Preparing for the Future: The
Next Generation of Coastal
Part 2 of a series of articles exploring leader-
ship, succession planning, and opportunities for
promoting coastal management
By Susan White
Do you remember sitting in the auditorium
during freshman orientation (or Organic
Chemistry lecture) waiting for the speaker
behind the podium to boom out that fabled
line, “Look to your left, look to your
right---by the end of this semester only 1
in 3 people will be left standing." While I
never personally heard that statement from
any of my instructors, it may have been
closer to the truth than was comfortable in
Organic Chemistry. Yet here I am, over a
decade later, thinking of this same myth as
my career evolves to include ever greater
involvement with federal, state, and aca-
demic professionals working to address the
complex multidisciplinary issues associated
with the management of coastal resources.
Only this time, the myth is uncomfortably
closer to reality.
As of September 2006, 43% of the United
States federal government workforce was
over the age of 50, compared with only
7.3% of employees under the age of 30 (U.S.
Office of Personnel Management, www. The
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Admin-
istration (NOAA) reported that in 2005, the
average age of a NOAA Federal employee
was 45, with only 7% of the workforce
under the age of 30. They estimate that by
2007, 50% of their workforce will be eligible
to retire (NOAA Strategic Human Capi-
TCS Bulletin
Volume 29 (3) 2007
The International Activities
of the National Estuarine
Research Reserve System: A
Little Known and Generally
Unplanned National Asset
by Maurice P. Lynch
In spring 1998, I saw a little note in one of
the many emails I receive from different
parts of the National Oceanic and Atmo-
spheric Administration (NOAA), describing
an upcoming ceremony in Silver Spring, MD.
An agreement was to be signed between
NOAA and the People's Republic of China,
State Oceanic Administration (SOA), pairing
the Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Re-
search Reserve with the Tianjin Paleocoastal
and Wetland Nature Reserve in Tianjin
Since I was managing the Chesapeake Bay
Reserve in Virginia at the time and knew
nothing about this, I contacted my coun-
terpart in the Chesapeake Bay Reserve in
Maryland, primarily to find out how she had
managed to get involved in this internation-
al project. To my surprise I found out that
she had never heard of it either. Calling
my program officer in the Estuarine Reserve
Division of NOAA, I discovered that she was
equally unfamiliar with the agreement. I fi-
nally tracked down the responsible staff of-
ficer in NOAA’s National Ocean Service (NOS)
International Office and asked him. He
hadn’t realized there were two Chesapeake
NERRs, so he opined that the agreement
must mean both of them. Thus began a long
relationship with the NOS International Of-
fice, which has included participation in the
International Workshops related to marine
Message from the
Shipping Lanes Shifted
to Protect Whales
Chapter Voices
Board of
continued on page 6
continued on page 4
President’s Message
TCS 29 (3)
Dear TCS Member,
When our Bulletin editor, Ellen Gordon sent me her friendly reminder email that the time for my President’s letter
was now upon us, I was in the midst of a multiple-destination trip that took me from the Northeast to the West
coast to the Southeast and back to my house in Rhode Island. Leaving my carbon footprint aside for now (!!), my
preference for window seats on airplanes always gives me ample opportunity to see natural features of the conti-
nent from a different vantage point. My favorite features, as is likely no surprise, are in the coastal areas, and I
gaze down on them with music from my MP3 player filling my ears. Fortunately, on the longest leg, from Atlanta
to Los Angeles, I managed to remove my earphones long enough to meet the soft-spoken gentleman beside me. A
world traveler with significant knowledge of the rivers and geological features along the way, he explained the
unique qualities of the historic flood plain around the Mississippi River, the Salton Sea, and Palm Springs. I was
lucky to be assigned Seat 19A – many of us who travel know how this anonymous fellow traveler can make quite a
difference in the quality of a trip!
The quality of our work in the coastal field also sometimes depends on removing our “disciplinary headphones" for
a time and staying open to ideas, thoughts and models from disciplines other than our own. No one debates that
this is challenging, time-consuming, and at times frustrating. Indeed, this trip included discussion with economists,
biologists and ecologists about natural resource law issues that highlighted language differences, unsupported
assumptions, and models of analysis. But, it was clear by the end of three days, we were able to leap over these
hurdles and discuss potential solutions in a more creative and strategic way, complete with exclamations of “Oh . .
. that’s what you meant!"
The membership of the Coastal Society offers each of us the opportunity to take from and share with other dis-
ciplines. Even a cursory review of the membership reveals a wealth of disciplines and perspectives ripe for the
crafting of creative solutions and strategies. Just within this issue, you’ll note perspectives from experts in policy
and science. We hope you will take advantage of your membership to share your disciplinary expertise with oth-
ers through the Bulletin or the upcoming TCS conference next year. (Abstracts due October 23!) I look forward to
learning from you, as well!
The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent TCS nor its Board.
VOLUME 29 (3) 2007
Kristen M. Fletcher
Shipping Lanes
TCS 29 (3)
VOLUME 29 (3) 2007
Shipping Lanes Shifted to Protect Whales
by Paul C. Ticco
For the first time in U.S. history, a major shipping lane has been changed to protect wildlife. After decades of re-
search and efforts by NOAA and the U.S. Coast Guard, ships (over 3,500 transits per year) traveling in and out of Bos-
ton Harbor now sail through a path rotated 12 degrees to the north and narrowed from 5 to 4 nautical miles. This will
add 3.75 miles and 10 to 22 minutes per one-way trip, but provide greater protection to marine life, especially the
populations of humpback, right, finback and minke whales that use the area within and adjacent to the 842-square-
mile Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary (SBNMS) each spring and summer to feed.
