ANAMAR News

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Is “Data” a Singular or a Plural Noun?

 

Data

In modern writing and speech (e.g., newspapers, magazines), the word data is often used with a singular verb.  However, datum is the singular form of this noun and needs a singular verb (e.g., is, was) and data is the plural form, which requires a plural verb (e.g., are, were).  Although this topic has been debated at length, the scientific community tends to prefer the stricter interpretation that data is always to be treated as a plural noun.

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ANAMAR Employee Spotlight Questionnaire: Nadia Lombardero

 

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Ms. Lombardero is ANAMAR's owner and President. She has been working with various governmental agencies and managing a variety of large, complex environmental projects since 1991. She has a B.S. in Chemistry from Texas A&M University and an M.S. in Analytical Chemistry and Toxicology from the University of Florida. Her areas of expertise include sediment chemistry and toxicology, organic chemistry, QA/QC protocols, business administration and business development, project management, laboratory and field audits, and analytical data interpretation. 

Q: How long have you worked at ANAMAR?

  • Since 2000

Q: What is your title at ANAMAR?

  • Owner, President

Q: What do you like most about your job?

  • Helping people

Q: What has been your favorite project/task at ANAMAR and why?

  • Field surveys- I enjoy the outdoors and the challenge

Q: Before working at ANAMAR, what was the most unusual or interesting job you've ever had?

  • Being Donald Duck

Q: When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

  • A veterinarian

Q: Finish this sentence: "Something you may not know about me is...."

  • I love climbing trees and playing arborist.

Q:  Describe what you were like at the age of 10.

  • Way too serious and studious

Q:  Who is your favorite musician or band?

  • Too many to name, depends on the day and my mood

Q:  Do you have any pets? If so, what kind of pet/pets and what are their names?

  • Just lost my beloved kitty of 20 years...Bianca

Q:  If you could take a free vacation to anywhere in the world, where would you go?

  • Tibet

Q:  What are 3 of your favorite hobbies outside of work?

  • Cooking
  • Climbing (almost any type of climbing)
  • SCUBA diving

Q:  If you could be an ocean dweller for a day which type of sea creature would you be?

  • Dolphin

Q:  What is the first thing you would buy if you won the lottery?

  • Establish scholarship funds and help educate people about the need to sustainably protect our environment.

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Plastic Consumption in Burrow-Nesting Seabirds

 

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Dimethyl Sulfide (DMS) the “Dinnerbell”

Research conducted at the University of California offers new evidence as to why burrow-nesting seabirds are driven to consume plastic. During these studies, scientists began to focus on DMS, a highly sulfuric infochemical formed during the enzymatic breakdown of dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) in marine phytoplankton. Scientists noted that in pelagic ecosystems, the amount of DMS increases while zooplankton are grazing on phytoplankton, which in turn triggers foraging responses throughout the marine food chain.

Marine Exposure on Plastic

Through a series of analyses, scientists tested the sulfur signature of the three most common types of plastic beads before and after marine exposure: high-density polyethylene (HDPE), low-density polyethylene (LDPE), and polypropylene (PP). Using solid-phase microextraction (SPME), gas chromatography (GC), and a sulfur chemiluminescence detector (SCD), scientists concluded that plastics that weren’t exposed to saltwater had no DMS (sulfuric) signature; however, a DMS signature was detected on every sample that had been exposed to saltwater for 1 month.

Plastic Ingestion in Seabirds

Scientists began to compare plastic ingestion in seabirds that are DMS-responsive and seabirds that are nonresponsive to DMS and noted that DMS-responsive seabirds have a significantly greater plastic ingestion rate than birds that are nonresponsive to DMS. Scientists also studied plastic ingestion rates in both burrow-nesting seabirds and surface-nesting seabirds and noted that burrow-nesting seabirds illustrated a significantly higher frequency of plastic ingestion. In turn, the data combined suggest that burrow-nesting seabirds (such as the procellariform seabirds or the albatross) have a higher frequency of plastic ingestion because they are DMS-responsive.

