include mussel toxin-level data from other labs.
In 2015 Kachemak Bay experienced its first harmful algal bloom event in 10 years. As ocean temperatures rise, blooms are expected to occur more frequently. Consumers of bloom-affected shellfish can experience paralytic shellfish poisoning symptoms that include tingling, light-headedness, numbness, and even death. The Kachemak Bay Reserve’s Coastal Training Program brought community partners together to determine how to improve local monitoring and response efforts. Today both goals are being realized.
Recently the reserve’s monitoring program provided a warning about toxic shellfish in Homer Harbor a full week before oyster farms had reached their toxin limit (commercial shellfish in Alaska are monitored and inspected). And the partnership networking component is working, too. A Facebook posting about this event was shared 253 times, reaching 18,373 people in rural Alaska. Unfortunately, six reports of illness potentially tied to this type of poisoning were found, but the impact could have been much worse had it not been for this monitoring and notification effort.
Lives are at stake. Subsistence shellfish harvesting serves a vital nutritional and cultural role for many indigenous Alaskans, especially those in rural areas. According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, rural subsistence users harvest more than 36 million pounds of wild foods annually.
The Kachemak Bay Reserve is supported by NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management through the National Estuarine Research Reserve Program. Their Harmful Species Program receives assistance through three NOAA labs: the Center for Coastal Fisheries and Habitat Research and Center for Environmental Health and Biomolecular Research, both part of the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science; and the Undersea Research Program, part of the Office of Ocean Exploration and Research. (2017)
Partners: Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, National Phytoplankton Monitoring Network, NOAA Center for Coastal Fisheries and Habitat Research, NOAA Center for Environmental Health and Biomolecular Research, NOAA Undersea Research Program, Seldovia Village Tribe, Southeast Alaska Tribal Toxins