The International Maritime Organization which governs international ship channels and the U.S. Coast Guard approved
the lane revision in December 2006. Since then, navigational charts have been updated with the revision. For further
information please see the SBNMS website; or contact either Paul Ticco of the National
Marine Sanctuary Program at (301) 713-7240 or the Sanctuary at (781) 545-8026.
Dr. Paul C. Ticco is the Past-President of TCS, and serves as the East Coast Regional Coordinator for NOAA's National
Marine Sanctuary Program.
Scientists at the SBNMS used 25 years of extensive data from the
Provincetown Center for Coastal Studies, the Whale Center of New
England, and the North Atlantic Right Whale Consortium to deter-
mine that the heaviest concentrations of whales were located direct-
ly in the shipping lanes, and that the shift will reduce the potential
for hitting any whale 81%, and the critically North Atlantic right
whale 58%. With the entire North Atlantic right whale population es-
timated at just 350, this lowered risk is significant. Ship strikes and
marine gear entanglements are the top human causes of right whale
deaths. Twenty-eight deaths of the whales due to ship strikes have
been documented since 1972, including eight since 2004.
Boston Harbor, Massachusetts. The solid line is the original shipping lane.
The dotted line is the alteration that increases protection to marine life.
NERR System
TCS 29 (3)
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VOLUME 29 (3) 2007
protected areas that NOS convened and sponsored in
conjunction with the biennial Coastal Zone conferences in
1999, 2001, 2003 and 2005.
I have had many discussions with the non-U.S. par-
ticipants in these conferences, including other visiting
foreign Coastal Zone Management and/or Marine Pro-
tected Area (MPA) personnel, many of whom have been
exposed to the NERR System through field trips. A strong
thread running through many of these conversations was
that the NERRs had a lot to offer to those interested in
MPAs. During the 2005 Workshop, which focused on MPA
networks, many of the examples of successful networking
were drawn from the NERR system, particularly in areas
of monitoring, education and technical training.
I have also come to realize that the NERR’s Federal and
state partners do not think of the NERRs as international
“players." To the contrary, in the discussion that fol-
lows, I will outline the scope of the international efforts
already underway. Perhaps other Reserves and potential
partners will soon find more opportunities to get involved
internationally. Carpe Diem!
Top-Down NOAA NOS International
Office-Originated Programs
The Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve
in Virginia and the Tianjin Paleocoastal and Wetland
Nature Reserve in Tianjin, & The Rookery Bay National
Estuarine Research Reserve in Florida and the Shankou
Mangrove Ecosystem Nature Reserve in Guangxi Province
The history of cooperation between these reserves began
in 1997 when a team from the NOS International Of-
fice set out to establish a joint endeavor in the field of
Integrated Coastal Management (ICM) with the People's
Republic of China, State Oceanic Administration (SOA).
Agreements were formally signed in 1997 and 1998 which
partnered the U.S. NERRs with the MPAs in China. Their
projects include mangrove restoration, an ecotourism
plan and an education plan.
Tianjin- Chesapeake Bay: Visits between Reserve staffs
in 2000 culminated in the signing of an MOU in 2002. In
2003, a delegation from China visited the U.S. and in
2005, staff from the U.S. visited Tianjin to begin on-the-
ground planning for future research activities. A team
from Tianjin will visit the Virginia Reserve for training
in water quality monitoring protocols used in the NERR
System Wide Monitoring Program and in techniques to
measure plant productivity and succession in wetlands.
Shankou-Rookery Bay: Rookery Bay staff has visited China,
and many Chinese as well as other foreign coastal zone
and MPA managers have visited the Rookery Bay Reserve,
often as a brief stop on the way to Florida Keys National
Marine Sanctuary. Unfortunately there have been few
repeat visits from Shankou Reserve personnel but both
Chesapeake Bay NERR in Virginia and Rookery Bay NERR in
Florida have incorporated the sister Reserve projects into
their management plans.
Bottom-Up, Reserve-Initiated International Programs
Great Bay NERR (NH) and Ireland’s Marine Institute
In 1997, Peter Wellenberger, Manager of the Great Bay
NERR attended the Coastal Zone conference in Boston,
MA. At that meeting he met a staff member from the
Republic of Ireland’s Marine Institute, and initiated dis-
cussions about some cooperative programs between his
Reserve and Estuary groups in Ireland.
In 1999, the Reserve (through the New Hampshire Fish
and Game Department, its parent agency) entered into
an international agreement with the Republic of Ireland’s
Marine Institute to establish a sister Reserve program.
Taking advantage of the 1996 Peace Treaty that links
NOAA to Ireland's Marine Institute (in Irish, Foras Na
Mara); the partnership included Northern Ireland as well.
As a result, the Reserve is developing cooperative agree-
ments with Strangford Lough in Northern Ireland and the
Shannon Estuary on the west coast of the Republic of
Ireland. Both of these sites have been designated as MPAs
through the European Commission. The goal is to share
and exchange information and research. International
visits back and forth have followed and the program has
been incorporated as a project in the Reserve’s Master
Old Woman Creek NERR (OWC) and the Belize Audubon
The OWC education coordinator, Linda Feix, attended the
First International Congress on Tourism and the Environ-
ment held in Belize in 1992. During that meeting, she
met staff members from Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary,
one of nine natural areas managed by the Belize Audubon
Society for the government of Belize. The staff of the
Reserve and the Sanctuary realized that despite being
1800 miles apart, they were home to many of the same
migratory birds. After a number of years of maintaining
informal contact, in 2000, the Friends of OWC, a nonprofit
group, funded travel by OWC staff to Belize for detailed
a wide range of watershed issues, particularly erosion due
to unplanned and poorly constructed development. One
goal of the management plan indicates a need not faced
by other Reserves: “Continue to work with Border Patrol
and other interests north and south of the border on how
best to avoid negative effects on natural resources associ-
ated with undocumented immigrants and Border Patrol
activities…. Better coordination with Mexican agencies
and the potential for cooperatively funded projects will
enable the Reserve to take positive steps in this challeng-
ing area."
