Canada Funds Study of Human Impact on Ocean
Canada is implementing a $50.8 million Coastal Environmental Baseline Program to help assess the impacts of human activities on the country’s marine ecosystems.
During the coming years, scientists from Fisheries and Oceans Canada and community partners will collect comprehensive baseline data in six areas of the country where there is existing or potential increasing vessel traffic: Port of Vancouver, BC; Port of Prince Rupert, BC; Lower St. Lawrence Estuary, QC; Port of Saint John, NB; and Placentia Bay, NL. The sixth area will be located in the Arctic.
Studying the current state of these areas will enable better detection of changes in the environment and improvement of understanding of the effects of human activity on the marine environment over time. The data collected from this program will be used when making decisions that could impact sensitive marine habitat and species.
$2.1 Million for Tech To Monitor Giant Kelp Farms
One of the most productive organisms on Earth, giant kelp depends on nutrients from the surrounding water column to maintain its photosynthetic apparatus and maximize growth rates, which can reach 1.5 ft. a day. Such prolific growth makes giant kelp an excellent candidate to replace corn as a biofuel. While this species naturally grows close to shore, it easily could be farmed in deeper waters. This is the focus of a new $22 million U.S. Department of Energy project called Macroalgae Research Inspiring Novel Energy Resources (MARINER), which seeks to develop offshore kelp farms to produce kelp biomass as a novel energy source.
A team of UC Santa Barbara scientists will receive $2.1 million over three years from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy to develop and test technologies that monitor large-scale giant kelp farms. The team will combine and refine existing technology to enable farm managers to carefully monitor kelp beds and maximize yields.
Catalina Sea Ranch has also received MARINER funding of $450,000 as a prime contractor. The company is also the subcontractor on an additional $1,815,529 award to conduct research at its offshore aquaculture facility for developing a seaweed industry for the U.S. The global commercial seaweeds market was valued at more than $10 billion in 2015 and is expected to exceed $22 billion by 2024.
Underwater Metal Detectors For Multiple Applications
Every day, bodies of water are used for recreational purposes, to supply food and drinking water, to help stock natural resource supplies, and to provide a natural habitat for marine life. Sometimes valued possessions from people become lost in these waters, or these waters are used to discard evidence from a crime scene.
An example of a multipurpose underwater metal detector is JW Fishers SAR-1, designed for use by public safety dive teams, law enforcement agencies and military units that need to locate metal objects in underwater environments with poor visibility. The Miramar Police Department Dive Recovery Team utilizes the JW Fishers Pulse 8X with a 10-in. coil. TerraAquatic Inc., specializing in hydrographic surveying, also recently purchased a handheld underwater metal detector from JW Fishers.
QARTOD Updates Manual for Ocean Optics Observations QC
The U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) Quality Assurance/Quality Control of Real-Time Oceanographic Data (QARTOD) Project has updated the “Manual for Real-Time Quality Control of Ocean Optics Observations,” which includes variables such as in-water and above-water radiance and irradiance, beam attenuation, PAR (photosynthetically available radiation) and CDOM (colored dissolved organic matter).
The content for this and other QARTOD data quality control manuals originates with a diverse community of ocean-observing experts with extensive knowledge of the variable being addressed.