North Carolina News

Turtles being Released Photo USCG

USCG Helps Release 130 Sea Turtles

  The Coast Guard assisted with the release of 130 sea turtles Thursday into Gulf Stream waters off the Outer Banks. The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Cushing, along with their family members, assisted North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission personnel in releasing the sea turtles. The rehabilitated sea turtles were among many that experienced cold-water shock along the North Carolina coast in recent weeks. Cushing crew members assisted with the rescue of many of the cold-water shocked turtles last week. “We got word about a week ago that turtles were stranded and they were

Shell Bolsters Offshore Wind Interests with Bid in U.S. Tender

Royal Dutch Shell has been shortlisted by the U.S. government to make a bid for an offshore wind project licence in the waters off North Carolina, as it comes under pressure from shareholders to diversify into green energy. Shell, as well as Norway's Statoil, qualified to participate in the upcoming leasing round offshore Kitty Hawk, the U.S. interior ministry said on Tuesday. The lease award is set for March 16. Shell's core business of producing oil and gas is reeling after more than two years of weak prices. The company has limited experience in building offshore wind farms but last month

(Photo: NOAA)

Average Sized Dead Zone Expected in the Gulf of Mexico

;It is the culmination of a multi-year academic-federal partnership to develop a suite of NOAA-supported hypoxia forecast models. The partnership included teams of researchers at the University of Michigan, Louisiana State University, William & Mary’s Virginia Institute of Marine Science, North Carolina State University and the USGS. Some of these groups are also developing independent forecasts, released in coordination with NOAA and using the USGS data.NOAA and its partners continue to develop additional hypoxia forecast capabilities. For example, new forecasts are being used to evaluate the

(Photo: © malp / Adobe Stock)

BOEM's Jim Bennett Weighs in on US Offshore Renewables

possible and there is a wind resource. We’ve been focusing on that area and since 2009. We have had seven competitive leases and a couple of noncompetitive. In that process we have worked very closely with the states, and we’re now in a position where we have 13 leases (the most recent in North Carolina is still awaiting full execution). In essence we have 13 leases, with at least one lease in every state from Cape Hattaras up to Cape Cod. That is a good foundation to build the program into the future. Our last two sales – one off of New York and one off of North Carolina – were

President of Dredging Operations David Simonelli Photo Great Lakes

Great Lakes Inks M.E., N.C. Coastal Protection Project Deals

dredging services in the United States and a major provider of environmental and infrastructure services, announced today the signing of two subcontracts valued at approximately $55 million for work in the Middle East as well as the receipt of a $38 million award for a coastal protection project in North Carolina. The first subcontract in the Middle East is for a land development project and involves dredging over 7 million cubic meters of material by creating several water circulation channels and pumping the resulting material up to 7,000 meters to its designated reclamation area.  Cutter suction

(Screenshot from U.S. Coast Guard video by Air Station Elizabeth City)

Diver Rescued off North Carolina Coast

A diver in distress was rescued by U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) responders off the North Carolina coast on Sunday.   Crew members aboard the 25-foot diving boat Under Pressure reported to USCG Sector North Carolina watchstanders in Wilmington, N.C. that a diver had surfaced with shortness of breath and dizziness 35 miles south by southeast of Wilmington.   The diver was medevaced by a MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew and brought to Air Station Elizabeth City where awaiting EMS personnel transferred him to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital in Norfolk, Va.   A video of the medevac is available

Dr. Cisco Werner (Photo: NOAA)

NOAA Names Werner Director of Scientific Programs

; Southwest Fisheries Science Center (SWFSC). Cisco brings extensive experience leading scientific efforts in the federal government and previously in academia as Director and Professor of Rutgers University’s Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences and Chairman of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s (UNC-CH) Department of Marine Sciences. While at UNC-CH, Dr. Werner was the George & Alice Welsh Distinguished Professor from 2005-2008. From 2007-2017 he was co-Editor in Chief of the journal Progress in Oceanography.   Cisco’s research has focused on

Photo: Duke University

Drones Detect Sharks in Intercoastal Waters

Researchers from Duke University and UNC-Chapel Hill are testing the ability of drones to detect sharks in coastal waterways.   In a collaborative study funded by North Carolina Aquariums, researchers are examining whether drones can effectively pinpoint bonnethead sharks in different habitats and water conditions.   “We’re really interested in the role that these kind of predators take on in coastal systems,” said Dave Johnston, director of the Unoccupied Systems Facility at Duke’s Marine Lab in Beaufort, North Carolina.   “We’re also really

In an earlier NOAA-funded project, derelict fishing gear and other large marine debris were removed from remote Alaskan shorelines by the Gulf of Alaska Keeper. (Photo: NOAA)

NOAA Backs Marine Debris Removal/Research

; The University of Connecticut ($257,531) will identify what effects microplastic consumption has on oysters, what types of microplastics are most likely to be consumed by oysters, and increase understanding of how microplastics are impacting marine resources.   University of North Carolina at Wilmington ($289,098) will assess if  black sea bass consume contaminated microplastics and if microplastics are being transferred between prey and predator species.   Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution ($192,690) will assess the role of seasonal phytoplankton blooms