Regional Alliances
The Gulf of Mexico Alliance (GOMA) is a state-driven
initiative to better manage the natural resources of the
Gulf of Mexico. The five involved U.S. states, Florida,
Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas have developed
an action plan for the Gulf of Mexico and are working with
six Mexican states (Campeche, Quintana Roo, Tabasco,
Tamaulipas, Veracruz and Yucatan) through the Accords of
States of the Gulf of Mexico signed by the eleven states in
1995. Thirteen federal agencies under the coordination of
the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and NOAA
have committed to support GOMA.
All of the Gulf Coast NERRS are also included in the sup -
port infrastructure for GOMA. Rookery Bay NERR played
a key role from the beginning by hosting the first in a
series of 8 community workshops around the Gulf region
in summer of 2005. Apalachicola NERR (Florida) and Grand
Bay NERR (Mississippi) have also hosted these community
workshops, while Weeks Bay NERR (Alabama) and repre-
sentatives from five Mexican states have attended.
Gulf of Maine Council
In 1989, the governors of the three states (Maine, New
Hampshire, and Massachusetts) and the premiers of the
The result was the project, “Birds with Two Homes," fo-
cused on the migratory birds. The project quickly evolved
beyond birds into a cultural exchange involving the two
countries’ history and people. The realization that the
Reserve and Sanctuary had many resource management
issues in common resulted in expansion of the project
to discuss those issues, as well. As part of the interac-
tion between the Reserve and Sanctuary, teachers from
Ohio and Belize have made exchange visits and shared
classroom teaching. In addition, staff from Belize Audu -
bon were brought to OWC for joint technical training in
neotropical bird migration, data collection, monitoring
techniques, nature based tourism and law enforcement.
The funding for this exchange was provided by Ohio Audu-
bon and the Firelands Audubon Society Chapter, as well as
the Friends of OWC.
During the project, more than 400 students and teach-
ers from communities in the vicinity of the Reserve and
Sanctuary have communicated by mail and the Internet.
The Friends of OWC have featured products from Belize
in the gift shop at OWC that were purchased from Belize
cooperatives. The most interesting part of this partner-
ship is that it has accomplished so much with no formal
agreements and, other than staff time, with no federal or
state funding.
Other Migratory Bird Projects
Reserves have been active in developing and running mi-
gratory bird projects on both the Pacific and the Atlantic
Coasts. On the Pacific Coast, this effort continues with
the International Brant Monitoring Project, designed to
monitor the migration of a small sea goose through three
countries: the U.S., Canada and Mexico. On the East
Coast, multiple NERRs were involved with the Western
Atlantic Shorebird Association in establishing a multi-
country project stretching from Canada to Argentina.
This effort included developing a database and a website
that allows for multiple education uses. In both of these
projects, the education personnel at the NERRs were the
principal drivers for the projects, along with active par-
ticipation by staff from NOS Estuarine Reserves Division.
Tijuana River NERR (California)
The Tijuana River NERR is a special case of international
activity within the Reserve System. About 75% of the
Tijuana River watershed and 90% of the fresh water flow
into the Tijuana Estuary comes from Mexico. A major por-
tion of the Reserve’s management plan deals with prob -
lems on the Mexican side of the boundary. The Reserve
works with Mexican officials and individual land owners on
NERR System
TCS 29 (3)
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VOLUME 29 (3) 2007
continued from page 4
Grand Bay NERR, Mississippi
two provinces (New Brunswick and Nova Scotia) bordering
on the Gulf of Maine created the Gulf of Maine Council on
the Marine Environment. A regional forum to exchange
information and conduct long term planning, the Coun-
cil’s mission, “…is to maintain and enhance environmen -
tal quality in the Gulf of Maine to allow for sustainable
resource use by existing and future generations. The Re -
search coordinator of the Wells Bay NERR (Maine) serves
as a member of the Habitat Conservation, Habitat Resto-
ration, and Habitat Monitoring Committees of the Council.
International activities in the NERR system are sometimes
the product of top-down directed programs (sometimes
without the knowledge of those involved), but more often
the result of individuals seizing the moment and mak-
ing programs happen with little or no funding from their
state or federal superiors. Many of these programs have
now been incorporated into individual NERR manage-
ment plans, and I fully expect that more of the NERRs will
become involved in international activities, both because
of interest within the individual NERRs and because the
system represents a coastal resource management re-
source and MPA system model that is not duplicated in the
U.S. or elsewhere, to my knowledge.
The following graciously allowed themselves to be interviewed
for this article:
William Reay, Manager, Chesapeake Bay NERR, Virginia; Frank
Lopez, Manager, Old Woman Creek NERR, Ohio; Beth Ebersole,
Manager, Chesapeake Bay NERR, Maryland; Clayton Phillips,
Manager, Tijuana River NERR, California; Gary Lytton, Manager,
Rookery Bay NERR, Florida; Peter Wellenberger, Manager Great
Bay NERR, New Hampshire; Carol Towle, Former Manager Chesa -
peake Bay NERR , Maryland; Gwynne Schultz, Director, Maryland
Coastal Zone Management Division; and Nina Garfield, Program
Specialist, Estuarine Reserve Division, NOS, NOAA. The inter-
pretation of the material they provided me is my own, and any
shortcomings in the paper, be they errors of omission or commis-
sion are mine and not that of any persons interviewed. I have
also borrowed text very freely from a number of web sites that
describe these programs.
