California News

A microfluidic sensor from Dalhousie (credit: Dartmouth Ocean Technologies Inc. and Sieben Laboratory Dalhousie University)

Environmental DNA Emerging in the Ocean Science Community

Policy Initiative. The executive summary of this gathering made it clear: “eDNA works. Get going.”But what does that mean for technologists? How does this scientific method translate into operational ocean observing? Two research labs, The Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) in California and the Sieben Lab at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia.  among others, have been working to address the question.A field-deployed microfluidic sensor (credit: Dartmouth Ocean Technologies Inc. and Sieben Laboratory Dalhousie University)MBARI has been working in this domain for decades.

MBARI researchers head out into Monterey Bay to deploy a long-range autonomous underwater vehicle (LR-AUV), an underwater robot that is programmed at the surface and then travels underwater for hundreds of miles, measuring water chemistry and collecting water samples as it goes.  Credit: Brian Kieft (c) 2015 MBARI

MBARI Works at Unlocking Ocean Biology

for underwater vehicles to do, because they’re not big enough to store the number of samples that would be needed or carry the laboratory equipment that could do onboard analysis – until now.  A team at Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI), based at Moss Landing, California, has been working on a so-called “ecogenomic” sensor solution for over the last 25 years and it’s now been getting results, as part of multi-vehicle missions on and beneath the surface.Dr. Jim Birch, director of MBARI’s SURF center, says it started with a group interest

Blue whale in the Pacific Ocean. Photo credit: Jessica Morten, Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, National Ocean Service, NOAA

Study: How Changes in Shipping Patterns Affect Whales

.Off the West Coast, ship strikes are one of the biggest risks for fin, humpback, and blue whales. Unlike other studies that assess risk using a single year of ship traffic data, this study looked at multiple years of both ship traffic data and predicted fin, humpback, and blue whale distributions off California.Among the findings, the location of shipping traffic determined risk. Since blue and humpback whales tend to occur nearshore, risk was higher for them when ships traveled close to the coast. Fin whales, however, tend to occur farther offshore so the risk was higher for them in most regions off

(Photo by Scripps Institution of Oceanography)

Coast Guard, Scripps Launch Blue Technology Center of Expertise

The U.S. Coast Guard and Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego will launch the Blue Technology Center of Expertise (COE) on the Scripps Oceanography campus with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and expo in San Diego, Friday.Rep. John Garamendi, Rep. Scott Peters, Rep. Mike Levin, UCSD Chancellor Pradeep Khosla, Port of San Diego Commissioner Marshall Merrifield, Coast Guard Deputy Commandant for Mission Support, Vice Adm. Michael F. McAllister, and the 11th Coast Guard District Commander, Rear Adm. Peter W. Gautier, are scheduled to speak at the event to celebrate the

Photo by Paul Humann, copyright Grouper Moon Project

Conservation for Endangered Reef Fish Yields Results

Nassau Grouper populations increased threefold in response to dynamic fishing management actions in the Cayman IslandsA new study from researchers at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego has documented a successful recovery effort among Nassau Grouper populations in the Cayman Islands thanks to an approach involving government agencies, academic researchers, and nonprofit organizations.The study, published January 6, 2020 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, used a two-pronged approach including tagging and video census data for monitoring

(Photo: Maddie Hunt Photography
/ Armstrong Marine)

Research Vessel Delivered to Orca Maritime

Hunt Photography / Armstrong Marine)The catamaran features a full-width cabin with fly bridge, large aft working deck, hydraulic A-frame (5,000 lb. SWL), Northern Lights 9kw diesel generator, and Garmin/NMEA electronics package. The vessel is well equipped for multi-day operations along the Southern California coast with two interior work stations, a 4-person sleeping cuddy, head with shower, refrigerator/freezer, and 600-gallon fuel capacity.Benthic Cat is powered by twin Volvo Penta D11 510hp inboards paired with Volvo IPS 650 propulsors and Volvo electric steering. Builder sea trials indicated 32mph

(Photo: Aqueos Corporation)

Aqueos Wraps Up Subsea Inspections Offshore California

Subsea services firm Aqueos Corporation announced Friday it recently completed a diving and remotely operated underwater vehicle (ROV) campaign on the US West Coast.The work scope included level III and IV subsea surveys of three large conventional jacket structures off the coast of California as part of an ongoing structural integrity review of the jackets, and included detailed inspection of welds.Both Close Visual Inspection (CVI) and Magnetic Particle Inspection (MPI) methods were used thoughout the jackets, in water depths ranging up to 365 meters. Also included were detailed cathodic potential

Seafloor map showing pockmark and micro-depressions in the seafloor off Big Sur. Image: © 2019 MBARI

Researchers Find Mysterious Seafloor Holes

they termed micro-depressions. The micro-depressions average just 11 meters (36 feet) across and one meter (three feet) deep. They have steeper sides than the pockmarks and are often elongated in one direction.Map showing the locations of some of the pockmarks and proposed wind-farm areas off Central California. Image: © 2019 MBARISeafloor pockmarks have been found elsewhere around the world, and have been associated with releases of methane gas or other fluids from the seafloor. Such methane releases could potentially cause the seafloor to be unstable, which could pose risks for structures such

A reefscape in the highly-protected Jardines de la Reina (Gardens of the Queen), Cuba provides habitat and feeding grounds for large numbers of fish, including top predators like sharks and groupers. (Photo by Amy Apprill, ©Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

How Microbes Reflect the Health of Coral Reefs

change.The study was published in the journal Environmental Microbiology on December 13. Co-authors of the paper include colleagues from CIM-UH, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science, Mote Marine Laboratory, and the University of California, Santa Barbara. For more information, visit Amy Apprill's lab.Funding for this work was provided by OceanX and the National Science Foundation.Nearshore reefs in the heavily-impacted Florida Keys show unhealthier corals and less marine life. This mountainous star coral (Orbicella faveolata)

AOT is working to develop a new port, specifically configured to serve Atlantic Ocean wind projects, on 30 acres along the Arthur Kill tidal strait between Staten Island and New Jersey. 
Boone Davis, President & CEO, Atlantic Offshore Terminals

Offshore Wind: Decisions Needed Sooner, not Later

.  Offshore wind proponents are casually confident in references to employment and economic benefits. Those benefits, though, aren’t inevitable.  Laissez faire may not be enough.The topic of OFW and ports and public sector benefits was part of a critical focus at an October forum in California.  Researcher Robert Collier and a team from the UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education presented results from a paper titled “CALIFORNIA OFFSHORE WIND: Workforce Impacts and Grid Integration.”Collier’s study presents some sobering conclusions from the UK, the

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