Southeast Chapter News

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  • February 09, 2017 12:43 PM | Marcie Hayden (Administrator)

    February 2017 Technical Meeting

    The Hydrographic Society of America - Southeast Chapter would like to invite you to join us for our February Technical Meeting. Our speakers will be Mindy Joiner, Kyle Waits and Lisa Landry with xylem. They will be giving a presentation on HydroSurveyor and a demonstration on the CastAway.

    For more information or to register to this event, please visit: https://thsoa.org/event-2462407.

    Event Details

    Date: Wednesday February 15, 2017
    Time: 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
    Location: Pat's Fisherman Wharf Restaurant
    1008 Henderson Levee Rd, Henderson, LA 70517


    Members: $20.00
    Non Members: $30.00
    Students: $10.00
    (The entry fee is waived for Students, if you sign up for membership.)

    Sign up to receive THSOA Southeast Chapter news at www.thsoa.org/Subscribe

  • January 24, 2017 2:20 PM | Melissa Wood (Administrator)

    The Southeast Chapter is pleased to announce that we will be exhibiting at Underwater Intervention 2017, February 21-23, 2017 at the Morial Convention Center Hall B1, New Orleans Louisiana.

    Come by and say HI

  • January 23, 2017 9:49 PM | Melissa Wood (Administrator)

    Southeast Chapter 2017 Scholarship Awards

    Congratulations to this year's Southeast Chapter scholarship winners

    Lauren Quas - The University of Southern Mississippi
    Jerome Small - Florida Atlantic University
    Eric Didion - University of Florida
    Joseph Reid Jones - Troy University
    Jeffery Obelcz - Louisiana State University

  • November 29, 2016 8:10 AM | Anonymous
    Article by Ryan Kailath at wwno.org

    Louisiana spends heavily on building wetlands and levees to protect its eroding coast. Over the next three years, the state plans to put nearly $300 million into land-building alone. But as the true picture of sea level rise comes into view, officials may need to explore a less popular option: retreat from the coast.

    Louisiana’s eroding coastline poses some very real threats to industries like oil & gas and the fishing industry. But there are also more than 10,000 people simply living along the disappearing coast. Until now, restoration has been their existential hope. Alongside the state’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA), there are more than a dozen non-profits focused on coastal restoration. Only one group acknowledges another option in it’s name.

    Simone Maloz is Executive Director of that nonprofit, Restore or Retreat. Despite the name, the group focuses on coastal restoration. The “retreat” part of the name was meant as a warning: restore, or else.

    Maloz says the name was meant that way 16 years ago, when the group was founded.

    “Back then it was a threat,” she says. “If we don’t do something now, we’re going to be forced to leave. And um, I think it’s become probably more of a reality than a threat.”

    Before Hurricane Katrina in 2005, but especially since then, Louisiana has been all in on protection and restoration. And until this year, officials believed there was a scenario under which they could halt, or even reverse, coastal land loss.

    But now, “the rate of land-building will never match the rate of land loss,” says Karim Belhadjali, Deputy Chief of the CPRA.

    That means Louisiana is losing land faster than any government agency or well-intentioned nonprofit can ever hope to build it back. At best, they’ll be able to staunch the bleeding. Belhadjali doesn’t yet know how much time his agency can buy the coast, but hopes to have a better idea in January, when the new version of Louisiana’s five-year “Master Plan” is released.

    In the meantime, people living down the coast have some hard decisions to make. Simone Maloz says that in many ways, retreat has already begun.

    “You can literally see those census shifts, that people are moving north,” she says. “You know, maybe they wanna live closer to their grandchildren in Thibodaux, right? Oh, their kids go to school in Houma, so they wanna move up the bayou. But those are the people that have the means to move.”

    But as the climate continues changing, those without the means to move will find themselves increasingly in harm’s way. Even if a hurricane never hits Louisiana again, the coast is still sinking, and the seas are still rising.

    Yet in six community meetings that state officials held last month, the word ‘retreat’ never came up. Unsurprisingly, it’s a politically toxic subject of conversation.

    “There are no politicians on any of these coastal areas that wanna talk about people moving away,” says Ed Richards, an LSU law professor who works on coastal climate change and adaptation issues.

    He says that while retreat is a valid solution, it’s largely off the table when it comes to state policy. The focus on restoration and protection—seen as fighting the good fight—is much more politically viable.

    “As long as the religion of Louisiana is that we can fix this,” says Richards, “We don’t get to the next part, where you make that existential choice: wash away or move.”

    And, he adds, there’s plenty of money to be made in the coastal restoration and protection industries, whereas retreat can hollow out local property values and tax bases.

    Liz Koslov, a Ph.D candidate at New York University who studies climate-related retreat, says that people are scared to broach the topic for good reason. The idea is politically uncomfortable because it’s personally uncomfortable. Nobody wants to abandon their home. Even saying the word itself feels like a failure.