Maurice “Mo" Lynch is a Professor Emeritus, Virginia
Institute of Marine Science (VIMS), College of William &
Mary. He retired in 2001 after 31 years with VIMS. Mo is a
charter member of The Coastal Society and has served as
President, and on the Board of Directors. He is presently
completing his second term as Treasurer. He has edited
or co-edited five of the Society’s Conference Proceedings
and organized two TCS conferences.
tal Management Plan, NOAA also
reports employment trends indicating that 50% of employ-
ees eligible for retirement do leave within three years.
The Department of Commerce reported that in 2004,
the average length of service of retiring individuals was
almost 29.9 years (U.S. Office of Personnel Management, Even using a conservative estimate, it
is therefore possible that by 2010 NOAA could lose more
than 25% of its workforce---and that workforce will take
with it an average of 30 years of institutional history per
According to the Government Performance Project Report
of 2005, conducted by the Pew Center on the States (a
non-partisan independent research entity), the number
of South Carolina state government employees eligible
for retirement in the next 5 years is 23% and in the next
ten years it will be 39.8% (www. A
June 2007 publication from the California State Personnel
Board ( reports that, of their approxi-
mately 235,000-strong state workforce, 35% (or 80,000
employees) will be eligible to retire by 2012. It’s very
likely that the majority of these retiring employees from
both South Carolina and California will be those with long-
term institutional knowledge and expertise.
The level of predicted retirement is certainly worrisome
in terms of the collective “loss" of institutional history
and intellectual capital; however, these departures across
multiple levels of leadership within agencies do provide
opportunities for young professionals with the interest
and motivation to positively impact coastal resources
through their efforts. Federal and state government
agencies are proactively setting out strategies to address
their upcoming workforce challenges through a variety of
human resources plans. However, even with these new
planning efforts, there continues to be concern that agen-
cies may not have sufficiently considered the replacement
of the retiring Baby-boomer managers (born ~ 1946-1964)
within the context of the changing worker perspectives of
the Generation-X’ers (born ~ 1964-1977) and Generation-
Y’ers (born ~1977-1997) (Young 2005; Green 2000). In
the last issue of this newsletter, TCS President Kristen
Fletcher described a few excellent leadership training
programs that can certainly provide the right suite of
tools for professionals. In addition to these options, I
would recommend that you take a look inside your own
institution to see what offerings might be “closer to
home." For example, NOAA offers a range of opportuni-
ties to expand one’s experience both in programming and
leadership including (but certainly not limited to) NOAA’s
NERR System / Leadership
TCS 29 (3)
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VOLUME 29 (3) 2007
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continued from page 5
Rotational Assignment Program, Leadership Competencies
Development Program, and the Intergovernmental Person -
nel Agreement (which enables a temporary assignment of
personnel between federal, state and local governments
and academic communities). Now is an ideal time for
young professionals in coastal zone research and manage -
ment to take initiative in searching for the experiences
and mentors that will enable successful transitions into
new leadership positions.
Another approach to preparing for leadership positions
is to become involved in group discussions and activi-
ties that include senior and junior level managers, as
well as young professionals. Experiences with national,
regional, and local professional societies, working groups,
public outreach efforts and community environmental
planning committees all provide new perspectives on a
wide range of leadership opportunities. A recent Coastal
Zone 07 panel, “Practicing Adaptive Management in the
Workplace; Getting Prepared for the Next Generation of
Coastal Management," hosted by Kathleen Leyden of the
Maine Coastal Program, offered brainstorming with cur-
rent leaders and interested young coastal professionals.
Discussion included what characterizes a leader, steps to
take as an individual interested in strengthening leader-
ship capabilities, and the importance of finding a trusted
mentor, both to glean institutional history and to provide
feedback on new ideas. TCS is an additional resource for
this type of open discussion and a strong option for gain-
ing leadership experience and knowledge from a group
that has fostered and supported coastal zone manage -
ment initiatives for over thirty years. Undoubtedly, the
upcoming TCS21 conference in June 2008 will continue to
explore supporting the development of coastal leaders,
succession planning, recruitment and retention of leaders
in the field, as well as providing excellent networking op -
portunities with current leaders in the field. Keep an eye
open for similar discussions during the November 2007
Estuarine Research Federation conference as well as the
2008 Restore America’s Estuaries conference. Consider
joining the Membership Committee by contacting either
Tom Bigford (Chair; or me (Susan. We’re looking for more new energy to
support TCS efforts on this issue.
Of course, future leaders in this area are not limited to
the academic, policy and education communities; inter -
disciplinary teamwork continues to be promoted as the
key to success. Keep an eye on this newsletter for up-
coming discussions that I hope will be useful and thought-
(and action-) provoking. Continuing the advancement of
coastal zone management calls for a team of leaders who
bring energetic new skills to the table, but who also have
had the opportunity to learn from the past.
(This information does not represent the opinions or poli-
cies of NOAA or the Department of Commerce.)
California State Personnel Board,
Green, Marnie E. “Beware and Prepare: The Government
Workforce of the Future." Public Personnel Management
29(4). 2000.
Governments Performance Project, www. results.gppon-
NOAA Strategic Human Capital Management Plan, www.
U.S. Office of Personnel Management,
U.S. Office of Personnel Management,
Young, Mary B. “Building the Leadership Pipeline in Local,
State, and Federal Government." Independent Research
on Organizations and the Workplace. CPS Human Re -
source Services. 2005.
Susan White is at the Hollings Marine Lab, a NOAA
National Center for Coastal Ocean Science and Center of
Excellence in Oceans and Human Health in Charleston, SC.
She recently relocated from NOAA's Estuarine Reserves Di-
vision in Silver Spring, where she was the national research
coordinator for the National Estuarine Research Reserve
System. At the Hollings Marine Lab, Susan continues to
be committed to supporting integrative and interdisciplin-
ary research in support of improved coastal management.
