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USGS researchers meet with Fire Island National Seashore management to continue collaborative project on beach recovery forecasting

Jennifer Miselis and Kat Wilson (scientists, St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center), Richard Snell (computer programmer, SPCMSC), and Erika Lentz (scientist, Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center), will travel to Patchogue, New York, next week. The group will meet with Fire Island National Seashore personnel on May 23. The meeting will continue collaboration on a three-year project funded through the National Resource Preservation Program aiming to forecast beach recovery using probabilistic networks.

posted: 2017-05-18

SPCMSC Scientists conduct Beach Survey at Fire Island National Seashore

From May 23–26, St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center scientists Owen Brenner and Kat Wilson will conduct GPS monitoring surveys on Fire Island, New York, as part of the continuing efforts to assess post-Sandy beach recovery. Surveys of shorelines and beach profiles were first collected immediately prior to Hurricane Sandy in 2012, and have been collected frequently in the four and a half years since. For more information on the Hurricane Sandy Supplemental Fire Island project, visit: http://coastal.er.usgs.gov/fire-island/.

posted: 2017-05-18

USGS researchers continue monitoring surveys on Fire Island - Jan 2017

From Jan. 24–27, USGS scientists will conduct GPS monitoring surveys on Fire Island, New York, as part of the continuing efforts to assess post-Sandy beach recovery. Surveys of shorelines and beach profiles were first collected immediately prior to Hurricane Sandy, and have been collected frequently in the three years since. The data produced from the surveys will also provide important baseline monitoring for the planned beach nourishment projects at Fire Island.

For more information on the Hurricane Sandy Supplemental Fire Island project, visit: http://coastal.er.usgs.gov/fire-island/ or contact Owen Brenner, obrenner@usgs.gov.

posted: 2017-02-13

USGS scientists to give congressional briefings on the Fire Island to Montauk Point Reformulation Plan (FIMP)

Cheryl Hapke (Center Director, St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center) and Bill Schwab (Research Geophysicist, Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center) will participate in briefings for NY Congressman Zeldin and Senators Schumer and Gillibrand at their NY District Offices as part of a DOI Advisory Team on September 27th. The focus of the briefings is the USACE's FIMP Environmental Impact Statement, which is currently available for public review.

posted: 2016-09-14

Scientist preparing equipment on the beach at Fire Island, New YorkUSGS scientists investigate terrestrial geology at Fire Island, New York

One major component of the USGS Fire Island Hurricane Sandy Supplemental Project GS2-2B is to examine geologic controls on the behavior of the Fire Island National Seashore by quantifying variations in sediment availability in the shoreface. Over the next two weeks and in collaboration with the National Park Service, St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center (SPCMSC) staff Julie Bernier (Geologist), Owen Brenner (Geologist), Kyle Kelso (Geologist), and Jennifer Miselis (Research Geologist) will be using a combination of indirect and direct sampling (ground-penetrating radar and vibracores, respectively) to characterize spatial variability in the geology of the subaerial shoreface. They will also collect elevation data along beach profiles that have been measured quarterly since Hurricane Sandy made landfall in 2012. The morphologic and geologic data will be integrated to better understand the role of shoreface geology in post-Sandy beach recovery and dune-building.

posted: 2016-04-08

Photo of beach at Fire Island, NYUSGS Researchers collect surveys before and after the January 2016 Nor'easter on Fire Island

From January 20–27, Owen Brenner and Kat Wilson, research staff from the USGS St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center, are conducting GPS monitoring surveys on Fire Island, New York, as part of the continuing efforts to assess post-Sandy beach recovery. In an extended field effort, the team has been able to collect surveys both immediately prior to and following the January 2016 Nor'easter, capturing storm impacts in the largest storm to make landfall at Fire Island since Hurricane Sandy. The work is part of Hurricane Sandy Supplemental project GS2-2B. Surveys of shorelines and beach profiles were first collected just before Hurricane Sandy, and have been collected frequently in the three years since. The data produced from the surveys will also provide important baseline monitoring for the planned beach nourishment projects at Fire Island.