    “We think of retreat as meaning giving up,” Koslov says. “That’s it, it’s over, you’ve lost the war.”

    But there’s another way to think about it, Koslov says. Break down the word itself. “Re-” means “back to the original place, again, anew.” And to “treat” means to heal, or cure. Instead of connoting loss, Koslov says, retreat can mean letting neighborhoods go back to nature, for the greater good.

    She’s been conducting field research on Staten Island since Hurricane Sandy. After the Oakwood Beach neighborhood there took on seven feet of water, the community got together, went to the state and asked to have their homes bought out, torn down, and turned back into wetlands.

    Retreat is the only solution that aims to move people out of harm's way.
    Credit Ebbwater Consulting

    The key, Koslov says, is that the community asked for it. If the state had come offering buyouts up front, the community likely would have resisted.

    “But the fact that they came up with the plan themselves,” Koslov says, “And they heard about it from people they trusted, people they saw as like them, who were their neighbors—it made it have a very different dynamic.”

    Community organizing may be the only way to get retreat taken seriously in South Louisiana, according to Koslov. And she adds that while home buyouts may cost more upfront than building land and levees, they are cheaper in the long run. As the people of New Orleans well know, levees need constant, expensive maintenance to remain effective. Retreat is the only solution that aims to move people permanently out of harm’s way, Koslov says.

    But Louisianans still aren't sold. Karim Belhadjali, with the CPRA, says weighing these costs is difficult. They’re crunching numbers and will have a better picture when the new Master Plan comes out in January.

    And Simone Maloz, of Restore or Retreat, adds that unlike in Staten Island, Louisiana’s coast is a working coast. People often earn their living on the water, or even feed their families via subsistence fishing.

    So for now, the state’s coastal focus is still on letting people remain. Over 90% of Louisiana’s Master Plan budget is devoted to restoration and protection. And Restore or Retreat isn’t pushing the idea of moving, either.

    “There is an element of reality, sure,” says Maloz, “In that not all these coastal communities can be saved. But that doesn’t mean you give up trying!” Building levees and wetlands can buy the coast some time while the people who live there figure out what to do next.

    Until now, the threat of coastal land loss has been met with a choice. But the people of South Louisiana may have to accept that an either/or choice is will soon be off the table. The future will involve both restore and retreat.

  • September 28, 2016 11:42 AM | Anonymous

    NAD 83 and NAVD 88 will be replaced in 2022, and there are many related projects to make sure the transition goes smoothly. Read the NOAA NGS Ten-Year Plan to learn more and continue to visit the NGA web-page for more information.

    This information is very important for coastal and inland areas of the Gulf, such as coastal Louisiana and other coastal states.

  • July 28, 2016 10:00 AM | Anonymous

    The newest positioning and monitoring station for coastal Louisiana has seen the completion of installation- at Cypremort State Park, located in the central coast of Louisiana.

    Through a five state- Gulf Wide- initiative lead by the University of Southern Mississippi (funded by NOAA Grant Funding), a multi year effort is seeing the planning, design and installation of new GPS (GNSS) based CORS Stations across the entire Gulf Coast. Combined with resources such as the Real Time GPS Network (RTN) by the Louisiana State University Center for GeoInformatics, very accurate positioning (in real time) are available for coastal restoration projects, coastal protection projects, infrastructure and community and industrial projects and programs.

    Special Thanks and Appreciation goes to the Louisiana State Parks, Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism- for their support and collaboration.

    Thanks to the Texas A&M CBI for their work and the efforts and installation of this station with Louisiana State University C4G.

    Planning for a new GPS CORS Station is now underway for South Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana.

  • July 13, 2016 4:15 PM | Anonymous

    Good example of former flooded wetland areas subsiding through the draining of the area--6 feet of vertical elevation loss, 1924-2009. A good way to show what happens to exposed organic soils when these (former) wetland soils are drained and exposed to the open atmosphere.

    The last time period rate of elevation loss may be due to the fact the soil has been pretty compacted in the decades before and a lot of the organic material has been oxidized and lost. It would be good to see what the composition of the remaining soil.

    This is seen across wide areas of coastal Louisiana and the northern Gulf. This loss of soil organic material, the compaction and other subsidence effects and the rise of sea levels- all making a relative sea level rise rate about 4 times greater than a coastal area like Pensacola.

    The big issue now is to see this occurring at a very rapid rate in Carbon emission/loss of the northern tundra through melting and fires. The release of carbon (CO2) into the atmosphere from this can be very large.