Susan also serves as a member of the Board of The Coastal
TCS 29 (3)
VOLUME 29 (3) 2007
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TCS 29 (3)
GAO Says U.S. Resource Managers Lack Direction on
Global Warming
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported
that agencies managing the nation's parks, forests, oceans
and monuments are unprepared to deal with climate
change. Currently, resource managers within the Agri-
culture, Interior and Commerce departments have "lim-
ited guidance about whether or how" to address climate
change, GAO said in its report. "Without such guidance,
their ability to address climate change and effectively
manage resources is constrained." At the same time,
there is increasing evidence of climate change in the 600
million acres of public lands and 150,000 square miles of
waters managed by federal agencies, ranging from melt-
ing glaciers in Glacier National Park to rising sea levels in
the Florida Keys. Excerpted from CSO Weekly
Water Quality at U.S. Beaches
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) recently
released its 17th annual beach water quality report, a
compilation of data on 3,500 U.S. beaches. In the report
the NRDC identified the best ("Beach Buddies") and worst
beaches ("Beach Bums") in terms of contaminated wa-
ter. Pollution at the nation's 3,500 ocean, lake and bay
beaches resulted in more than 25,000 closing or swim-
ming advisory days last year, 28 percent more than in
2005, and the highest number in the 17 years that records
have been kept, according to the report. Excerpted from
CSO Weekly.
Understanding the Cause of Red Tides
Chemists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
may have discovered the recipe for one major type of red
tide. Their research opens the door to a better under-
standing of an affliction that costs coastal communities
tens of millions of dollars in lost catches, human illness,
and wildlife injuries, such as the manatees who died in
a red tide outbreak near Florida last spring. By combin-
ing a chemical similar to an enzyme in the ocean with
chemicals found in the algae, researchers set off a chain
reaction that created abundant amounts of a type of bre-
vetoxin that is common in Florida.
Red tide researchers praised the MIT results, saying the
ability to create red tide toxins in the lab may help them
better understand the conditions that foster outbreaks,
which could lead them to an antidote to the poisons.
Excerpted from the Boston Globe.
Coral Worse Off Than Believed
The first large-scale analysis of the world's largest reef
systems indicates that coral destruction is faster and
more widespread than researchers previously thought.
Over the past 2 decades, coral has disappeared at five
times the rate of Earth's rainforests. The Indian and
Pacific oceans are home to 75% of the world's coral reefs.
Recently, John Bruno, a marine biologist at the University
of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, and colleagues spent 3
years compiling over 6000 independent surveys. In all, the
data spanned 4 decades and recorded the status of more
than 2600 reefs. Over 3000 square kilometers of living
coral reef are lost each year, the team found, and the
speed of destruction is no less in protected habitats such
as Australia's Great Barrier Reef. Conservationists had pre-
viously believed that accelerated declines started in the
1990s, but the researchers found reports of widespread
loss dating back to the 1960s, when pollution, deforesta-
tion, and over-fishing trends began. Reefs vanished at an
annual rate of 1% during the 1980s, with declines climbing
through the 1990s to the current rate of 2%--nearly five
times the pace of rainforest elimination, say the authors.
Excerpted from an article by Amy Coombs, Science-
full/2007/808/2.rss=1. From an article by Bruno J.F., and
Selig E.R (2007). Regional Decline of Coral Cover in the In -
do-Pacific: Timing, Extent, and Subregional Comparisons.
PLoS ONE 2(8): e711. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0000711.
Global Warming May be Harming Gray Whales
As many as 118,000 gray whales roamed the Pacific before
humans decimated the population through hunting, and
human-induced climate change may now be depriving
those that remain of the food they need, according to a
study released yesterday. Research, based on a detailed
analysis of DNA taken from gray whales living in the
eastern Pacific, highlights how human behavior has trans-
formed the oceans.
Federal officials took eastern Pacific gray whales off the
endangered species list in the mid-1990s, but a rise in sea
temperatures appears to have limited the whales' avail -
able food. A recent spike in deaths among gray whales
may suggest "this decline was due to shifting climatic con-
ditions on Arctic feeding grounds," researchers wrote in a
continued on page 9
VOLUME 29 (3) 2007
the issue in the near future. Plaintiffs in Alsea II have
indicated that they will appeal Judge Hogan’s ruling.
Excerpted from an article by Dustin Till in Marten Law
Group Environmental News.
On the Legislative Front: Oceans-21
Oceans-21 (H.R. 21) was introduced to the House of
Representatives by Rep. Sam Farr (D-CA) at the beginning
of this year, and has collected sixty-two co-sponsors. The
bill was written to address and enact many of the recom-
mendations put forward by the Joint Ocean Commission
Initiative and its predecessors, the U.S. Commission on
Oceans Policy and Pew Ocean Commission. The current
Oceans–21 enjoys broader support in this Congress than a
similar bill introduced in the previous Congress.
Key provisions include:
The creation of a National Ocean Policy. To comport
with National Standards, actions funded or carried
out by Federal agencies with potential affect on U.S.
waters, would have to be certified by NOAA to be
“not likely to significantly the health of any marine
A NOAA Organic Act, which would codify the agency
and its mission in law. Currently, NOAA is authorized
solely by executive order.
The creation of a National Oceans Advisor and a per-
manent Committee on Oceans Policy in the Executive
Office of the President. The bill would also establish
a Council of Advisors on Oceans Policy, including
representatives from state and local government,
academia, industry, and NGOs.
The establishment of nine Regional Ocean Partner-
ships to build on current state, multi-state, and
regional efforts and develop non-binding Regional
Ocean Strategic Plans within three years.
