Archive for July, 2009

NowCOAST Maps Real-time Ocean and Weather Observations [FEATURE]

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To safely transit marine highways that get busier with each passing year, mariners need the most accurate and up-to-date information they can find. Increasingly, they are finding that information on the nowCOAST Web site....

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How frequent are tides?

A lunar day is how long it takes for one point on the Earth to make one complete rotation and end up at the same point in relation to the moon. The reason that a lunar day is longer than a normal 24-hour day is because the moon rotates around the Earth in the same direction that the Earth is spinning. It takes the Earth an extra 50 minutes to “catch up” to the moon....

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What are phytoplankton?

This item was filled under Facts, Ocean Life
Phytoplankton, also known as microalgae, are similar to terrestrial plants in that they contain chlorophyll and require sunlight in order to live and grow. Most phytoplankton are buoyant and float in the upper part of the ocean, where sunlight penetrates the water. Phytoplankton also require inorganic nutrients such as nitrates, phosphates, and sulfur which they convert into proteins, fats, and carbohydrates....

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NOS Bands Together to Protect Ospreys

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Thirteen staff from the Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management’s Estuarine Reserves Division (ERD) recently got hands-on experience with nesting ospreys when they accompanied naturalist Greg Kearns as he banded some of the season’s newly hatched chicks in the Jug Bay component of the Chesapeake Bay Maryland National Estuarine Research Reserve....

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What is a guyot?

This item was filled under Facts, Positioning and Geology
A guyot is a seamount, or undersea mountain. Seamounts are formed by volcanic activity and can be taller than 3,000 meters (10,000 feet).  They can be isolated or part of large mountain chains. The New England Seamount contains more than 30 peaks that stretch 1,600 kilometers (994 miles) from the coast of New England....

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Who first charted the Gulf Stream?

This item was filled under Facts, Technology, Tides and Currents
Although first observed in 1513 by Ponce de Leon, the Gulf Stream was not charted until the early 1770s by Benjamin Franklin, with the help of a Nantucket sea captain....

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Uniting Kids Through Art and Science

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On June 11, hundreds of children from Washington, DC, descended on the National Mall to learn about the importance of protecting our nation’s watersheds through art....

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Ten Years Later: A Look Back at the Search for John F. Kennedy, Jr.’s Missing Plane

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Ten years ago, a small plane piloted by the son of former U.S. President John F. Kennedy crashed into the Atlantic Ocean in an accident that drew attention from all around the world....

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Building a Foundation for Clean, Healthy Waterways

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“Treat the Earth well; it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children.” These words were delivered by NOS Assistant Administrator John H. Dunnigan at the 11th Annual Waterkeeper Alliance Conference....

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How do people use kelp?

Algin, an emulsifying and bonding agent, is extracted from kelp and used in these products. Kelp is also used as food on mollusk farms. Between 100,000 and 170,000 wet tons of kelp are harvested from California waters each year....

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