More information concerning this study can be found in Science Advances Magazine at http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/2/11/e1600395.full

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In Celebration of International Women's Day, ANAMAR Commends The ‘Black Mamba’ (an All-Female Unit Working in South Africa) For Their Successful Anti-Poaching Efforts

 

Getting to Know the Black Mamba

The Black Mamba is a private anti-poaching unit (APU) founded in 2013 by Transfrontier Africa with initial duties to protect the Olifants West Region of South Africa’s Balule Nature Reserve. It has since expanded to protect all of the Balule Reserve. The Balule Reserve is on the western side of South Africa’s famous Kruger National Park, a park that is home to many protected species such as rhinos, elephants, lions, zebras, pangolin, buffalo, giraffe, hippos, cheetahs, leopards, crocodiles, and many more. The Mamba consists of 26 women from disadvantaged communities bordering the park. They have undergone 6 weeks of paramilitary training and wildlife education and now work alongside 23 armed guards and an intelligence team to protect 40,000 hectares (approx. 154 sq. miles). Typical tasks include walking several miles a day patrolling perimeter fences, searching for signs of poachers, reporting animals that have been poached, searching for and dismantling traps, installing wildlife tracking collars, and helping care for animals that have been injured or were separated from their mothers. Typical working conditions can be physically demanding, with temperatures typically reaching upwards of 100°F. The Mambas also work among potentially dangerous wildlife and hostile poachers. Their job doesn’t stop when they leave the Reserve Mambas also conduct the Bush Baby Environmental Education Program, an environmental awareness program that is currently integrated into several local primary schools that reach several hundred students. The program’s objectives are to educate the youth about their surrounding ecology and give them a better understanding of conservation by raising awareness of their environment and instilling better environmental problem-solving skills that will serve them well as environmental caretakers for South Africa’s future.

 

The Black Mamba Success Story

Six months prior to formation of the Black Mambas APU, 16 rhino fatalities occurred within the Balule Reserve. Within 12 months after the Mambas began patrolling, the reserve had only three rhino fatalities. Since this APU formed, the Balule Reserve has reported a 76% decline in snaring and poisoning activities. The success of the Black Mambas has not gone unnoticed. Last year the Mambas received the Champions of the Earth award , the UN’s highest environmental honor awarded to those showing tremendous courage in the fight against the illegal wildlife trade. This year the Mambas will receive the Innovation of Conservation award from the UK charity Helping Rhinos. The award is given in recognition of the Mambas’ “inspiring and innovative approach” that has yielded such positive results in protecting the rhino. The UN and Helping Rhinos aren’t the only organizations to recognize the Mambas’ success. South Africa’s National Parks Authority is planning to replicate the Black Mamba model, with plans for another team of six female rangers.

 

Why Has Poaching Become a Problem?

In an article with The Guardian, Felicia Mogakane, a Mamba member, states:  

“Firstly, poaching was for bushmeat. People say ‘we don’t have jobs so we must go inside the reserve and poach some impala so that we can sell it and get some money to buy groceries for our family’. In most cases now, people come in for rhinos, because they want to get rich, drive some fancy cars, and build a nice house.”

In the same article with The Guardian, Siphiwe Sithole, another Black Mamba member, states:

“Some of the people who are doing these things went to school with us … you come to ask yourself ‘why are they doing this? Why has this person turned his mind to become a killer? To destroy our nature?’ It feels very sad and what they are doing is very wrong.”

“Before we started it, people were not aware, but now we teach the kids and they go back home and send the messages to their parents. They might know now that if they continue to do this we might end up without any rhino.”

 

How Can We Help?

Each Mamba receives a salary but also relies on donations from organizations such as Sponsor a Black Mamba for compensation. There are also other donation campaigns as well as several sponsors and partners that aid in keeping proper funds available for the Black Mambas to continue having necessary equipment in the field and enough funds to continue offering their environmental education courses to the youth. Giving money is one of many ways to support these trail-blazing women with their efforts in conservation. Perhaps simply sharing their inspirational story may give rise to other courageous conservation efforts.

 

 

Sources:

http://www.blackmambas.org/

http://balule.krugerpark.co.za/Balule_Travel_Guide-Travel/Balule_Travel_Guide.html

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/feb/26/the-all-female-patrol-stopping-south-africas-rhino-poachers

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ANAMAR Employee Spotlight Questionnaire: Paul Berman

 

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Mr. Berman has a Bachelor's degree in mathematics from the University of Florida. He worked in an environmental laboratory from 1986 until 2008, when he joined the staff at ANAMAR full time. He has extensive knowledge and experience in physical and chemical analyses in water quality testing, data review and validation, quality assurance/quality control, laboratory standard operating procedures, laboratory auditing, project management and environmental regulations. 