  • March 17, 2016 12:50 PM | Anonymous
    On March 15th, The Hydrographic Society of America (THSOA) Southeast Chapter participated in the Biloxi High School Career day. Biloxi High School is one of the largest schools with 1,600 students on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. In a small and comfortable environment, THSOA Southeast Chapter was able to expose at least 200 out of the 800 students who visited the career day to the world of Hydrography.

    At the Career day, there were 23 tables and their primary themes were healthcare and the food/entertainment industry. Only two tables were directly related to science and engineering. Those two organizations were THSOA Southeast Chapter and the MS Department of Marine Resources, DMR.

    THSOA Southeast Chapter informed students on Hydrography along with the associated sciences and engineering. The storyline used was that few know Hydrography as a science and little know the engineering associated with survey. Biloxi High School was grateful for our participation and the Southeast Chapter is glad that many students were exposed to our industry.

    Completely unexpected was one student who saw our banners from across the way and ran up stating, “I can’t believe you are here. This is exactly what I want to do for a career!” She stayed the time allotted while we discussed the society, summer program possibilities, scholarships, educational and employment opportunities.

    Also discussed were academic preparation for whatever the interested student was considering. And of course, letting the students know the importance of their “best” ACT score.

    While there are difficulties in participating in efforts such as this. As examples, you are not the most popular table with Mc Donald’s and Army blow you away and 80% of the students have absolutely no interest but there are 20% do.

    Career day efforts such as these are worth it if we can help steer some to a science and engineering field.     




  • March 17, 2016 9:52 AM | Anonymous

    A report published by Marsh, a leading insurance broker and risk adviser, and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies, says bathymetric data, which produces 3D images of seabeds, is "inadequate or non-existent" for large tracts of national and international waters.

    In order to support the growth of the global shipping industry, governments around the world need to invest more in creating and sharing accurate hydrographic information, says Marsh.

    Marsh’s report, 'Plumbing the Depths: Hydrographic Concerns for Modern-Day Large Vessels,' highlights how increasingly large commercial vessels with greater length, width, and depth are navigating vast areas of the world’s seas and oceans. These areas are either unsurveyed or have not been re-surveyed since lead-line soundings were used to measure fathoms nearly a century ago.

    According to the International Hydrographic Organization, nearly half (49 per cent) of the UK’s coastal waters up to 200m have been adequately surveyed to modern standards, with Japan at 46 per cent and Australia at 35 per cent. In the Arctic Peninsula, an increasingly popular destination for cruise ships, virtually all coastal waters up to depths of 200m have not yet been surveyed.

    “This is a pivotal decade in the development of the global maritime industry given the enormous proportions of commercial vessels now plying waters around the world,” said, Marcus Baker, Chairman of Marsh’s Global Marine Practice.

    “The new Suez Canal allows nearly double the previous maximum of vessels to transit the Canal each day; and the new Panama Canal, with its new locks and deeper channels, is set to open later this year. More government investment in hydrographic surveys and the sharing of accurate bathymetric data and hydrographic information is imperative, to protect vessels and the crews that serve on them.”

    In January 2016, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) was granted powers to audit the performance of countries in fulfilling their safety of life at sea (SOLAS) obligations, including the collection and compilation of hydrographic data and the publication and dissemination of all nautical information necessary for safe navigation. However, the IMO currently has no authority to compel countries to fulfil these obligations.

    Steve Harris, Senior Vice President, Marsh’s Global Marine Practice, said: “There are many parts of the world where the salvage industry is ill-equipped to handle large incidents, which is a concern for operators, insurers, salvors, and environmentalists alike. Having these larger vessels, with their increasingly valuable and complex cargoes, sailing through inadequately charted waters has enormous environmental and business interruption implications, should an incident occur.”

    Article Credit: Dredging News Online at http://www.sandandgravel.com/news/article.asp?v1=22679.

  • March 01, 2016 10:23 AM | Anonymous

    Come join us for the Southeast Chapter’s 5th Annual Crawfish Boil on Wednesday, April 13th, 2016 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Pat’s Fisherman’s Wharf in Henderson.

    Our guest speaker will be Brian Busey, THSOA National President. Brian will give a presentation/update on the activities of THSOA-National.

    It will be all you can eat crawfish and fixin’s for only $35. To attend this event, please register online via the THSOA website at www.thsoa.org/event-2152671 or email (kim.dailey@teledyne.com, laginla@Hotmail.com or southeast@thsoa.org). Registration closes April 11th.

    We also are offering sponsorships. All sponsors will have their company logo on the event banner and acknowledged at the event. Platinum sponsors will have their logo and acknowledged on the Southeast Chapter web site.

    All proceeds from this event will go toward funding THSOA-Southeast Chapter’s Student Scholarship Awards program. 
For platinum/gold/silver/bronze sponsorship opportunities or if you would like to donate a door prize please contact Kim Dailey @ kim.dailey@teledyne.com or Linda Guillory @ laginla@hotmail.com.

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