Florida News

A new study uses a method of tracking the strength of near-shore ocean currents from a distance via measurements of coastal sea level. (Photo by Carol Anne Clayson, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

Florida Current is the Weakest Its Been in a Century

The Florida Current, which forms the start of the Gulf Stream, has slowed over the past century and is the slowest it has been at any point in the past 110 years, a new study reveals.Researchers have developed a method of tracking the strength of near-shore ocean currents using measurements made at the coast, offering the potential to reduce one of the biggest uncertainties related to observations of climate change over the past century.“In the ocean, almost everything is connected,” said Christopher Piecuch, an assistant scientist in the Physical Oceanography Department at the Woods Hole

(Photo: Evergreen Forest Products)

The Benefits of Sustainable Marine Lumber

, an explosion of the oil drilling rig, the Deepwater Horizon, would surpass the volume of oil spilled by the Valdez, releasing over 200 million gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico over a period of 87 days, affecting some 16,000 miles of coastline in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.For any marine-based operation, including marinas, these and other ecological crises led to increased regulation and expected due diligence relating to operations, as well as marina site planning, design and construction. In addition to operations and management policies instituted under the Coastal

(Photo: Jack Rowley)

USVs: A Solution for Inspecting Dams and Guarding Waterways

the dam. This made an appropriately equipped USV the ideal solution to examine the dam and provide precise underwater structural imaging.Due to the age of the Keokuk Dam, as well as the high-risk to divers due to strong currents and eddies, the facility’s owner and operator contracted with a Florida unmanned surface vehicle manufacturer, Maritime Tactical Systems (MARTAC) Inc., to conduct a comprehensive survey of the underwater portions of this dam. MARTAC produces a family of MANTAS unmanned vessels built on a catamaran hull. Ameren Missouri selected a twelve-foot MANTAS for this underwater

Graphic representation of the exercise; met-ocean data collection operations running concurrently with simulated threats, detection and mitigation assets. Image from ION.

Autonomous ANTX: Seismic Survey Tech and Port Security

underwater vehicles (UUVs), including Remus and Riptide UUVs. Atlas Electronik’s Cerberus was used to detect the threats, while their SeaFox fiber optic guided mine countermeasure tool was used to intercept and inspect them and a Stingray capture net from Marine Arresting Technologies from Florida was also deployed. Approximately twenty people from companies and Navy groups took part. A CONOPS (concept of operations) plan was decided and setup in Marlin which also monitored assets and threats in the operations zones.Detecting Divers & UUVsThe idea was to have a diver or UUV enter the

Deepwater Horizon burning in April 2010. Image by US Coast Guard

What Did Scientists Learn from Deepwater Horizon?

.“Now we have a better sense of what we need to know,” Kujawinski says. “Understanding what these environments look like in their natural state is really critical to understanding the impact of oil spill conditions.”Additional authors of the review are chemist Ryan P. Rodgers (Florida State University), and microbiologists J. Cameron Thrash (University of Southern California, Los Angeles), David L. Valentine (University of California Santa Barbara), and Helen K. White (Haverford College)

(Image: MetOcean Telematics )

New Drifter Buoy Tracks Water Currents

MetOcean Telematics has developed the STOKES Iridium tracking drifter, a compact drifting buoy designed and tested in technical partnership with Florida State University (FSU) that tracks water currents at the surface.The small light-weight buoy is equipped with Iridium satellite telemetry, GPS positioning and a sea surface temperature sensor. Iridium satellite telemetry enables the buoy to provide vital sensor and geo-positional location data in real time. Iridium also allows the buoy to have bi-directional capabilities. This is a critical ability, for example, if the buoy enters a region of interest

Kraken's SeaVision 3D Underwater Laser Scanner integrated onto the Greensea Hull Crawler, with foam to maintain neutral buoyancy (Photo: Kraken)

Kraken, Greensea Partner to Advance Marine Robotics

and Greensea hardware products, including the newly developed Greensea Hull Crawler system. The first phase of this work was completed in February 2020, with the integration of Kraken’s SeaVision 3D RGB Underwater Laser Scanner into a prototype of the Greensea Crawler. The system was fielded in Florida and demonstrated inspections of a real-world vessel."The partnership we have signed is very significant. It is a relationship formed between the most disruptive, agile, and aggressive technology developers in the industry," said Ben Kinnaman, CEO of Greensea. “Greensea’s powerful

Photo: JW Fisher

JW Fishers Helps to Uncover History

In November of 2018, two  archaeological maritime discoveries were made near the Upper Florida Keys by individuals who federal scientists lauded for reporting, rather than disturbing, their finds. Jennifer Kerr, owner of Sailfish Scuba, mile marker 103.1, was exploring the Hannah M. Bell shipwreck near Key Largo when she noticed a cannon on Elbow Reef that is now believed to be nearly 200 years old. The find comes the same month that Homestead commercial trap fisherman Jose Antonio Lopez Ruiz was looking overboard from his vessel and spotted what turned out to be the wooden wreckage from an

SOI Executive Director Dr. Jyotika Virmani (Photo: XPRIZE)

Schmidt Appoints Virmani as Executive Director

and innovation make her an ideal addition to our team.”“We place the highest priority on finding the best talent, and we’ve found an exceptional leader in Dr. Virmani,” said Eric Schmidt, co-founder of Schmidt Ocean Institute.Virmani previously worked as associate director of the Florida Institute of Oceanography and as a senior scientist at the Met Office, the United Kingdom’s national weather service.She has a bachelor’s degree in physics from Imperial College London, a master’s degree in atmospheric and marine environmental science from the State University

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