Q: How long have you worked at ANAMAR?

  • 10 years

Q: What is your title at ANAMAR?

  • Quality Assurance Officer

Q: What do you like most about your job?

  • Knowing that it is beneficial to a lot of people, helping both economic development and the environment.

Q: What has been your favorite project/task at ANAMAR and why?

  • Charleston Post 45 Widening and Deepening, since it was a very big and important project.

Q: Before working at ANAMAR, what was the most unusual or interesting job you've ever had?

  • I only had one other real job before ANAMAR, I was an analyst, QA Officer and Project Manager at an Environmental Laboratory in Gainesville.

Q: When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

  • An astronaut

Q:  Finish this sentence: “Something you may not know about me is…”.

  • I was in the Gator Marching Band in college.

Q:  Do you have any pets? If so, what kind of pet/pets and what are their names?

  • Cat-Brian
  • Cat-Setzer

Q:  If you could time travel, to what place AND time would you go and why?

  • July 20, 1969, to see the moon landing of Apollo 11.

Q:  If you could own a plot of land anywhere in the world, where would it be?

  • I already own it in High Springs, FL., where I live.

Q:  If you could be an ocean dweller for a day which type of sea creature would you be?

  • A dolphin or maybe a kraken, depending on the day!

Q: What is the first thing you would buy if you won the lottery?

  • I would pay off my house!

Q: What's your favorite childhood memory?

  • High school band competition my sophomore year.
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ANAMAR Employee Spotlight Questionnaire: Tessie Cake

Tessie Cake is the Chief Canine Officer at ANAMAR. She specializes in the development of visitor relations with office guests and diligently enforces routine employee exercise breaks. Although Tessie is a buddy to all she takes her job very seriously and shows no favoritism when tasking out commands for idle hands periodically throughout the day; especially, during faculty meetings.

Q: How long have you been hanging around ANAMAR?

  • Papa has brought me in to work daily since about 2008, when I ran away from his house near Gainesville and ended up about 60 miles away near the ocean in Cedar Key.

Q: What is your title at ANAMAR?

  • CCO (Chief Canine Officer)

Q: Which ANAMAR employee belongs to you?

  • They all do!

Q: What breed are you?

  • Something black and white, possible border collie except that I have no herding instinct whatsoever and I see no reason why I should try to catch a Frisbee.

Q: How old are you?

  • No one really knows how old I am but the vet thinks I am about 13.

Q: What are some of your favorite things to do while in the office?

  • Sleep
  • Demand to go out
  • Check for handouts in the kitchen
  • Sleep
  • Demand to go out
  • Check for handouts in the kitchen

Q: Finish this sentence: “Something you may not know about me is…”

  • I’ve been shot before and I have a piece of buckshot lodged in my abdomen.

Q: Describe what you were like as a puppy?

  • I wandered around lost in Arizona where I broke my front shoulder and got shot before some nice lady found me in a grocery store parking lot, took me home, nursed me back to health and brought me to Florida.

Q:  What are some of your favorite hobbies in your down time away from the office?

  • Exploring new places so far from home that papa has to come find me and bring me back.
  • Chasing those evil squirrels.

Q:  What treat should someone bring as an offering to strengthen your buddy ship?

  • Salmon is my favorite but anything that isn’t a vegetable product will do!

Q:  How do you think your papa would describe you in 6 words?

  • She who doesn’t listen to me.

 

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Gainesville Hosts 3rd Annual “Great Invader Raider Rally”

coral ardisia

This Saturday, January 28, from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm, the City of Gainesville will host the 3rd annual “Great Invader Raider Rally”. The rally is a 1-day volunteer-powered event to remove trash and non-native invasive plant life from around Gainesville’s city parks. The first portion of the event will be the clean-up effort and will take place from 9:00 to 11:00 am in pre-selected natural areas around Gainesville. The second portion of the event will be the celebration and will take place from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm at Morningside Nature Center. The celebration will feature live music from local band “Wax Wings” as well as prizes from local businesses to honor the top volunteers of 2016. All volunteers in this event must be registered. Registration ended January 27 with a whopping 913 participants registered! As a thank you, all participants will receive a commemorative Raider Rally t-shirt designed by local artist Molly Kempson and will feel gratified in knowing that local plant life now has a better chance to prosper.