An Ocean Trust Fund. Beginning in 2008, the Treasury
would deposit $1.3 billion into the Fund, which would
be disbursed by NOAA to coastal states via a sharing
formula. The funds would be used to implement the
Regional Ocean Strategic Plans.
Excerpted from September 07 Fisheries Focus. http://
TCS 29 (3)
paper published online in the Proceedings of the National
Academy of Sciences.
"One of the most exciting things" about DNA analysis,
lead author Elizabeth Alter said, is that it gives us "the
opportunity to look back in time and see what the ocean
looked like before human impact." Said co-author
Stephen R. Palumbi, a professor of marine sciences at
Stanford, “…if humans are affecting the ocean's "capac-
ity to support life, it's got to make you worry, it's got to
make your wonder." Excerpted from the Washington
U.S. Senator Feingold Calls for Hearings on Great Lakes
Water Levels
A decline in water levels is an ongoing problem in the
Great Lakes region, attributed in part to climate change,
new rainfall patterns and even dredging activities. Ac-
cording to recent reports, Lake Superior is expected to
reach a record low in 2007, while Lake Michigan and Lake
Huron water levels have dropped 3 feet since 1999. The
International Joint Commission (IJC), a bi-national group
whose members are appointed by the U.S. and Canadian
governments to monitor the water quality of the Great
Lakes, launched a new study to evaluate water level
changes and explore potential remediation options. The
study is expected to take five years, which Senator Russ
Feingold says is too long to wait. In letters to the Senate
Environment and Public Works Committee and the IJC,
Sen. Feingold has called for hearings and quicker action
from the IJC study group. Excerpted from CSO Weekly
Hatchery Salmon Excluded From ESA Endangerment
A federal judge in Oregon has upheld a decision by the
National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to exclude
hatchery-spawned salmon when assessing species extinc-
tion risks in listing evaluations conducted under the En-
dangered Species Act (ESA). District Court Judge Michael
R. Hogan also agreed with NMFS’ decision to list 16 Pacific
salmon populations as threatened or endangered under
the ESA, Alsea Valley Alliance v. Lautenbacher (Alsea II).
The ruling clarifies a 2001 decision by the same judge and
makes clear that NMFS need not count hatchery-spawned
salmon when determining whether a salmon species is at
risk. The fight over the role of hatchery-spawned salmon
in ESA listings does not appear to be over and the Ninth
Circuit will likely have the opportunity to weigh in on
continued from page 8
VOLUME 29 (3) 2007
Chapter Voices
TCS 29 (3)
Graduate Scholarships
By Ellen Gordon
In lieu of a student-written article this quarter, I thought I would instead discuss a topic near and dear to most every
graduate student’s heart: support money! The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) offers two
competitive scholarship opportunities for graduate students in marine fields.
The first is the “Dr. Nancy Foster Scholarship Program," which recognizes outstanding scholarship and encourages inde-
pendent graduate level research—particularly by female and minority students—in oceanography, maritime ecology and
marine biology (the lattermost being defined to include resource management of ocean and coastal areas). Congress
authorized the program soon after Dr. Foster’s death in June 2000 as a means of honoring her life’s work. Known for
her science-based conservation of coastal aquatic life, Dr. Foster was well-respected for her personal support of men-
toring as well as her championing of diversity.
The program is funded annually with one percent of the amount appropriated each fiscal year to carry out the National
Marine Sanctuaries Act. The scholarships carry a 12 month stipend of $20,000 and an annual cost-of-education allow-
ance of up to $12,000 and up to $20,000 support for research collaboration at a NOAA facility. Master’s degree students
may be supported for up to two years and doctoral students for up to four years. About four scholarships are awarded
each year. The 2008/2009 application process will open on December 1, 2007 and close on February 8, 2008. http://
The Graduate Sciences Program (GSP), another NOAA scholarship offer, is aimed at increasing opportunities for stu -
dents—particularly from underrepresented groups--in NOAA-related fields, including biology, engineering, law, social
science, economics, geography, mathematics, chemistry, physics, physical science, computer science, geography and
geology. Qualified candidates must have a 3.0 GPA minimum. The program provides for formal periods of work, study
and classroom training. The GSP pays for tuition, books, lab fees, and a housing allowance at the selected university,
travel expenses and salary during 16 weeks of NOAA work experience per year at a NOAA facility. A NOAA mentor is as-
signed to each student. The application process should be opening this year in October and closing in January of 2008.
Specific dates will be posted on the website in the near future.
NOAA offers other student opportunities on occasion, at undergrad, graduate and post-grad levels. For additional in-
formation, periodically check NOAA’s Office of Education, Student Opportunities website.
VOLUME 29 (3) 2007
Chapter Updates
TCS 29 (3)
Duke University triathlon
Duke University
Thanks to both volunteers and participants, the Seventh
annual Neuse River Triathlon, held September 8, 2007 was
a huge success! Sponsored by the Duke University stu-
dent chapter of TCS, the event was held on Pivers Island,
Beaufort, North Carolina. One hundred and twenty nine
participants competed in the 800m swim, 6 mile bike
ride, and 2.5 mile run. The winner in the men’s individ-
ual competition was Chris Oishi (50 minutes 34 seconds),
the winner of the women’s individual competition was
Laura Downey (54 minutes 39 seconds), and the winner
of the mixed team competition was the team Rusty, Slow,
and Slower (Eleanor Kim, Peter Maniloff and Rafe Sagarin;
44 minutes 4 seconds). Best costume was also awarded to
Joel Sholtes for his creative lobster outfit.
Fortunately, tropical storm Gabriella held off a day,
allowing for good weather on the day of the triathlon,
despite being a bit warm. Following the competition,
winners were announced at the BBQ picnic at Duke Uni-
versity’s Marine Lab and a raffle was held with several
great prizes. The triathlon raised an estimated $600, to
be donated to the Neuse River Foundation, which works
to protect rivers and estuaries in eastern North Carolina
that feed into the Mid-Atlantic.