Eauligo and the Marine Bees

Machines Infused with AI that Fly, Swarm and Dive

the drone while transmitting the collected information. The drone then drops the pod to another location to start the process again. The SONAR data will be processed as it is obtained via cloud-based servers to generate a bathymetry map.   Prototypes of its heavy lift drone have been tested in North Carolina’s Duke Forest, and the team has been using the ocean off of the North Carolina coast to test pod prototypes to 2,000 meter depth for Round 1 of the contest. It’s truly a team effort: undergraduate students are working on mapping algorithms in a Duke Data+ Summer Program and they are

The German U-576 departs Saint-Nazaire, France, on the Atlantic coast, circa 1940-1942. The submarine was sunk in 1942 by aircraft fire after attacking and sinking the Nicaraguan freighter Bluefields and two other ships off North Carolina. (Credit: With permission from Ed Caram)

WWII Wrecks Found off North Carolina

found within 240 yards A team of researchers led by NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries have discovered two significant vessels from World War II’s Battle of the Atlantic. The German U-boat 576 and the freighter Bluefields were found approximately 30 miles off the coast of North Carolina. Lost for more than 70 years, the discovery of the two vessels, in an area known as the Graveyard of the Atlantic, is a rare window into a historic military battle and the underwater battlefield landscape of WWII. “This is not just the discovery of a single shipwreck,” said Joe

A dynamic array of sensors for NC State’s Center for Marine Science and Technology (CMAST) will aid in valuable data collection. (Photo: SeaRobotics)

SeaRobotics Delivers USV for NC State University

SeaRobotics Corporation has delivered the USV 2.5, an autonomous 2.5 meter unmanned surface vehicle (USV) to the Center for Marine Science and Technology at North Carolina State University.   The USV, built by SeaRobotics, was funded by an award from the National Science Foundation’s Marine Lab Facilities Program. Given the diverse capabilities of the USV, it will be utilized as both an experiential-based teaching tool and to conduct basic and applied research in lake, river, estuary and costal environments.   The USV 2.5 is equipped with a suite of scientific instrumentation that

Lease Sale Proposed for Wind Energy Off North Carolina

A new lease sale has been proposed for 122,405 acres for commercial wind energy leasing offshore North Carolina.     The proposed lease, announced today by U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Director Abigail Ross Hopper as part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, is for the Kitty Hawk Wind Energy Area, which BOEM identified in consultation with its North Carolina Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force and outreach with stakeholders.   “This is an important and exciting milestone in our ongoing efforts to

Sonar image of the German submarine U-576. (Credit: NOAA & SRI International)

Researchers to Visit ‘Battle of the Atlantic’ Wreckage

the research vessel Baseline Explorer, and two manned submersibles.   Underwater robots and advanced remote sensing technology, provided by 2G Robotics and SRI International, will generate bathymetric data and detailed acoustical models of the wrecks and surrounding seafloor. University of North Carolina's Coastal Studies Institute will provide three-dimensional modeling of the wrecks   “This discovery is the only known location in U.S. waters that contains archaeologically preserved remains of a convoy battle where both sides are so close together,” said Joe Hoyt, Monitor

© Steven Frame / Adobe Stock

After Florida, more States Press US for Offshore Drilling Exemptions

efforts to expand oil and gas production offshore. A proposed leasing plan unveiled last week aims to open up all U.S. coasts to drillers over the next five years. Alaska and Maine are the only two U.S. states whose governors have expressed support for the plan.   The governors of Delaware, North Carolina, and South Carolina on Tuesday were seeking meetings with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to press their case that drilling would pose significant risks to coastal tourism, while other state representatives issued sharply-worded Tweets.   "Tourism and recreation along the Delaware coastline

A Coast Guard family member releases a rehabilitated sea turtle from cutter Kodiak Island out of Atlantic Beach, N.C., off the the North Carolina coast, Dec. 15, 2014. The Coast Guard, in cooperation with the North Carolina Resources Commission, released a total of 19 rehabilitated sea turtles into the Gulf Stream off the coast of North Carolina. (Photo by Kevin E Geraghty)

Rehabilitated Sea Turtles Released

The crew of U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Kodiak Island out of Atlantic Beach, North Carolina, in cooperation with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, helped release 19 rehabilitated sea turtles Dec. 15, off the North Carolina coast.   A North Carolina Aquarium employee, NCWRC employee and family of the Coast Guard crew joined the voyage where species of turtle including Kemp's ridley, green and one loggerhead sea turtle were released near the Gulf Stream approximately 40 miles south of Beaufort.   NCWRC confirmed the location as an ideal place to release the turtles.   Ther

Aerial view of Pivers Island Living Shoreline, constructed from salt marsh plants and submerged oyster reef. The marsh was planted in 2000, and has successfully prevented erosion of the lawn behind the marsh. The NOAA Beaufort Lab buildings are behind the Living Shoreline. (Credit: NOAA)

Study: ‘Living Shorelines’ Can Lessen Climate Change Effects

the effects of climate change, according to a recent NOAA study published in the journal PLOS One.   This study, reportedly the first of its kind, measured carbon storing, or “carbon sequestration,” in the coastal wetlands and the narrow, fringing marshes of living shorelines in North Carolina.   “Shoreline management techniques like this can help reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere while increasing coastal resilience,” said Russell Callender, Ph.D., acting director of NOAA’s National Ocean Service. “As communities around the country become more vulnerable

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