The “Great Invader Raider Rally” is part of the “Gainesville Greenway Challenge” (GGC), a community/volunteer based invasive species removal effort, with participants meeting the first Saturday of every month. GGC funding is provided by a grant from Environmental Solutions for Communities, which is a $15 million 5-year initiative launched in 2012 by Wells Fargo Bank and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF).

“We are excited to have 913 volunteers to help remove extensive amounts of Coral ardisia tomorrow morning! With this many volunteers we can really put a dent in the invasive species population, which will allow our native ecosystems to thrive once again!”

-Kentucky Costellow

Recreation Leader

Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department

City of Gainesville

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ANAMAR Employee Spotlight Questionnaire: Terence “Terry” Cake

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Terry Cake is the Senior Engineer and Vice President of ANAMAR. He has been working in the fields of water resources, environmental engineering, and permitting with federal, state, and local agencies since 1992. He has a B.S. in Environmental Engineering from the University of Florida and an MBA from Colorado State University and is a registered Professional Engineer in Florida, Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi. His areas of specialization include hydrology, surface water quality, water and wastewater treatment, environmental biology, coastal and estuarine ecology, geology, environmental chemistry, surveying, dredged material management, permitting and compliance, technical writing, data and business management and project management.

Q: How long have you worked at ANAMAR?

  • Since 2003

Q: What is your title at ANAMAR?

  • Vice-President, Senior Engineer, Project Manager

Q: What do you like most about your job?

  • Field work and winning contracts!

Q: What has been your favorite project/task at ANAMAR and why?

  • San Juan 103, because of the added challenge and variety of working in Puerto Rico.

Q: Before working at ANAMAR, what was the most unusual or interesting job you've ever had?

  • Unusual: Chicken farm worker
  • Interesting: Consulting Engineer in Cairo, Egypt

Q: When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

  • An astronaut

Q:  Who is your favorite musician or band?

  • Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

Q:  Do you have any pets? If so, what kind of pet/pets and what are their names?

  • Dog-Tessie the ANAMAR CCO (Chief Canine Officer)

Q:  If you could take a free vacation to anywhere in the world, where would you go?

  • Antarctica

Q:  What are 3 of your favorite hobbies outside of work?

  • Air boating, travel, fishing/diving

Q:  If you could time travel, to what place AND time would you go and why?

  • Orange Lake, Florida pre-Columbus – just to see what it looked like then.

Q:  What is the first thing you would buy if you won the lottery?

  • A new airboat

Q:  What is your favorite childhood memory?

  • Working on tractors with Grandpa

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Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) Partner with Fishbrain APP Users to Track Florida Nonnative Freshwater Fish

 

In an effort to utilize the age of technology, FWC has partnered with the U.S. Florida Fish Wildlife Services and Fishbrain app with hopes to invite the 250,000 anglers currently using the app in Florida to help monitor 15 types of nonnative freshwater fish found in Florida waters.

The Fishbrain APP is a $5.99 IOS, Android friendly application designed to allow anglers from around the world to track their catches as well as to share useful intel with other users.

The use of a phone APP to collect scientific data among scientists and ordinary people is becoming increasingly popular and foolproof as inevitably technology only advances in automated recognition while our phones also have the capability to access and store other useful data such as GPS, date, time, tides and even the weather. Although the increase of such technological methods of collecting and storing data will likely benefit conservation, perhaps obsolete will be the old fashioned need to carry a clipboard and nostalgic will be the smell of sharpening a pencil, and gone will be the sloppy jittery jot of a scientist’s handwriting on actual paper.

 

Florida Fish and Wildlife news article can be found here:

http://myfwc.com/news/news-releases/2016/december/20/fishbrain/

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Happy Holidays

2016 Group Holiday Photo

ANAMAR would like to wish you and yours a joyous holiday season!

