NOAA 2006-R303
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: John Leslie
6/29/06
NOAA News Releases 2006
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NOAA COASTWATCH PROGRAM OPENS EAST COAST NODE
Chesapeake Bay Office Hosts Enhanced Environmental Satellite Data Capabilities

NOAA officials today opened the East Coast Node of NOAA's CoastWatch program, which will broaden the availability of environmental data for the Atlantic Ocean collected by the agency's geostationary and polar-orbiting satellites.

The East Coast Node, part of a network of other CoastWatch offices around the country, will be located at the NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office in Annapolis. The new node will gather data, including sea surface temperature, ocean surface winds, and chlorophyll-a levels and post the information on the Internet. Scientists, resource managers and fishermen use the data to forecast atmospheric events, predict harmful algal blooms, and study fish and marine mammal distribution, along the eastern seaboard of the United States.

“NOAA’s CoastWatch program has come a long way since its start in 1987,” said Tim Keeney, NOAA’s deputy assistant secretary for oceans and atmosphere. “Establishing this new East Coast Node creates a ‘one-stop shop’ for satellite data throughout the Atlantic. The data this office provides will contribute to further development of oceanographic science in the Chesapeake Bay, along the East Coast, and — in the future — across the Atlantic to Europe.”

While CoastWatch is centrally managed in Camp Springs, Md., several nodes are located around the country. These nodes provide value-added environmental products for specific geographical regions. Organizers of today’s opening ceremony provided displays to showcase the kind of critical data that will be available to scientists and the general public.

“Opening the East Coast Node is a major milestone for CoastWatch,” said Kent Hughes, CoastWatch program manger. “This resource provides numerous benefits for the scientific community and resource managers around the region who have come to rely on the information that CoastWatch provides on a daily basis.”

NOAA’s CoastWatch Program, part of NOAA’s Satellite and Information Service, provides and ensures timely access to near real-time satellite data to protect, restore, and manage U.S. coastal ocean resources, and to understand climate variability and change to further enhance society's quality of life.

The NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office is in its second decade of providing science, service, and stewardship to advance NOAA’s mission in the mid-Atlantic region through programs in fisheries, habitat, coastal observations, and education.

NOAA, an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of the nation's coastal and marine resources. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with its federal partners, over 60 countries, and the European Commission to develop a global network that is as integrated as the planet it observes, predicts, and protects.

On the Web:

NOAA: http://www.noaa.gov

NOAA Coast Watch East Coast Node: http://coastwatch.chesapeakebay.noaa.gov

NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office: http://chesapeakebay.noaa.gov