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A seal watches as the Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star steams through thick ice floes near Antarctica towards the U.S. National Science Foundation’s McMurdo station, Jan. 8, 2018. The crew of Polar Star will attempt to break through more than 15 miles of ice in McMurdo Sound, sometimes as much as 10 feet in thickness, to resupply NSF facilities there during Operation Deep Freeze. ODF is the U.S. military’s contribution to the NSF-managed, civilian U.S. Antarctic Program, and one of the most difficult U.S. military peacetime missions due to the harsh environment in which it is conducted. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Ens. Christopher Popiel.

Science

Antarctica. It’s an ice desert full of wonder, mystique and beauty. Its harsh conditions are home to a select few animal species and a few hundred researchers and support personnel, and occasionally, the 150 crew members of the Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star.

Most microplastics come from bigger items – many of them only used once. Photo credit: NERC.

Science

Four days since leaving port, Dr Katsiaryna Pabortsava reaches her destination. She's in the middle of the North Atlantic, thousands of miles from land, and she's looking for microplastics.

Inspired by the real tuna, BIOSwimmer™ is designed for high maneuverability in harsh environments, with a flexible aft section and appropriately placed sets of pectoral and other fins.

Science

The ocean is a great place to start learning about the development of robotic technology. Robots perform a variety of tasks, from raising fish to analyzing shipwrecks, and are helping marine biologists, water engineers, landscape developers, and even the police do their jobs better.

NASA's GRACE satellites (artist's concept) can measure Atlantic Ocean bottom pressure. In 2009, this pattern of above-average (blue) and below-average (red) seafloor pressure revealed a temporary slowing of the deep currents. Photo courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech.

Science

A new paper in the journal Geophysical Research Letters suggests that redistribution of the total ocean mass from ice mass loss and land water storage is causing “the ocean bottom to subside elastically.”

Eric Schott (right) and his graduate student, Matt Spitznagel, take a blood sample from a crab at Phillips Wharf Environmental Center on Tilghman Island. Photo credit: Rona Kobell.

Science

All year long, hundreds of crab legs arrive in the mail at Baltimore’s Columbus Center, home of the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology.

One of the standardized measurements taken at all CARICOMP Caribbean monitoring sites is water turbidity, an indicator of water quality. Decreases in visibility were most likely where human populations increased the most. Photo credit: Karen Koltes.

Science

Forty percent of the world's 7.5 billion people live in coastal cities and towns. A team including Smithsonian marine biologists just released 25 years of data about the health of Caribbean coasts from the Caribbean Coastal Marine Productivity Program (CARICOMP).

A community meeting in Napoleonville, Louisiana, on the Bayou Bridge pipeline on 8 February, 2017, where residents voiced opposition to the project. Photo courtesy of Emily Kasick.

Regulation

Representing the interests of people who use, visit, study and rely on the Atchafalaya Great River Swamp, several groups have asked a Louisiana federal district court to vacate a recent decision by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) that would allow the controversial Bayou Bridge pipeline to be constructed through the Atchafalaya Basin and through hundreds of Louisiana’s streams, rivers, lakes, wetlands and bayous.

American Petroleum Institute (API) President and CEO Jack Gerard released a statement on Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s announcement to remove the Eastern Gulf of Mexico from the recently released five-year offshore oil and natural gas leasing plan. API is a national trade association representing the oil and natural gas industry.

ROV KIEL 6000, an electrically powered work class vehicle operated by GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research, holds a manganese nodule with associated fauna. The ROV is manufactured by Schilling Robotics and has an operational depth rating of 6000 m. Photo courtesy of GEOMAR.

Regulation

A new paper published in the journal Frontiers in Marine Science explores topics relating to the exploration and exploitation of seabed mineral resources, including the current state of development, possible environmental impacts, and the uncertainties and gaps in scientific knowledge and understanding about such impacts.

On 4 January 2018, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced BOEM’s Draft Proposed Program (DPP) for development of the nation’s oil and gas resources in the outer continental shelf (OCS), including opening up lease sales in the Atlantic for the first time since 1983, the Pacific for the first time since 1984, in the eastern Gulf Mexico for the first time since 1988, and in areas of Alaska that have been withdrawn since 2014.

The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA), the united voice of America’s ports, was pleased that several important tax related policy priorities were addressed in the final “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” legislation passed today by Congress. These included provisions related to tax-exempt bond financing and wind energy production tax credits.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has released the Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for proposed oil and gas Lease Sales 250 and 251.

MaRINET2 provides free access to a network of offshore renewable testing facilities, such as this testing basin for wave and offshore wind devices at the Lir National Ocean Test Facility, which operates within the MaREI Centre at University College Cork in Ireland.

Opportunity

The EU-funded MaRINET2 project launched its second call for applications on 15 January 2018. Successful applicants will receive free access to a world-leading network of testing and research infrastructures. The call is open to offshore energy technology developers, including wind, wave and tidal energy at system and component level. It is open until 28 February 2018.