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ANAMAR Employee Spotlight Questionnaire: John Kearney

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John is ANAMAR’s wonderful Controller/Accountant. He keeps us all sorted out in the billing department!

Q: How long have you worked at ANAMAR?

  • Almost 3 years

Q: What is your title at ANAMAR?

  • Controller

Q: What do you like most about your job?

  • The pleasant atmosphere. The staff are friendly and cooperative.

Q: What has been your favorite project/task at ANAMAR and why?

  • All of my tasks have been my favorite!

Q: Before working at ANAMAR, what was the most unusual or interesting job you've ever had?

  • All of my jobs have been usual and interesting. I could tell of interesting and unusual assignments but it would take much more space than allotted.

Q: When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

  • I remember in the 8th grade saying I wanted to be a lawyer. Well, I guess I wanted a profession, so becoming a CPA was a pretty good choice for me.

Q:  Describe what you were like at the age of 10.

  • I was a kid and like most kids, I tried to have fun! I liked playing baseball a lot at 10.

Q:  Do you have any pets? If so, what kind of pet/pets and what are their names?

  • One dog, a beagle we adopted her. She was used to teach veterinarians. She was shy when we got her, but now she has changed. She does not bark at all. We have had her for 5 years, she is 7 years old.

Q:  If you could take a free vacation to anywhere in the world, where would you go?

  • Well this one is on my bucket list now but it would be nice if it were free: a river cruise on the Danube and Rhine rivers in Europe!

Q:  If you could time travel, to what place AND time would you go and why?

  • I would go to Jerusalem and neighboring towns at the time of Jesus Christ. I would like to see his preaching, the miracle we read about in the Bible including the crucifixion. It would be awesome to be able to return to our current day and tell the stories from a first person point of view.

Q:  If you could be an ocean dweller for a day which type of sea creature would you be?

  • A six gill shark. I could go to the deepest parts of the ocean and still be one of the strongest creatures so I can protect myself.

Q: If you could be any type of animal for a day what would you be and why?

  • A bald eagle so I can fly high and see so much of the earth.

Q: What is the first thing you would buy if you won the lottery?

  • I would buy a golf course, make it nice and enjoy golf with my regular crew.

Q: What's your favorite childhood memory?

  • My favorite childhood memories are the rounds of golf I played with my father and brother. We were always competitive, my father always won (he was good). As adults we had a chance to beat him, but not many times for me. I hope they have found a course in heaven and that I may be able to play with them again, if I make it!

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Water for People: Terry Cake’s Story of Volunteering in India

When ANAMAR’s vice-president Terry Cake returned from his travels to West Bengal, India, he returned with so many photos and interesting stories that we decided to share them on ANAMAR’s blog.

Terry was part of a team of volunteers specifically chosen by ‘Water for People’ based on their professional experiences, backgrounds, and interests. His assignment was to monitor and evaluate the sustainability of existing water, sanitation, and hygiene-related systems. This is Terry’s story:

 

 

 

 

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Georgia Ports Authority Purchases Four More Cranes as Part of Savannah Harbor Expansion Project

Georgia Ports Authority Purchases Four More Cranes as Part of Savannah Harbor Expansion Project

The Port of Savannah is in the process of preparing for larger vessels anticipated to be brought in by the expanded Panama Canal.  Key portions of this preparation include deepening of the Savannah Harbor federal shipping channel from -42 feet to -47 feet, and purchasing four more cranes to expedite the ship offloading process.  ANAMAR is working with several USACE districts to help prepare East Coast ports for these larger vessels.  Check out this Dredging Today article to learn more about the Savannah Harbor Expansion.

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Charleston Harbor Deepening Awaits Approval from Congress

Charleston Harbor Deepening Awaits Approval from Congress

 

NOTE:  ANAMAR had the privilege of performing MPRSA Section 103 testing of the new work material to be dredged.  This consisted of sediment sampling and analysis, including physical, chemical, and biological (bioaccumulation, bioassay) testing.  Additionally, ANAMAR produced the NEPA document for the necessary expansion of the Charleston ODMDS.

Charleston Harbor is currently in the final pre-construction stage of the deepening process. Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works) Jo-Ellen Darcy has signed off on a Record of Decision stating that Charleston has fulfilled all of the pre-construction requirements.  Charleston awaits authorization from Congress to move forward.

