Sea Technology

JAN 2018

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

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Page 27 of 52 January 2018 | ST 27 Review&Forecast A New Era of Coastal Services By Sandro Carniel Senior Scientist Davide Bonaldo Research Scientist Institute of Marine Science - National Research Council, ISMAR-CNR, Italy Agustín Sánchez-Arcilla Director Laboratori d'Enginyeria Maritima, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Spain T he increasing quality and quantity of information provided by Copernicus, the European Union program funneling Earth observation and in-situ data into a broad set of information services, offer the possibility to an- alyze and predict coastal meteo-oceanographic pro- cesses at an unprecedent- ed level. A decisive step in this direction is presently being supported by the Sen- tinel satellite constellation launched in April 2014 and operational through 2020. The overall fleet comprises a set of six families of devices, each addressing different as- pects of atmosphere, ocean and land monitoring. The image resolution, time coverage and combi- nations of sensors offered by the Sentinel satellite family will provide a unique oppor- tunity to develop the Coper- nicus coastal dimension and to tackle the pressures of increasing population and ac- tivities threatening the sustainability of coastal resources and infrastructures. The combination of ocean/atmosphere/land observa- tions made available in particular from the Sentinel 1, 2 and 3 satellites, aligned with the capabilities of an in- creasing number of high-resolution numerical imaging systems (specifically, coupled atmospheric, wave and current codes) within the Copernicus Marine Environ- ment Monitoring Service (CMEMS) catalog, will enable users to get access to improved representations of the coastal environment. This reflects a new level of understanding (e.g., wave diffraction at coastal "obstacles"), a focus on aspects re- lated to coupling (e.g., incorporating the land discharge into the coastal sea) and will improve the overall reliabil- ity for applications (e.g., hazards for coastal navigation). Already, we have seen how rising sea levels are im- pacting coastal states such as Florida. As extreme weath- er events become more prevalent due to warmer tem- peratures, coastal states are faced with the challenge of having to adapt to this new reality—putting a strain on vulnerable communities that might not have the neces- sary resources. Protecting our coastal resources and marine ecosys- tems makes economic sense. Ocean acidification is a concern throughout the country and globally because of its widespread impacts to our environment and our economy. In 2014, the United Nations released a report that found ocean acidification will cost the world economy more than $1 trillion annually by 2100. In Alaska, where half of the seafood caught in the United States originates, the acidification of the cold water is endangering 70,000 jobs. However, there is bipartisan support in Congress to act. With the support of Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska), I've introduced H.R. 845, the Ocean Acidification Research Partnerships Act. This bipartisan legislation directs NOAA to create a research grant program between the seafood industry and academia to investigate the effects of ocean acidification. My work to combat the impacts of climate change began during my public service at the local level in San- ta Barbara County government. As county supervisor, I helped initiate a program that reduces harmful NOx air pollutant emissions from vessels, as well as prevents fa- tal strikes on whales in Santa Barbara County. Currently, ships account for more than 50 percent of NOx emis- sions in this county. After years of hard work, we reached an innovative partnership between public, private and nonprofit part- ners to reduce ship speeds. In 2014, the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary and the Santa Barbara and Ventura County Air Pollutions Control Districts, along with the Environmental Defense Center and the National Marine Sanctuary, launched a pilot program to incentiv- ize companies to voluntarily reduce their vessel speeds in the Santa Barbara Channel to improve air quality and protect our marine ecosystem. This was an example of what is possible when differ- ent stakeholders work together for environmental prog- ress. It is a model for coming together and finding com- mon ground. In Congress, I look forward to continuing this local progress at the federal level as a co-sponsor of H.R. 3682, the Blue Whales and Blue Skies Act of 2017. This legislation models the Santa Barbara Channel's suc- cessful program to increase air quality and protect ma- rine life by reducing ship speeds. We have many challenges ahead of us, especially as we continue to deal with the widespread impacts of cli- mate change. Preserving our unique ocean and coast- al ecosystems should not be a partisan issue. With this daunting reality, I remain encouraged by my colleagues' willingness to reach across the aisle and acknowledge that we need to find commonsense solutions to keep our oceans thriving. ST

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