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The Environmental Studies Program (ESP) is pleased to announce the availability of new findings from six research studies posted online to the Environmental Studies Program Information System (ESPIS) from July-September 2016.

A NOAA-sponsored study established a methodology and baseline for tracking the effects of climate change on coastal marshes.

When it comes to storing carbon, scientists have put a price tag on the value of mangroves in South Florida's Everglades -- and it's in the billions.

A paper published in the Nature journal Scientific Reports shows how higher latitude ecosystems recovered after the World’s most cataclysmic extinction event 252 million years ago. New fossils discovered by Uppsala University palaeontologists record an empty alien world from immediately after the extinction.

A new study published in Scientific Reports by University of Delaware researchers and colleagues reveals that 100 feet below the surface of the ocean is a critical depth for ecological activity in the Arctic polar night—a period of near continuous winter darkness.

It turns out it takes pains for salt marshes to be beautiful, too.

According to the Nassau Guardian, the government of the Bahamas has decided to nix talks with China to split fishing rights in waters east of Florida.

After considering more than 3.3 million public comments and holding 36 public meetings, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Director Abigail Hopper released the final plan to guide future energy development for the Nation’s Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) for 2017-2022 on 18 November 2016.

On 8 November 2016, the Canadian Ministers of Fisheries and Oceans, the Environment and Climate Change, and the Canadian Coast Guard, announced a $1.5 billion national Oceans Protection Plan.

Imagine Naval Station Norfolk, the largest naval base in the world, complete with fourteen piers and eleven aircraft hangars, submerged by seawater.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s (BOEM) Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) recommends “strong measures to protect marine mammals and coastal environments in the Gulf of Mexico from the potential impacts of geological and geophysical (G&G) surveys for oil, gas and minerals.”

The world's experts on Antarctic marine conservation have agreed to establish a marine protected area (MPA) in Antarctica's Ross Sea.

Scheduled for launch in 2021, the NASA Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) mission will make the first-ever global survey of Earth’s surface water.


In American Samoa, identifying waterways affected by excessive sediment and runoff is vital for properly monitoring and managing coastal, nearshore, and coral reef areas.

A global leader in the provision of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs), Teledyne Gavia recently participated in the Belgian Navy’s 2016 North Sea Unmanned mine countermeasure (MCM) Trials where unmanned vehicle solutions from Teledyne Marine where showcased.

Digital catalogs of ocean data have been available for decades, but advances in standardized services and software for catalog searches and data access now make it possible to create catalog-driven workflows that automate—end-to-end—data search, analysis, and visualization of data from multiple distributed sources. Further, these workflows may be shared, reused, and adapted with ease.

Fugro and 3D at Depth, a global provider of advanced subsea LiDAR systems and solutions, announce the world's first application of subsea LiDAR data used to 3D Print an accurate 1:1 physical model of a damaged well part.

Climate Central has released a new module within Surging Seas Risk Finder, their interactive data toolkit for the coastal United States. Climate Central plans to expand the toolkit internationally in 2017.

The International Energy Agency states that 2.5% of global electricity demand is today provided by wind power—and that figure is set to grow by 42% through to 2021.

In Europe alone, according to the 2016 report from the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA), 754 new offshore turbines in 15 wind farms were grid-connected from 1 January to 31 December 2015, representing a connected capacity increase of 108% over 2014.

By 2020, EWEA expects 192GW of wind turbines to be installed, representing an investment of between €UR90 billion and €UR124 billion. The leading markets are Germany, France, the UK, Poland and Italy, and by 2020 354,000 people—up from 253,000 today—will be employed in the sector.

Many of those people will need to travel the average 43.3km from ports and harbors to offshore wind farms to install and maintain the turbines. And Isle of Wight-based Aluminium Marine Consultants has developed a Category 1, Bureau Veritas-classed catamaran crew transfer vessel (CTV) that’s unrivaled for this task as well as being highly flexible.

Aluminium Marine Consultants (AMC) developed the vessel in conjunction with a major offshore wind farm contractor that bought four of the CTVs.

AMC commercial director Rob Stewart explains why the CTVs are considered future proof: “They exceed all the usual specifications. The design has been considered and engineered for both current and future needs; it’s not just fully compliant with current UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency regulations, but meets MCA’s raised standards and new guidance. It was a conscious decision to take on ‘not just the word, but the spirit’ of that guidance, ensuring our vessels will be signed off without any grey areas.”

Named Tempest, Tornado, Typhoon TOW and Hurricane TOW, the first two are 23m long, the latter pair 25m. But all have been engineered to be essentially similar, allowing completely interchangeable crewing that is proving of huge benefit to the client.

AMC’s advanced CTV concept is not focused on transit speed alone, though the vessels can achieve 28 knots, but also for sea-keeping qualities and the ability to remain at sea for extended periods.