Check out this Dredging Today Article to learn more!

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Happy Holidays!!!

black bear eating

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Expansion of the Jacksonville Ocean Dredged Material Disposal Site Is Finalized

USACE Jacksonville and EPA Region 4 identified the need to either designate another Jacksonville ODMDS or expand the current 1‑square nautical mile (nmi2) site. ANAMAR was contracted in 2009 to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for this multi-year, multi-faceted site designation project. Congratulations to all the people who worked on this project! The final rule will go into effect on November 13 designating the new 4.56‑nmi2 area.

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NOAA Holds Public Comment Period for a Proposed Rule That Will Enforce Marine Mammal Protection from International Fisheries Exporting into the U.S.

NOAA Holds Public Comment Period for a Proposed Rule That Will Enforce Marine Mammal Protection from International Fisheries Exporting into the U.S.

 

NOAA’s proposed rule will require foreign fisheries that export fish and fish products into the United States to comply with U.S. marine mammal conservation standards and regulations. These fisheries can choose to adopt presently established U.S. regulatory programs and fishing methods or they can choose to establish other programs and fishing methods that will be equally as effective as compliance with U.S. standards. In a 2005 report, the U.S. Ocean Commission estimated that the worldwide bycatch rate of marine mammals is more than 600,000 a year. The implementation and enforcement of this rule have the potential to be a significant ‘game changer’ in the fishing industry.

According to the 2014 NOAA Fisheries report, the U.S. (including all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands) imported $20.2 billion of edible fishery products and $15.6 billion of inedible fishery products, creating a combined $35.9 billion industry. During 1999, the combined imported edible and inedible fishery products were valued at $17 billion.

NOAA Fisheries. Current Fishery Statistics NO. 2014-2: Imports and Exports of Fishery Products Annual Summary, 2014 Revised.

Available at http://www.st.nmfs.noaa.gov/Assets/commercial/trade/Trade2014.pdf

Check out the Federal Register to read the complete proposed rule. The comment period will close November 9, 2015.

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2014 Mouth of the Columbia River Deep Water Site and Shallow Water Site Monitoring Series, Part 4 of 4: Fond Memories

Part 4 of our Oregon adventure series is dedicated to capturing the scenic beauty of the Oregon coast and the fun, sometimes silly, side of the job. The comradery that develops amongst the team members during field efforts of this type is one of the bonuses of the job. Sharing the experience of being out at sea for a week and successfully completing sampling operations is always memorable and gives you a sense of teamwork and accomplishment. It is a privilege to have the opportunity to work on a project like this, and it sure beats sitting in the office!

 

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Sunrise

 

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Sunset

 

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Captain Ron "Yogi" Briggs and Mate Jeff Lawrence of the 'Pacific Storm'

 

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James McMillan - USACE Portland District

 

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Robert Mooney (MTS), Seth Jones (MTS), Jason Sietz (ANAMAR) - in deep thought

 

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Holy Mackerel! That looks yummy!

 

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Tired Crew

 

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Life vest works!

 

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The Team (from left to right): Capt. Ron "Yogi" Briggs, Ryan Reyes (Pacific Storm), Jeff Lawrence (Pacific Storm), Jason Sietz (ANAMAR), Robert Mooney (MTS), Seth Jones (MTS), Robin Jones (MTS), Joel Salter (EPA), Michelle Rau (ANAMAR), James McMillan (USACE), and Ken Serven (Pacific Storm)

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ANAMAR’s Work in Charleston Harbor Profiled in "Dredging Today"

ANAMAR’s Work in Charleston Harbor Profiled in "Dredging Today"

(Pictured above is the cooper marl we frequently encountered while collecting core samples)

The Charleston Harbor Federal Navigation Channel covers an area of approximately 14 square miles and is formed by the confluence of the Ashley, Cooper, and Wando rivers. Maritime interests want the harbor channel deepened beyond 45 feet so the Port of Charleston can handle the larger container ships that will routinely call when the expanded Panama Canal opens in 2015. In response to this need to accommodate larger ships and increasing ship traffic, a feasibility study is being conducted for the Charleston Harbor Navigation Improvement Project to analyze and evaluate improvements to Charleston Harbor. The Post-45 feasibility study examines the economic benefits and environmental impacts of the deepening project and determines what depth would be recommended for construction. ANAMAR was contracted to conduct sediment evaluations to determine if the proposed dredge material is suitable for disposal in the Charleston Harbor ocean dredged material disposal site (ODMDS) and to help identify potential beneficial uses for dredged material such as habitat development, shore protection, or beach nourishment.

