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Weekly Highlights

MEMORANDUM

From: Gabrielle Boudreaux Bodin
Subject: Weekly Highlights, USGS National Wetlands Research Center, July 29, 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. NWRC continues to provide on-site geospatial support to the Venice Operational Center. Work is continuing on delineated high-resolution land/water information for LA SCAT team / La Oil Spill Office. (Clint Jeske; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8652)

    Other oil spill-related activity:

    • NWRC received a request for information regarding the Coastwide Reference Monitoring System from the Environmental Unit at the Unified Area Command. The EU is exploring long-term monitoring activities in areas impacted by the oil spill. The EU is looking for "Set Asides," areas where oil clean-up will be minimized or restricted to document natural degradation and decomposition, as well as long and short-term impacts.

    • Researchers continue to work with NRDA trustees on different protocols and work plans. Work plans for raptors, piping plovers, and non-breeding shorebirds have been submitted to BP for comments. BP responded to the Non-breeding Shorebird Plan by requesting the area of study be reduced to areas near where oil has been observed, eliminating surveys in south Texas and south Florida. Trustee response to BP comments is being formulated. BP response the Raptor Work Plan suggested a reduction of scope to include only osprey, eliminating bald eagles and peregrine falcons. Trustees are formulating a response.

  • NWRC Staff and Contractors To Participate in GOMA Workshop: USGS National Wetlands Research Center staff members Linda Broussard, Scott Wilson, and Cassie Thibodeaux and contractors Susan Bergeron and Kathryn Spear will participate in the Gulf of Mexico Alliance Governors' Action Plan II Implementation and Integration Workshop with Pre-workshop Priority Issue Teams Sessions August 3 – 5, 2010, in Biloxi, Miss.  The Priority Issue Team topics and discussions will include coastal community resilience, ecosystem integration and assessment, environmental education, habitat conservation and restoration, managing nutrient inputs and reducing impacts and water quality. This three day workshop is designed to bring the Gulf Coast state resource mangers together to work on the regionally identified major environmental concerns. (Scott Wilson; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8644)

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

  • Associated Press reporter Seth Borenstein interviewed Virginia Burkett, USGS Chief Scientist for Global Change Research, on July 27, 2010, about new research findings published this week in Nature that indicate a global decline in marine phytoplankton productivity. She commented on the importance of marine phytoplankton in the global carbon cycle and how phytoplankton productivity affects both the pace and magnitude of climate change. Plankton, Base of Ocean Food Web, in Big Decline - ABC News (Virginia Burkett; Many, La.; 318-256-5628)

  • Reporter Rick Jervis of USA Today interviewed USGS National Wetlands Research Center scientist Karen McKee on July 28, 2010, for a story about how the oil spill is impacting the wetlands. (Karen McKee; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8662)

 Press Inquiries/Media - Broadcast and Film

  • Update: Mario Masson, science journalist with CBC-MRC Francaise a Montreal, contacted USGS National Wetlands Research Center scientist Tommy Michot on July 1, 2010, to ask questions about Louisiana’s wetlands. Masson is preparing a one hour program about Louisiana’s coast and the oil spill. Michot spoke with the reporter about the importance of Louisiana’s gulf ecosystems. The reporter and his producer would like Michot to accompany them as they film in the bayous and wetlands around Grand Isle, La., at the end of August. Michot and NWRC scientist Clint Jeske are planning to take the reporter out to the Fourchon/Grand Isle, La., area on August 28. (Clint Jeske; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8652)

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