Sea Technology

JAN 2019

The industry's recognized authority for design, engineering and application of equipment and services in the global ocean community

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16 ST | January 2019 www.sea-technology.com characterized or mapped all of our territorial waters. We continue to make major discoveries, such as this past summer's discovery off the southeast Atlantic coast of an 85-mi.-long, deep coral reef and the NOAA-funded dis- covery of the stern of the World War II-era U.S. destroyer Abner Read off Alaska. Beneath the sea lies tremendous energy, critical minerals, unique biological compounds with pharmaceutical potential and untold chapters of our cultural history. NOAA has a major role to play in exploring, map- ping and characterizing our ocean. This work not only benefits shipping, marine transportation, fishing, ener- gy development and tourism but also national security. This work is advancing new technologies, including un- manned vehicles that can characterize the deep sea in real time and high-resolution images and video. We are examining ways to expand activities related to mapping of our Exclusive Economic Zone, and we are partnering with industry and other ocean nations on Seabed 2030, the international project to map the global seafloor by 2030. World-Class Weather Prediction The health and growth of our nation's blue economy depends upon providing world-class weather forecasts for those on land and at sea. NOAA is taking bold steps to advance our hurricane and overall weather forecast- ing skill. These advancements are already evidenced by the accuracy of forecasts for hurricanes Florence and Michael. NOAA's newest weather prediction tool, the Next Generation Global Prediction System (NGGPS), is dramatically improving U.S. operational weather and hurricane forecasting. Powered by the more efficient Finite-Volume on a Cubed Sphere (FV3) dynamic core, NGGPS is providing a new level of accuracy to weather forecasts. In addition to better modeling and increased comput- ing power, NOAA's major investments in geostationary and polar-orbiting satellites are revolutionizing weather forecasts. This past March, we launched GOES-S, the second in a series of geostationary satellites. Now called GOES-17, the satellite provides faster, more accurate and more detailed data in real time to track storm systems, lightning, wildfires, coastal fog and other hazards affect- ing our West Coast, Hawaii and Alaska. This past May, the first satellite in NOAA's new Joint Polar System be- came operational. It features the best technology NOAA has ever flown in a polar orbit to capture more precise observations of the world's atmosphere, land and waters. In 2019, NOAA will have a full complement of advanced geostationary and polar-orbiting satellite technology in space, setting the stage for faster, more accurate, life-sav- ing weather forecasts. Finally, humans are drawn to the sea for more than economic activity. We go for relaxation, recreation, re- flection and inspiration. NOAA works every day to en- sure our ocean, coasts and beaches are clean, safe and productive places to live, work and play. NOAA's support for a healthy and productive marine environment is fun- damental to the growth of the blue economy. ST The good news is that the blue economy is expand- ing. It grew at 5.7 percent last year, double the growth rate of the rest of the economy. Coastal regions are home to 40 percent of the U.S. population and the U.S. blue economy contributes $320 billion to our gross domestic product. At NOAA, we're working to strengthen the blue economy with a special focus on reducing the nation's $16 billion seafood trade deficit and expanding domestic aquaculture. Boosting Seafood Production The United States leads the world in sustainable fisher- ies management and our domestic fisheries management system has produced great economic and environmental success stories. However, seafood is traded globally, and our domestic fishermen are rarely allowed to compete on a level playing field. We are working to reduce, eliminate and streamline regulations on our commercial fishermen so that they can fish up to the maximum sustainable yield. We are also working with Congress to end the im- portation of illegal, unreported and unregulated seafood through the Seafood Import Monitoring Program. While NOAA works to expand fishing opportunities and access to foreign markets for our wild-caught fishing industry, we know we must do more to develop a viable domestic aquaculture industry. The fact that the U.S. has one of the largest Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) in the world yet ranks 17th in worldwide aquaculture produc- tion highlights our need to do more. NOAA is investing in aquaculture research efforts, recently releasing more than $11 million in grants that support researchers working side by side with the aqua- culture industry to sustainably and wisely expand aqua- culture around our coasts and into our federal waters. Maritime Commerce Another major part of the nation's blue economy involves maritime commerce. Today, more than ever, coastal communities and ports play a vital role in the transport of goods in the global marketplace. Some 99 percent of U.S. overseas trade moves through our ports. With billions of tons of product valued at trillions of dol- lars, even small improvements in our ports' efficiencies have tremendous economic impact. In 2018, NOAA in- stalled precision navigation products in the port of Long Beach, California, where a combination of high-resolu- tion bathymetric surveys of the seafloor and real-time oceanographic and meteorological data on swells, tides, currents, wind, temperature and salinity is now increas- ing the allowable draft for cargo ships to enter the port. The result is that cargo ships can carry up to $2 million in extra product per foot of allowable draft per transit. We are looking to expand precision navigation to ports around the nation, including projects in the Lower Mis- sissippi River and the Port of New York/New Jersey. Ocean Exploration and Mapping With one of the world's largest EEZs, we are truly an ocean nation, but we have not taken full advantage of all the resources at our disposal. We have not fully explored,

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