For more information on the Hurricane Sandy Supplemental Fire Island project, visit: http://coastal.er.usgs.gov/fire-island/ or contact Owen Brenner, obrenner@usgs.gov.

posted: 2016-01-28

USGS Researchers continue monitoring surveys on Fire Island

From Jan. 20–22, Owen Brenner and Kat Wilson (Research staff, SPCMSC) will conduct GPS monitoring surveys on Fire Island, New York, as part of the continuing efforts to assess post-Sandy beach recovery. The work is part of Hurricane Sandy Supplemental project GS2-2B. Surveys of shorelines and beach profiles were first collected immediately prior to Hurricane Sandy, and have been collected frequently in the three years since. The data produced from the surveys will also provide important baseline monitoring for the planned beach nourishment projects at Fire Island.

For more information on the Hurricane Sandy Supplemental Fire Island project, visit: http://coastal.er.usgs.gov/fire-island/ or contact Owen Brenner, obrenner@usgs.gov.

posted: 2016-01-13

USGS St. Petersburg Science Center Director participates in Fire Island Breach Management Plan discussions as subject matter expert

St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center (SPCMSC) Director Cheryl Hapke will be traveling to Patchogue, New York, from 1/10–1/13 to participate as a subject matter expert in science discussions focused on the development of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the breach at Fire Island. The meeting is being organized by Environmental Associates, Inc., the firm hired by the National Park Service (NPS) to develop the EIS. Participants include USGS, NPS, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers NY District, and State University of New York at Stony Brook (SUNY Stonybrook).

posted: 2016-01-06

USGS researcher surveying on Fire Island, using the USGS wave runner systemUSGS Wave Runner System used in Bathymetric Survey at Fire Island

As part of the Hurricane Sandy Supplemental project at Fire Island, USGS researchers are undertaking a bathymetric survey of the shallow nearshore along the length of the island and within the flood shoal area of the breach using the USGS wave runner system. In addition, researchers will be collecting monitoring profiles and shoreline, ground-based lidar (Alabama Water Science Center), and flow velocities within the breach (New York WSC). Personnel from the St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center office include Cheryl Hapke, Owen Brenner, Tim Nelson, BJ Reynolds, Kyle Kelso, Dave Thompson, and Jake Frederickson. Fire Island National Seashore staff will assist with field logistics and provide access and vehicles for land-based surveys. The team leaves May 4-5 and will survey through May 20. This will be the final major data collection effort associated with the Hurricane Sandy project. The NPS has also requested that Cheryl Hapke give a presentation to park staff on the latest results of her research at Fire Island.

For more information on the Hurricane Sandy Supplemental Fire Island project, visit: http://coastal.er.usgs.gov/fire-island/.

posted: 2015-04-30

Photo showing coastal change after Hurricane SandyUSGS Researchers continue Post-Sandy Recovery Assessment

From March 17–21, St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science (SPCMSC) Research Geologist, Cheryl Hapke, will travel to New York to represent the USGS as the Department of Interior's (DOI) science advisor for a Conditional Breach Protocol Plan. The meeting will be held at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Headquarters in New York City. Following the meeting, Cheryl will join Owen Brenner on Long Island, New York. They will conduct GPS monitoring surveys on Fire Island, New York, as part of the continuing efforts to assess post-Sandy beach recovery. These surveys support the Hurricane Sandy Supplemental Fire Island project.

For more information on the Hurricane Sandy Supplemental Fire Island project, visit: http://coastal.er.usgs.gov/fire-island/.

posted: 2015-03-19

oblique aerial photosComplete set of USGS Hurricane Sandy aerial photographs released online

On Sept. 19th, the USGS publications warehouse released the complete set of oblique aerial photographs for Hurricane Sandy as Data Series 858. The collection of 9481 photographs spans from Cape Lookout, NC, to Montauk, NY, and was acquired over three days from November 4th to 6th, 2012. Many of the photographs have been extensively used in USGS websites and publications including on the front page of Fact Sheet 2014-3062 used in the briefing #StrongAfterSandy presented to Congress on Sept. 19th.