BOEM is beginning to formulate its FY2019 Environmental Studies Development Plan covering all BOEM energy and minerals activities, and invites your input in identifying potential study ideas for consideration on Alaska, Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico and Pacific OCS areas.

Location: O’Fallon, Missouri (St. Louis)

Closing Date: 01/29/2018

Have you conducted innovative research for the marine field that you'd like to present to a broad audience?

Julia Gorton, an Explorer-in-Training who worked at the College of Charleston Geology Department’s Visualizations Lab in Charleston, South Carolina, analyzing the ocean floor using data collected from NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer. Photo courtesy of NOAA.

Opportunity

The 2000 President’s Panel on Ocean Exploration Report, Discovering Earth’s Final Frontier: A U.S. Strategy for Ocean Exploration, calls for a national ocean exploration program to “train the next generation of ocean explorers."

The SKYF drone, designed by Russian company ARDN technology, has a maximum flight speed of 70 kilometers per hour (43.5 miles per hour) at a maximum height of 3,000 meters (9,843 feet).

Products

SKYF is an unmanned aerial carrier platform for vertical take-off and landing. Designed by the Russian company ARDN technology, it can be modified for various tasks – from cargo logistics to fire extinguishing. Currently, the carrying capacity of the platform is up to 250 kg, its flight range is up to 350 km (with a carrying capacity of 50 kg) and its flight duration is up to 8 hours (with a carrying capacity of 50 kg).

Photographs from the GIWW Shoreline Restoration Project from 2015 and 2017. The project has stabilized the shoreline and grown healthy vegetation over the recycled plastics matrix.

Products

In what may offer lasting promise for wetland restoration projects across the Gulf Coast, an assessment by the America's WETLAND Foundation (AWF) at the two-year mark of a project to secure the shoreline embankment along the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GIWW) near LaRose, Louisiana, provides a snapshot into future opportunities for private sector restoration of wetlands.

Teledyne TSS, a division of Teledyne Marine, announces the expansion of its market leading range of subsea pipe and cable detection and tracking products with the launch of the new smaller HydroPACT 660 pipe tracking system.

For over 15 years Eltima has been developing and implementing serial, USB, and network solutions that work over any distance and on various operating systems. This gives clients much needed flexibility in developing their own software and hardware solutions and is significance in remote usage, such as during offshore surveys, inspections, and drilling operations.

Marine Imaging Technologies (MITech), a leader in developing state-of-the-art underwater optical imaging platforms, today introduced Pixel, the first Cinema Class remotely operated vehicle, or ROV. Pixel is a multi-camera underwater filming and exploration platform that will facilitate deep water and coastal storytelling unlike ever before, enabling storytellers to record cinema quality images while minimizing the associated hazards and costs.

RS Aqua have supplied three fast response RBRmaestro CTDs with integrated Turner Designs fluorometers to Bangor University for a long term coastal observatory project measuring high resolution oceanographic, meteorological and water quality data parameters around the coast of North Wales.

CSA Ocean Sciences Inc. (CSA) is expanding its operations in Trinidad and Tobago. CSA Ocean Sciences (Trinidad) Limited, will be led by Ms. Candice Leung Chee, Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Carlyle Kalloo, Director, and Mr. Rameez Persad, Operations Manager. The expanded executive team brings decades of collective experience in the field of marine operations and environmental impact assessment associated with coastal and offshore projects.

Nautilus is the first company to explore the ocean floor for polymetallic seafloor massive sulphide deposits. Nautilus was granted the first mining lease for such deposits at the prospect known as Solwara 1, in the territorial waters of Papua New Guinea, where it is aiming to produce copper, gold and silver.

Companies

Nautilus Chairman Resigns

Fugro has been honored with an Environmental Leadership Award from The Maritime Alliance, a California-based non-profit organization that promotes sustainable, science-based ocean and water industries. The recognition was received in San Diego during the organization’s BlueTech Week, an international gathering of over 485 marine professionals from academia, government, and industry.

Exxon offshore natural gas production platforms in Gulf of Mexico near coast of Dauphin Island, Alabama (February 2014).

Companies

In a filing with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission on 11 December 2017, Exxon Mobil Corporation made an open commitment concerning the reporting of its climate change policies. In the filing, they wrote, “the Board has decided to further enhance the Company’s disclosures . . . and will seek to issue these disclosures in the near future.

The Wello Penguin – For over 10 years, Wello has been developing a device that captures the energy from passing waves. The 10 MW wave energy park will be the largest in the world.

Companies

The Finnish clean energy company Wello has received its’ first order for a commercial wave energy park, which captures energy derived from ocean waves. The electricity produced from the park will have zero emissions.

Pictured from left to right are: Ducks Unlimited volunteers Rusty Legg and Bill Ansell; ConocoPhillips Chairman and CEO Ryan Lance and Phil Precht, director-Coastal Wetlands; and DU volunteer Jim Grant.

Companies

Representatives of Ducks Unlimited visited ConocoPhillips headquarters recently to meet with Chairman and CEO Ryan Lance to deliver the inaugural Ducks Unlimited Corporate Conservation Achievement Award.