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Weekly Highlights


From: Linda Broussard
Subject: Weekly Highlights, USGS National Wetlands Research Center, May 20, 2010  

Departmental/Bureau News - Current

  • NWRC Response to the BP Deepwater Horizon Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill: The staff of the USGS National Wetlands Research Center is assisting with response to the oil spill from the BP Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico.  The Science Response Vehicle has been deployed and is operational at the Venice, La., Operations Center.  NWRC has produced more than 150 maps to support the oil response effort.  These maps have been used by the National Park Service (NPS), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, BP, U.S Navy, and other Federal and State agencies.  This includes maps used by the Louisiana Governor’s Office to identify coastal areas needing protection through boom deployment; maps provided to NPS staff in Mobile, Ala., for briefing the NPS Director; and a series of forecast maps produced using the latest National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration data. [Scott Wilson, NWRC, 337-266-8644]

    Other activities include:
  • The NWRC Coastal Wildlife and Wetland Team led by NWRC scientists Greg Steyer, Hardin Waddle, and Ken Krauss worked with other scientists to develop a series of long-term (2-3 year) study concepts targeting oil spill effects on the distribution, persistence, resiliency, and ecological functioning of coastal wetlands and wildlife along the northern Gulf of Mexico.  Ideas were submitted by 14 NWRC scientists, and will be transformed into a series of integrated proposals by the end of the week.  This information will support the USGS Oil Response Plan. [Ken Krauss, NWRC, 337-266-8882].

  • NWRC wildlife biologists Clint Jeske and Wylie Barrow are in discussions with the Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) Wildlife Team on how to evaluate impacts to marsh birds. [Clint Jeske, NWRC, 337-266-8652]

  • A seagrass team led by NWRC scientist Jacoby Carter is developing a baseline to measure the impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on seagrass and submerged aquatic vegetation beds in the northern Gulf of Mexico.  Working together with NWRC geographer Chris Wells and other colleagues, they will use a variety of on-site sampling and remote sensing approaches to determine the impact of the spill on these important habitats. [Jacoby Carter, NWRC, 337-266-8620]

  • USGS Participation in Coastal Carolina EDRR Training Workshop in Wilmington, North Carolina: On Saturday, May 22, 2010, Dr. Randy Westbrooks, a NWRC scientist based in Whiteville, North Carolina, will co-host a Coastal Carolina Invasive Species Early Detection and Rapid Response (EDRR) Training Workshop in Wilmington, North Carolina.  Other partners in the effort include the North Carolina Exotic Pest Plant Council, the NC Coastal Land Trust, and the NC Coastal Reserve.  The upcoming workshop is a follow up to the EDRR Training Workshop that was held on Seabrook Island, South Carolina, in early February.  As before, the main purpose of the workshop is to train biologists, foresters, land managers, and volunteers (e.g., friends of parks, master gardeners, certified foresters, and sports fishermen) in EDRR concepts.  The long term goal is to develop a State Early Detection and Reporting Network to ensure that new invasive plants are reported to State and Federal officials so that appropriate actions can be taken to prevent their establishment and spread.  More details about the workshop can be found at the Coastal Carolina EDRR Training Workshop Website. [Randy Westbrooks, NWRC, 910-648-6762]

  • NWRC Participation in USGS-USACE Joint Meeting: NWRC Scientist Tom Doyle will give a presentation on Science for Coastal Wetlands Restoration to representatives from the USGS, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, NOAA, and the Bureau of Reclamation. The meeting will be held May 24 in Alexandria, Virginia. [Tom Doyle, NWRC, 337-266-8647]
  • NWRC Scientist Tommy Michot hosted a delegation from the west African country of Ghana on Wednesday, May 19.  Susan Reider from Terra Group and Michelle Michot Foss, Ph.D., Chief Energy Economist and Head, University of Texas Center for Energy Economics (CEE), accompanied the group.  The men are visiting the U.S. to learn about oil and gas development including environmental management and coastal impact mitigation. CEE, at the request of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), will assess the state of the oil and gas sector in Ghana. This assessment will act as a map for developing the infrastructure and expertise to most effectively manage Ghana’s emerging oil and gas industry. < > [Tommy Michot, NWRC, 337-266-8664]
  • USGS Participating in America’s Energy Coast Leadership Hearing: Janine Powell, NWRC Science Center Director, will attend the AEC Leadership Hearing and Forum May 25-26, 2010 in Galveston, Texas.  Powell is on the Advisory Committee for America’s Energy Coast and is a member of the DELTAS2010 Steering Committee.  The AEC meeting will include tie-ins to the DELTAS2010 conference to be held in New Orleans October 17-20, 2010. [Janine Powell, NWRC, 337-266-8501]
  • USGS Participation in Center for Natural Resource Economics and Policy National Forum: NWRC Geographer Adam Baumgart-Getz will attend CNREP 2010, a national forum on socioeconomic research in coastal systems. The conference, which focuses this year on challenges of natural resource economics and policy, will be held in New Orleans, Louisiana May 26-28. [Adam Baumgart-Getz, New Orleans, La., 504-862-1074]

Press Inquiries/Media - Newspapers/magazines/wires, etc.

  • The Daily Advertiser (local Gannet newspaper) May 19, 2010

Broadcast and Film

  • KATC-TV 3 (local ABC affiliate) May 19, 2010

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