To view the oblique aerial photographs, visit: http://pubs.usgs.gov/ds/0858/

To view the #StrongAfterSandy Fact Sheet, visit: http://www.usgs.gov/newsroom/article.asp?ID=4000#.VCliXPldXRg/

posted: 2014-10-02

#StrongAfterSandyYou are invited: The USGS Congressional Briefing Series #StrongAfterSandy—The Science Supporting the Department of the Interior's Response

Hurricane Sandy in October 2012 devastated some of the most densely populated areas of the Atlantic Coast. The storm claimed lives, altered natural lands and wildlife habitat, and caused millions of dollars in property damage. Hurricane Sandy is a stark reminder of our Nation's need to better protect people and communities from future storms. To inform the Department of the Interior's recovery efforts, the U.S. Geological Survey, National Park Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are collectively developing and applying science to build resilient coastal communities that can better withstand and prepare for catastrophic storms of the future.

Date: Friday, Sept. 19, 2014
Time: 11:00 a.m.
Location: 2325 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C.

Speakers:

National Fish and Wildlife Foundation - Dr. Claude Gascon, Executive Vice President and Chief Science Officer, emcee

U.S. Geological Survey - Dr. Neil K. Ganju, Research Oceanographer

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - Eric Schrading, Field Office Supervisor, New Jersey Field Office

National Park Service - Mary Foley, Chief Scientist, Northeast Region

Partner Host: National Fish and Wildlife Foundation

For more information, visit http://www.usgs.gov/solutions/2014_sep19.html

To find out more about how the USGS is combining interdisciplinary science with state-of-the-art technologies to achieve a comprehensive understanding of coastal change caused by Hurricane Sandy, read the new fact sheet, "Using Science to Strengthen our Nation's Resilience to Tomorrow's Challenges—Understanding and Preparing for Coastal Impacts".posted: 2014-09-18


front page of Fact SheetUsing Science to Strengthen our Nation's Resilience to Tomorrow's Challenges—Understanding and Preparing for Coastal Impacts

A new fact sheet "Using Science to Strengthen our Nation's Resilience to Tomorrow's Challenges—Understanding and Preparing for Coastal Impacts" describes how the USGS is combining interdisciplinary science with state-of-the-art technologies to achieve a comprehensive understanding of coastal change caused by Hurricane Sandy. By assessing coastal change impacts through research and by developing tools that enhance our science capabilities, support coastal stakeholders, and facilitate effective decision making, we continue to build a greater understanding of the processes at work across our Nation’s complex coastal environment—from wetlands, estuaries, barrier islands, and nearshore marine areas to infrastructure and human communities. This improved understanding will increase our resilience as we prepare for future short-term, extreme events as well as long-term coastal change.

posted: 2014-09-16

USGS scientists travel to Fire Island, New York, to continue post-Sandy monitoring

From 9/7–9/11, USGS geologists Cheryl Hapke, Owen Brenner, and Kat Wilson will return to Fire Island after an extensive field data collection trip in June to re-survey the shoreline and beach profiles ongoing coastal recovery studies. They will also present an update of field activities and preliminary findings to the NPS staff. Fire Island is one of the principal USGS areas of interest to document geologic processes related to Sandy erosion and recovery.

posted: 2014-08-28

Data Series 767 index mapLidar Pre-Post Coverage of Hurricane Sandy for New Jersey released online

On July 16, the USGS released Data Series 767, "The EAARL-B Coastal Topography - Eastern New Jersey, Hurricane Sandy, 2012: First Surface." This publication provides geographically referenced elevation measurements of lidar-derived first-surface (FS) topography for a portion of the New Jersey coastline beachface, acquired pre-Hurricane Sandy on October 26, and post-Hurricane Sandy on November 1 and November 5, 2012. The datasets are made available for use as a management tool to research scientists and natural-resource managers.

posted: 2014-07-17

Researchers collect data in Fire Island, New YorkUSGS jet-ski team successfully maps Fire Island nearshore

On June 25, the field team obtaining shallow water bathymetric data from jet-skis as part of the Hurricane Sandy Supplemental Funding effort returned from their fieldwork in Fire Island, New York. The mapping effort was very successful and the team, which included personnel from both the Santa Cruz and St. Petersburg Science Centers, acquired almost twice the amount of data that had been originally been tasked. Members of the team also mapped portions of the flood shoal of the Sandy breach on foot to collect data in water that was too shallow for the jet-skis. Coastal and Marine Geology staff participating in the data operations include Cheryl Hapke, B.J. Reynolds, Owen Brenner, Dave Thompson, Tim Nelson, Kyle Kelso, Andrew Stevens, Tim Elfers and Jackson Currie.