East Carolina University
After the summer hiatus, the East Carolina University Stu-
dent Chapter of The Coastal Society (TCS-ECU) is gearing
We recognize the importance of these opportunities to
our professional development, and we are grateful for the
In May, we elected new officers for the 2007-08 academic
year. They are: Kevin Miller as President; Greg Meyer,
continuing to serve as Vice-president; past-president Val
Grussing as Treasurer; and David VanDeVelde as Secretary.
In August, several members participated in CRM’s 3rd
Conversation on Society and the Environment. This is an
annual gathering at which we informally discuss a book
read over the summer. The books have all been of broad
general interest while related to coastal issues. This
year’s choice was Paul Roberts’ The End of Oil. TCS-ECU
members were invited to serve as facilitators for small-
group discussions. About 80 people signed up to read the
book, and most joined in the afternoon’s discussion. We
took advantage of the opportunity to introduce people to
TCS-ECU and encourage their membership and participa-
We are looking forward to a number of other activities
in the coming year. In October, we will host a visit from
TCS President Kristen Fletcher. We are excited to be able
to have Kristen on campus, and for the opportunity she
brings to help raise the coastal awareness of the univer-
sity community. Working with the CRM Program, we hope
to be able to bring other academics and coastal profes-
sionals to campus to continue to engage our community in
VOLUME 29 (3) 2007
up for a full year. Our primary focus
will be increasing the effectiveness of
TCS-ECU by expanding our membership
beyond the Coastal Resources Manage-
ment Ph.D. program (CRM) to other
students, faculty and members of the
university community who are inter-
ested in coastal issues.
At the end of the last academic year,
we were successful in securing funds
from the ECU Graduate Student Coun-
cil to enable us to help some of our
members travel to professional confer-
ences to present their work, and to
bring speakers to campus. With the
continued additional support of the
Graduate School, the CRM program and
research grants, we have set a goal of
sending each TCS-ECU student member
to at least one conference this year.
continued on page 12
Chapter Updates
TCS 29 (3)
learning about and discussion of important social, politi-
cal and environmental issues that involve the coast. But
it’s not all work and no play—we are also planning an in -
formal fall social gathering, a picnic at a member’s farm.
Finally, as you have read elsewhere in this issue of the
Bulletin, planning for TCS21 is underway. The call for
abstracts is out, and this conference promises to continue
the long tradition of interesting, engaging meetings. We
are happy that several people involved in TCS-ECU are
able to serve on the planning committee, including our
faculty advisor and TCS past-president Lorry King, CRM
graduate and former TCS-ECU member Chris Ellis (now at
NOAA’s Coastal Service Center in Charleston), and current
president Kevin Miller. We look forward to seeing you in
Redondo Beach next June!
University of Hawai’i
The Hawai'i chapter of The Coastal Society has been
meeting over the summer to discuss how to conserve
coastal environments and minimize vulnerability to
coastal hazards, both pressing issues in our island state.
Members from a diverse range of disciplines such as geol-
ogy, geography, planning, engineering and law brought
their expertise to think-tank style meetings which focused
on a wide range of management, governance and techni-
cal issues. More than talk, the chapter decided to delve
into studying a range of coastal land management strate-
gies this coming year. The Hawai'i chapter also had a little
fun this summer. Student members learned how ancient
Hawaiians managed their coastal resources and partici-
pated in a fishpond restoration at Paepae o He'eia which
is an ancient Hawaiian fishpond located on O'ahu. http://
The Hawai'i chapter is gearing-up for the new academic
year and has hired a new student organizer for 2007-2008
who will also be involved in a research project with the
State Department of Land and Natural Resources, Office
of Conservation and Coastal Lands (OCCL).
University of Rhode Island
Over the summer the officers of the URI student chap-
ter of TCS met several times to plan for fall meetings,
forums, and social activities. Planned social activities
include monthly beach cleanups at Bass Rock, a public
access point the chapter has recently adopted, and a
getaway trip to Block Island. Forum speakers scheduled
include representatives from the Census of Marine Life
Project, Narragansett Bay's Save the Bay, the wind energy
company Cape Wind, and a United Nations Fellow from
University of Washington
During the summer quarter at the University of Washing-
ton, our chapter has been pretty quiet. However, individ-
ually our members have been busy gaining work experi-
ence, doing research, interning, attending conferences,
and traveling the world. We look forward to getting back
together at the end of September to resume TCS projects
like Blue Drinks and restoration projects. Stay tuned!
VOLUME 29 (3) 2007
TCS-Hawai'i student members volunteer at Paepae o He'eia fishpond restoration.
continued from page 11
TCS 29 (3)
Please join us for The Coastal Society’s 21st Inter-
national Conference…
“Coastal Footprints: Minimizing Human
Impacts, Maximizing Stewardship"
June 29 - July 2, 2008
Redondo Beach, Los Angeles, CA
Abstracts due October 23!
Abstracts for panel sessions and oral and poster
presentations are invited. Submissions should
provide case studies or offer innovative solutions
to spark interactive discussion. Preference will be
given to those that complement the conference’s
theme and fit within the conference tracks:
Effective Integration of Coastal Science, Policy &
International Coastal Management Concepts and
Coastal Energy Siting, Production and Consumption
Integrating Social Equity into Coastal Management
Working Waterfronts and Waterways
Coastal Land and Watershed Use
Climate Change Impacts
To submit an abstract or for more information,
VOLUME 29 (3) 2007
Upcoming Conference
TCS 28 (2)
Scientific Workshop on the Impact of Global
Climate Change on the Arctic Coastal Zones
October 1-3, 2007, Tromsø, Norway
Theme: Arctic Coastal Zones at Risk. Organized by
International Conference on Management and Restora-
tion of Coastal Dunes
October 3-5, 2007, Santander, Spain
26th Annual International Submerged Lands Manage-
ment Conference
October 29-November 2, 2007, Williamsburg, VA
International Conference on Coastal Management 2007
October 31-November 2, 2007, Cardiff, United Kingdom
The purpose of this conference, through nine key themes,
is to highlight innovation and best practice in the field of
coastal management.