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ANAMAR managed all sampling operations and worked closely with subcontractors to coordinate logistics. The sampling plan included collection of vibracore samples at 105 sites, plus grab samples at the reference station, and site water samples at three locations for elutriate preparation. Due to the size of the project, the sampling effort took nearly 4 weeks to complete and presented some unique challenges. Inclement weather caused by Tropical Storm Sandy followed 2 days later by a winter storm resulted in minor delays in sampling operations. This area also experiences six-foot tidal fluctuations resulting in very strong currents during incoming and outgoing tides; therefore, the sampling team had to plan daily sampling operations during workable currents (i.e., slack tides). Since sampling was taking place within the shipping channel and berthing areas, the captain maintained regular communication with the ships so that sampling would not interfere with shipping traffic. The physical composition of the sediment itself also proved to be challenging. Most of the sediment in the areas of interest was highly consolidated Cooper Marl, which was difficult to penetrate and to remove from the core barrel. A method was developed in the field to pressurize the core barrel using compressed air to extrude sample material from the barrel. This “on-the-fly” innovation helped the field effort stay on schedule.

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Coordinating sample delivery with the chemistry and bioassay laboratories to meet holding times while field operations were ongoing required multiple sample shipments due to holding times and the amount of time required to collect all the samples. It was necessary to run the bioaccumulation tests in two batches due to holding times and the laboratory space required for such a large number of samples. Close coordination with the laboratories and couriers was critical.

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ANAMAR succeeded in collecting all the required sample material and processed and shipped the material to the laboratories within holding times. ANAMAR reviewed and evaluated all the laboratory data and produced a report summarizing the results of the physical, chemical, and toxicological analysis of sediment, elutriate, water, and tissue samples of the proposed dredge material collected from the project area.

Below is a quotation from the news article: Dredging Today (July 2, 2015) "Post 45 Project Gets Funding"

"The Charleston Harbor Post 45 Deepening Project is the first project in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to go through the Corps’ new Civil Works Planning Process from start to finish.

This has enabled the Charleston District to reduce the initial study timeline of five to eight years down to less than four years, and reduce the initial study budget from $20 million to less than $12 million dollars. This project will serve as a model for Corps civil works projects around the world."

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Bryde’s Whales in the Gulf of Mexico May Receive Endangered Species Protection

Balaenoptera brydei FILEminimizer

Getting to Know the Bryde’s Whale

The Bryde’s whale (Balaenoptera edeni) is a tropical member of the baleen family and can be found around the globe between 40°N and 40°S. The Bryde’s whale is represented by two subspecies that live in different regions: Balaenoptera edeni are found in the Western Pacific, coasts of Asia, and possibly Australia, and the Balaenoptera brydei are found in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans and in coastal South Africa. The last abundance survey performed in the Gulf of Mexico was in 2009 and found only 33 remaining Bryde’s whales.

Bryde’s Whale Protection Movement

In September 2014, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) filed a petition to the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) requesting that the Gulf of Mexico population of the Bryde’s whale be listed as ‘endangered’ under the Endangered Species Act.  During the first week of April 2015, NMFS stated that there is sufficient scientific evidence to consider granting protected status and has announced the start of a 90-day findings petition to solicit any additional information from interested parties.

Current Protections

Currently, the Bryde’s whale is protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), which prohibits (with certain exceptions)

  • The “take” of marine mammals in U.S. waters and by U.S. citizens on the high seas
  • The importation of marine mammals and marine mammal products into the U.S.

Increased Protections

If the Bryde’s whale becomes listed as endangered, the species would receive much more protection, including.

  • designations of critical habitats
  • recovery plans
  • initiatives such as grants for state conservation efforts
  • increased co-operations internationally and in the private sector and potential funding for authorized research

Federal Register 90-Day Finding Document

NOAA Fisheries; Office of Protected Resources: Bryde's Whale

 

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