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Marine Resources


May 2014 Issue

NROC, NE Regional Planning Seek Proposals for Assessment
The Northeast Regional Ocean Council (NROC) and the Northeast (NE) Regional Planning Body are seeking proposals for contractor assistance to develop a baseline assessment in support of regional ocean planning.

The project would integrate existing information with data and information being developed through ongoing planning projects into a single written assessment of the region's ecosystem, economy and cultural resources.

The project would also develop a new assessment of the regional marine economy and compile information about trends, best management practices, and other future considerations. The deadline for proposals is May 2, 2014.

NOAA Certifies Companies to Sell Nautical Charts
NOAA's Coast Survey has certified new print-on-demand chart printing agents and given them the flexibility to offer different color palettes, various papers, a cleaner margin as well as a range of services. The information on the charts is still maintained by NOAA, and the charts are corrected with Notices to Mariners up to the week of purchase.

Last October, NOAA announced that it would stop using the government printing and distribution system originally adopted in 1861. NOAA asked private companies to aid the transition from the government-run system to a robust and competitive market for paper nautical charts.

Five companies have now joined the original print-on-demand distributor, OceanGrafix, and the more recently certified East View Geospatial. They are: Frugal Navigator, Marine Press, Paradise Cay Publications, The Map Shop and Williams & Heintz Map Corp.

Coast Survey continues to examine applications from additional companies wishing to become certified as NOAA chart printing agents.

With more chart printing agents, NOAA hopes to encourage competition and ensure fully up-to-date charts are widely available. All charts sold by NOAA-certified agents are NOAA charts, and fully meet navigational standards.

For the last 150 years, the federal government produced nautical charts using lithographic printing presses. Charts for sale were gradually more and more outdated until a new edition was printed. The print-on-demand system allows the changes made by Coast Survey cartographers to reach mariners much faster.

UK Marine Plans to Set Guidance for Sustainability
The Inshore and Offshore East Marine Plans are the first two of 11 Marine Plans the U.K. government intends to complete by 2021. These will eventually set planning guidance for sustainable development in all English coastal waters.

The East Marine Plans designate several areas of high tidal stream resource off the East Yorkshire, Suffolk, and especially Norfolk coastlines where tidal energy development will be prioritized. Other developments in these areas will have to be justified to the Marine Management Organisation (MMO), and any adverse impacts on tidal energy development must be minimized or mitigated.

The East Marine Plans cover the coast and seas from Flamborough Head to Felixstowe, with a major area earmarked for tidal energy development off the Norfolk coast near Great Yarmouth. They also contain similar policies for offshore wind.

The next Marine Plan will cover the South Coast, from Folkestone to Dartmouth.

Pre-Civil War Ship Made Official US Historical Site
The wreck of the ship Robert J. Walker, a steamer that served in the U.S. Coast Survey, a predecessor agency of NOAA's Office of Coast Survey, has been added to the National Register of Historic Places.

The Walker served as survey ship, charting the Gulf Coast in the decade before the Civil War. It also conducted early work plotting the movement of the Gulf Stream along the Atlantic Coast.

Twenty-one men died when the Walker sank in rough seas in the early morning hours of June 21, 1860, 10 miles off Absecon Inlet on the New Jersey coast.

The crew had finished its latest surveys in the Gulf of Mexico and was sailing to New York when the Walker was hit by a commercial schooner off New Jersey. The side-wheel steamer, carrying 66 crew members, sank within 30 minutes. The sinking was the largest single loss of life in the history of NOAA or its predecessor agencies.

Built in 1847, the Walker was one of the U.S. government's first iron-hulled steamers, and was intended for the U.S. Revenue Service, the predecessor of the U.S. Coast Guard. Instead, the Walker and some of its sister steamers were sent to the U.S. Coast Survey, established by President Thomas Jefferson in 1807 to survey the coast and produce the nation's nautical charts.

'The crew of Walker, working from this vessel helped survey and open ports vital to commerce and the national economy before the Civil War,' said James Delgado, director of maritime heritage for NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries.

Desso Joins Healthy Seas Initiative to Recycle Marine Litter
Desso, a global carpets, carpet tiles and sports pitches company, is now participating in 'Healthy Seas, a Journey from Waste to Wear.' The initiative aims to remove marine waste, particularly fishing nets, to create healthier seas and recycle marine litter into ECONYL yarn used for new Desso carpets.

One of Desso's key suppliers is Aquafil, one of the backers of the initiative, which developed the capability to recycle old Polyamide 6 yarn from used carpets and fish nets into new material known as ECONYL yarn.

More than 50 percent of Desso's carpet tiles contain up to 100 percent ECONYL yarn, made from 100 percent regenerated nylon.

According to a report from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN and the UN Environment Program, there are approximately 640,000 tons of abandoned fishing nets in the oceans, accounting for one-tenth of all marine litter. These discarded nets can remain in the sea for centuries where they continue to catch or injure marine life.


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