The semi-displacement catamaran hull and 1.4m draught, coupled with a high waterline, give plenty of room for waves to pass between the hulls, thus preventing slamming—which often happens when the wet deck is too low. That also translates into more-than-adequate space in the engine compartments, giving easier maintenance access, and importantly, comfort for the 12 passengers and three crew the CTVs can carry.

To achieve maximum working hours on the 25m vessels, propulsion is via a pair of MTU 12V 2000 M72 twelve-cylinder engines each rated at 1,080kW and with a guaranteed 100% of the duty cycle, with 10V engines on the 23m vessels. They drive Rolls-Royce Kamewa A3 56 water jets fitted with a compact, efficient reversing bucket able to deliver as much as 70% of the normal forward thrust, together with a 10% higher bollard push. The latter not only helps transit efficiency, but keeps the vessel pushed onto turbine towers in high seas.

That high spec also includes MTU’s Blue Vision high-speed internet connection, allowing the propulsion system to be monitored both aboard a vessel and ashore. Engine data can be evaluated to allow either operation or fuel consumption to be tweaked to give the most efficient performance for prevailing conditions.

While primarily intended as wind farm support vessels, they are also versatile and have the capability for dive, survey, and ROV operations, either overboard or through a moonpool. They also have formidable cargo-carrying capacity. The forward and aft deck areas each have space for 10 tonnes of cargo. And a crane can be mounted if needed.

“Wind farm service vessels today, and increasingly in the future, are not just transit vessels,” Rob Stewart concluded. “They not only have to cope with extended operating hours, but have to meet ever more stringent international regulations.

“Our CTVs do that—and will give peace of mind to customers.”

Teledyne RESON A/S releases a major software update for the HydroSweep deep water multibeam echosounders. It opens the possibility for HydroSweep users to select the hydrographic data acquisition and post processing software of their choice, for maximised survey results and improved efficiency.

OceanServer Technology recently participated in the first ever Unmanned Warrior (UW) in Loch Alsh, Scotland. Part of Joint Warrior, the semiannual, United Kingdom-led training exercise is designed to provide NATO and allied forces with a unique multi-warfare setting in which to prepare for global operations . The event also provides a stage for valuable research and training, on the latest in autonomous naval technologies while simultaneously strengthening international interoperability. Multiple Iver AUVs were put in active roles by members of the Royal Navy, US Navy and the Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC). The Iver-3 systems were used in a segment of Unmanned Warrior known as Hell Bay, during which groups of underwater vehicles demonstrate how they collaborate to carry out autonomous tasks like target location and recognition.

Several of the Iver3 AUVs were equipped with SeeByte Neptune, an open architecture enabling autonomous multivehicle collaboration. Designed to enhance Mine Counter-Measure (MCM) missions, the system offers launch and recovery software management, water column flight management, static and dynamic exclusion zones, survey and re-acquire tasks, and real-time progress and status monitoring. The Iver3 MCM systems come equipped with high resolution side-scan sonar, RDI Explorer DVL w/ADCP, WHOI Micro modem, Iridium Communications and an operator console. OceanServer Technology, Inc. is a leading manufacturer of man-portable Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs), three axis digital compasses and high efficiency Lithium Ion battery solutions. The Iver3 AUV is an affordable, commercial vehicle used by customers around the globe for sensor development, water quality, general survey work, sub-surface security and research. Systems are capable of operating unattended for up to 7-10 hours while carrying a variety of sophisticated payload options. For more information, visit www.ocean-server.com.

What is it about California, the most populous of the United States, and the Pacific Ocean, the world’s largest body of water, covering one-third of the planet, that creates such a powerful crosscurrent of culture, risk and reward, history, economy, and mythology?

EofE Ultrasonics, Korea, has delivered ten sets of scanning sonar Echologger MRS900 to Tetis Group.

R2Sonic LLC, pioneers of Broadband Multibeam Sonar Technology, have developed MultiSpectral Mode™ survey capability, a new dimension for acoustic backscatter.

Sea levels in Rhode Island have been rising at an increasing rate, particularly over the last 30 years.

The ICOMIA World Marinas Conference in Amsterdam (17-19 November 2016) provided the ideal backdrop for the presentation of the latest two Global Marina Institute (GMI) certificates.

After the most successful Ocean Business show ever in April 2015, with almost 5000 visitors from around the world, it is no surprise that the next show in Southampton on 4-6 April 2017 is sold-out, with five months still to go!

Leading experts and professionals from the ocean science and marine technology communities are preparing to gather in California when the successful Oceanology International brand makes its debut in the U.S. in February 2017.

The Danish government published the winning bid in the Kriegers Flak tendering procedure on 9 November 2016.

The following opinion letter comes from Liz Burdock, Executive Director of the Business Network for Offshore Wind, a private sector, membership-driven organization: