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Marine Resources


September 2014 Issue

Application Period Open for 2015 California Marine Fellowships
Applications are being accepted for the 2015 California State Fellows Program through September 17 for graduate students at California higher-education institutions who are interested both in marine resources and in the policy decisions affecting those resources in California. The program provides an opportunity to acquire on-the-job experience in the planning and implementation of marine and/or coastal resource policies and programs in California.

The program matches highly motivated and qualified graduate students and recent graduates with hosts in state or federal agencies in California for a 12-month paid fellowship ($3,500 per month).

This year, 18 fellowships are available, including new opportunities with the Delta Science Program, California Coastal Commission and NOAA Fisheries Office of Aquaculture. Interviews for selection of finalists by California Sea Grant will take place September 22 to October 15.

The matching workshop with hosts and fellowship finalists will take place in November, and the fellowships will begin December 2014 to February 2015.

BOEM Partners With Atlantic States for Coastal Resilience
BOEM and East Carolina University (ECU) in North Carolina signed a two-year agreement totaling $200,000 to evaluate sand resources for coastal resilience and restoration planning.Scientists from ECU and the University of North Carolina Coastal Studies Institute (UNC CSI) will work with the North Carolina Division of Coastal Management and Geodynamics LLC to evaluate and consolidate existing geological and geophysical data offshore North Carolina.

Areas for future resource surveys will also be identified.

BOEM has also signed a two-year, $200,000 agreement with Rhode Island. The University of Rhode Island will map the geology of selected areas offshore to identify and locate potential areas of sand resources, as well as benthic habitat.

The study will also integrate information from the Rhode Island-BOEM Submerged Paleocultural Landscapes study to identify and protect habitat and cultural resources in potential borrow areas.

Additionally, BOEM and Massachusetts have signed a two-year, $200,000 agreement to evaluate sand resources to increase their knowledge of coastal geology and contribute to long-term coastal resilience planning efforts. The University of Massachusetts, Amherst will obtain baseline onshore coastal geologic data to evaluate potential offshore sand resources.

These agreements are part of a series of partnerships with coastal Atlantic states using part of the $13.6 million allocated to BOEM through the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013. The research is expected to help to identify sand and gravel resources for coastal protection and restoration along the entire Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf.

Study Suggests Florida’s Artificial Reefs Should be Better Managed
Beach renourishment projects replace sand lost through erosion with fill from offshore dredges, but the sand often covers neighboring shallow reefs. When coastal cities and counties request beach restoration permits, government requires they restore reefs to make up for the ones that may be lost. It has long been suspected that the timing of deployment, type of material, and shape or depth of artificial reefs are inconsistent and probably not properly compensating for reef loss. This has potentially serious long-term consequences for marine animals.

A seven-year research project by Jacksonville University, the Florida Institute of Technology and other research groups has found, for instance, that young green turtles don’t appear to be using the artificial reefs. They have almost entirely been observed at the shallowest depths of natural nearshore reefs.

Researchers counted only four green turtles on artificial nearshore reefs off southeast Florida during one period in 2012 to 2013, compared to 93 on natural reefs. It could be that the shape of the reef does not allow them to hide as well from predators such as sharks, and that their main food source, algae, varies from that found on the natural reefs.

The research team believes future reefs should be deployed to the shallowest depths possible, and that they be deployed earlier to allow the algae community to develop more to the turtles’ liking.

US Navy’s Baylander IX-514 Open for Tours in Brooklyn
A historic U.S. Navy vessel that was originally deployed during Vietnam and later used to train U.S. helicopter pilots will temporarily dock at Pier 5 of Brooklyn Bridge Park and, for the first time, be open for public tours. In advance of construction of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Marina, the Baylander IX-514 will open for tours to highlight the history of the ship, as well as facilitate the marina’s community boating program. The marina is set to open April 2015. Prior to the start of construction, the Baylander is to serve as the platform for other vessels to access the park, including the Lettie G. Howard, a wooden schooner built in 1893, as well as the John J. Harvey, a retired fireboat built in 1931.

Fishing Association Forms in Tonga to Improve Market
The fishers of Vava’u, Tonga, have formed a fishing association, and the fisheries department of Tonga has agreed to give the organization a building next to the government fisheries office. Tonga fishers have traditionally been using coolers with water to keep fish fresh while at sea. Back onshore, they offload coolers onto the dock, where buyers can browse and purchase. A small blue awning housed the fish market. The new building will enable fishers to easily obtain ice to keep their catch fresh while they are out fishing, and provide them with an enclosed, air-conditioned space to sell their catch. This will allow the fish to stay fresh for longer and will keep bugs away. The freezer means that fishers can save unsold fish and keep it fresh to try selling again the following day. This should improve the conditions of the local fish market.


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