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USGS Coastal and Marine Geology Program

Recent News

Recent News - stories from the last 14 days.

For information about a story, contact Ann Tihansky (202) 208-3342.

Aerial photograph of the mouth of the Elwha River by Neal and Linda Chism, volunteers with LightHawkLargest Dam Removal in U.S. History Characterized

Dam removal has become an important management and restoration tool. The largest dam-removal project in U.S. history, on the Elwha River in Washington State, is the focus of federal, tribal, and academic scientists collaborating to characterize its effects. Five papers resulting from this work have been published in the journal Geomorphology. They provide detailed observations about changes in the river’s landforms, waters, and coastal zone during the first 2 years of dam removal, when massive amounts of sediment were eroded from the former reservoirs and transported downstream through the river and to the coast. In addition to restoring salmon runs, the dam removal is renewing the downstream movement of sand, gravel, and wood, which are important to river, estuarine, and coastal habitats.
Links to and titles of the new papers on “Large-scale dam removal on the Elwha River, Washington, USA”:

For more information, contact Jonathan Warrick, jwarrick@usgs.gov, 831-460-7569.
Also, read the USGS Newsroom Release from February 18, 2015.

posted: 2015-02-28



Photo of marine research equipmentUSGS St. Petersburg hosts Ops Managers from other CMGP field centers

On Monday, March 2, P. Soupy Dalyander (Research Oceanographer—St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center (SPCMSC)) will host operational staff (Ops) from the other two Coastal and Marine Geology Program (CMGP) centers to speak at SPCMSC. Marinna Martini is an engineer in the Woods Hole CMG office, and Joanne Ferreira is with the marine facilities group at the Pacific CMG center. The visitors will give an informal presentation with an overview of the capabilities of their centers; and will discuss how these two centers have collaborated in the past on field projects, equipment sharing, etc. It will also be a chance for SPCMSC staff to discuss some of their in-house capabilities, and to consider opportunities for collaboration in the future.

posted: 2015-02-27



Map of study areaFormer Woods Hole Center Director speaks to St. Petersburg, Florida, staff on Fire Island, NY research

On February 19, Bill Schwab, oceanographer and former Center Director of Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center (WHCMSC) spoke to the research and operational staff in St. Pete about his twenty years of experience relating framework geology to the coastal geomorphology and dynamics of the southern barrier island beaches of Long Island. Bill has been working closely with SPCMSC Research Geologist Cheryl Hapke on these research efforts, as well as on the breach that was formed by Hurricane Sandy on Fire Island. Bill has focused on acquiring a time series of offshore bathymetric and backscatter sonar data to understand both the geologic context of the beach deposits in Fire Island and how they change over time.

For more information about USGS research on the new breach in Fire Island, see http://soundwaves.usgs.gov/2014/10/spotlight.html.

Visit the Fire Island Coastal Change website: http://coastal.er.usgs.gov/fire-island/.

posted: 2015-02-27



Photograph of Amy with USGS geographer Josh Logan, working on the Elwha River.Public Lecture on Largest Dam Removal in U.S. History

Dam removal has become an important management and restoration tool. The largest dam-removal project in U.S. history, on the Elwha River in Washington State, is the focus of federal, tribal, and academic scientists collaborating to characterize its effects. USGS research geologist Amy East presented a public lecture on the Elwha project on February 26, 2015 at the USGS center in Menlo Park, California. She described what happened as the gradual removal of two dams released massive amounts of sediment downstream, causing changes in the river’s landforms, waters, and coastal zone. In addition to restoring salmon runs, the dam removal is affecting river, estuarine, and coastal habitats and providing important lessons for future river-restoration endeavors. For more information, and to watch the video of Amy’s talk, visit the USGS Evening Public Lecture Series website: http://online.wr.usgs.gov/calendar/ — or contact Amy East, aeast@usgs.gov, 831-460-7533.

posted: 2015-02-27



Rutgers Eco-Complex in Bordentown, NJUSGS invited to Coastal and Land Use Planning Exercise by NJ Department of Environmental Protection

The Coastal and Land Use planning program of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection invited scientists from both the St. Petersburg and Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Centers (SPCMSC and WHCMSC) to their 2015 Living Shorelines and Coastal Restoration Summit, to be held on 27 February at the Rutgers Eco-Complex in Bordentown, NJ. Jennifer Miselis will be presenting geomorphologic and sedimentologic change analysis resulting from Hurricane Sandy. The data were collected as part of a multi-year project that sought to characterize the physical estuarine environment of Barnegat Bay, NJ and its influence on water quality. Bathymetry, sediment distribution, and lidar resources that may inform coastal land use and restoration decisions will also be shown. Brian Andrews and Zafer Defne will present topo-bathymetric products and numerical modeling results from Barnegat Bay, NJ. Finally, Kara Doran will demonstrate the Coastal Change Hazards Portal, focusing on pre- and post-Sandy erosion hazards along the NJ coast. Discussions at the meeting will help define ways in which the breadth of USGS products and expertise can be utilized by coastal managers.

For more information about Barnegat Bay, read "Mapping, Measuring, and Modeling to Understand Water-Quality Dynamics in Barnegat Bay-Little Egg Harbor Estuary, New Jersey" and "Hurricane Sandy Disrupts USGS Study of the Barnegat Bay-Little Egg Harbor Estuary in New Jersey, Provides Additional Research Opportunities."

posted: 2015-02-19



USGS Research Marine Biologist Ilsa KuffnerUSGS staff speaks about "Wimps and Winners on Florida's Coral Reefs"

On Feb. 5th, USGS Research Marine Biologist Ilsa Kuffner spoke on Florida's coral reefs at the Florida Sea Grant Extension "Salty Topics" marine speaker series at the Weedon Island Preserve Cultural and Natural History Center in St. Petersburg, FL. Despite much attention from the press, misconceptions regarding the causes of reef decline abound. Ilsa summarized the debate about reef decline and gave her thoughts on the prospects for reef recovery in the Florida Keys.

posted: 2015-02-19



Spoonbill BowlStaff participate in Spoonbill Bowl Ocean Science Competition

On Feb. 7th, Kara Doran and Christian Haller represented the USGS as volunteers for the National Ocean Science Bowl's Annual Spoonbill competition. The Spoonbill Bowl is a regional competition that allows high-school students to boost their knowledge of marine science and compete as a team against other schools for the opportunity to participate in the National Ocean Sciences Bowl. The competition is organized by the University of South Florida (USF) College of Marine Science and takes place on the campus of USF St. Petersburg. USGS St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center scientists and staff have supported this event since 2005, when St. Petersburg first began hosting the regional competition.

posted: 2015-02-19



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