ERF 2007: Science and Management: Observations,
Syntheses, Solutions
November 4-8, 2007, Providence, RI
32nd Peace in the Oceans Conference: Waves of
Change: Women, Youth and the Sea—Partnering for the
Protection of the Marine Environment
November 5 - 8, 2007, Malta
This conference aims to build public awareness about the
economic and social value of our oceans and establish
new channels through which women and youth can en-
gage in maritime and climate change affairs. In addition,
the conference will showcase an underwater film festival
and art exhibition.
Living with Climate Change: Are There Limits to Adap-
February 7-8, 2008, London, UK
GIS and Water Resources IV, American Water Resources
Association Spring Specialty Conference
March 17-19, 2008, San Mateo, CA
Geographic information systems have become a necessary
component in the planning and management of water
Upcoming Conferences
TCS 29 (3)
resources. This conference continues the AWRA biennial
tradition of surveying the state of knowledge in this field.
4th Global Conference on Oceans, Coasts and Islands
April 7-11, 2008, Hanoi, Vietnam
Organized by the Global Forum on Oceans, Coasts, and
Islands and hosted by the government of Vietnam
Solutions to Coastal Disasters Conference 2008
April 13-16, 2008, Turtle Bay Resort, Oahu, Hawaii,
Conference topics will focus on science, management
tools, management challenges and options, and coastal
land use policy related to a range of coastal hazards.
Coastal Footprints: Minimizing Human Impacts, Maxi-
mizing Stewardship
June 29-July 2, 2008, Redondo Beach, Los Angeles, CA
VOLUME 29 (3) 2007
Board of Directors
TCS 29 (3)
Richard H. Burroughs
Dept. of Marine Affairs
University of Rhode Island
PH: (401) 874-4045
(Education Committee Co-Chair)
Patrick J. Christie
School of Marine Affairs -and-
Jackson School of International Studies
University of Washington
PH: (206) 685-6661
Ariel A. Cuschnir
Coastal Programs
The Louis Berger Group, Inc.
PH: (202) 303-2750
(International Integration Working Group
Tali Engoltz
NJ Dept. of Environmental Protection
Coastal Management Program
PH: (609) 633-2201
Robert F. Goodwin
PH: (509) 422-1733
(Influcation Working Group Chair)
Larry Hildebrand
Strategic Integration Office
Environment Canada-Atlantic
PH: (902) 426-2131
Laurie Jodice
PH: (864) 656-2209
Susan White
Hollings Marine Laboratory -and-
Center for Excellence in Oceans and
Human Health
NOAA National Center for Coastal Ocean
PH: (843) 762-8993
Thomas E. Bigford
NOAA/Nat'l Marine Fisheries Service
Office of Habitat Conservation
PH: (301) 713-4300 xt. 131
(Membership Committee Chair)
Gib L. Chase
EcoConsultants International LLC
PH: (508) 393-9548
(Education Committee Co-Chair and
Development Committee Co-Chair)
Kimberly Lellis
Department of Natural Resources Science
Coastal Institute in Kingston
University of Rhode Island
PH: (401) 829-7151
Special Projects Committee Co-Chair
Christine Patrick
PH: (301) 466-4849
(Chapters Committee Chair)
Duke University Student Chapter
Carly Knoell, Chapter Liaison
East Carolina Student Chapter
Kevin Miller, President
University of Hawaii Student Chapter
India Clark, President
Harmonee Williams, Chapter Liaison
Univ. of Rhode Island Student Chapter
Matt Nixon, Co-President
Willie Whitmore, Co-President and
Chapter Liaison
Univ. of Washington Student Chapter
Sara Earhart, Chapter Liaison
Maile Sullivan, President
The Coastal Society
Tax ID Number: 52-1082650
TCS Office
Judy Tucker, CAE, Executive Director
P.O. Box 3590
Williamsburg, VA 23187-3590
PH: (757) 565-0999
FAX: (757) 565-0299
Bulletin Editor
Ellen Gordon
PH: (301) 407-9155
Bulletin Designer and Publisher
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Dept. of Natural Resources Conservation
PH: (413) 545-6641
David Loomis and Sarah Pautzke
Tax Preparation
Swart, Lalande & Associates, PC
Chas Rannells
PH: (703) 361-6126
Kristen Fletcher (President)
Marine Affairs Institute,
Rhode Island Sea Grant
Legal Program,
Roger Williams University
School of Law
PH: (401) 254-4613
(Strategic Planning Working
Group Chair)
Jeff Benoit (Pres.-Elect)
Restore America's Estuaries
PH: (703) 524-0248
(Special Projects Committee
Paul C. Ticco, PhD (Past Pres.)
National Marine Sanctuary
PH: (301) 713-7240
(Nominations Committee Chair
and Development Committee
Maurice "Mo" P. Lynch (Trea-
College of William and Mary
Virginia Institute of Marine
PH: (804) 542-4852
(Finance Committee Chair)
Helene Scalliet (Secretary)
National Marine Sanctuary
PH: (301) 713-3125, ext. 281
(Communications Committee
VOLUME 29 (3) 2007
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The Coastal Society is an organization of private sector, academic, and government professionals and students dedicated to
actively addressing emerging coastal issues by fostering dialogue, forging partnerships, and promoting
communication and education.
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