posted: 2014-07-02

Fire IslandComprehensive on-shore and off-shore surveys planned this field season for Fire Island, NY

From June 9 - 27, Cheryl Hapke (USGS-geologist) will lead a crew of at least 17 field personnel to acquire survey data as part of the Hurricane Sandy Disaster Relief Supplemental Appropriations project at Fire Island National Seashore. Surveys include sub-aerial beach and dune topography using an in-situ mobile lidar in collaboration with the Alabama Water Science Center (ALWSC); nearshore bathymetry (0-10 m water depth) using a combination of jet-skis and the Light Amphibious Reconnaissance Craft (LARC) in collaboration with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; and flow velocity, depth, and water levels at the Old Inlet breach at Fire Island, in collaboration with the New York Water Science Center (NYWSC). The LARC will also be used to collect sub-surface geophysical data in 0 - 12 m water depth, up to 2 km offshore.posted: 2014-05-22

Map showing Barnegat Bay areaUSGS scientists conduct fieldwork in Barnegat Bay, NJ, as part of Hurricane Sandy Response

As part of the Estuarine Physical Response Project, a Hurricane Sandy Disaster Relief funded project, Christopher Smith, Marci Marot, and Alisha Ellis from USGS will be traveling to Barnegat Bay, NJ from 5/10–5/22. The field work in Barnegat Bay will focus on the collection of nine box cores in order to evaluate depositional/erosional patterns over the last 100 years. These longer term perspectives will provide context for the impact that high magnitude events, such as Hurricane Sandy, have on estuarine systems, and the estuarine systems' role as a source/sink of coastal sediments.

posted: 2014-05-01

2DH XBeach simulation of a (fictitious) storm surge in Petten, The Netherlands with subsequent flooding of the hinterlandMorphologic evolution model of Fire Island breach

From 3/29–4/7, USGS scientist Cheryl Hapke will travel to Delft, Netherlands, to meet with various researchers at the Deltares Institute and the Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) to collaborate on a joint Hurricane Sandy Supplemental funded effort to develop a morphologic evolution model of the breach at Fire Island that formed during the landfall of Hurricane Sandy in Nov. 2012.

posted: 2014-03-27

SPCMSC Coastal Geologist speaks at Long Island Natural History Conference

On Friday, December 6, Cheryl Hapke (SPCMSC) will speak to the Long Island Natural History Conference at 10 am for a 45-minute talk, 'Coastal Response to Hurricane Sandy at Fire Island, NY'. The conference is being held in the Berkner Auditorium of Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, NY. Cheryl's talk, the lead talk listed in the program, will be about the profound morphologic changes to the beach and dune system at Fire Island before and after the storm and will also explore the long term (decade to century) behavior of the system and regional geology.

posted: 2013-12-05

Pre-Storm Elevation: Pelican Island and Fire Island, New York This location is within Fire Island National Seashore near Old Inlet—a very narrow portion of the island that has experienced breaching in previous large storms. The island breached during Sandy, creating a new inlet, eroding the beach and cutting through 4-m high dunes.USGS Awarded Supplemental Funds to Support Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding

A year after Hurricane Sandy collided with the East coast, the U.S. Geological Survey continues to study the changes left behind in its devastating path. Scientists are generating critical information to aid the recovery process of the coastal areas and help communities become more resilient against future extreme storms.

For more information on the Fire Island OFR, read the
USGS Press Release

posted: 2013-09-05

USGS Coastal Geologist participates in Post-Sandy Coastal Engineering Research Meeting in New Jersey

From September 4-6, Cheryl Hapke (USGS-St. Petersburg) has been invited to participate in the Board of Coastal Engineering Research meeting to be held in Long Branch, NJ. The purpose of the meeting, convened by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACOE), is to explore impacts on the water resources and infrastructure of the North Atlantic coastlines due to Hurricane Sandy. Research needs associated with sustaining resilient coastal communities and systems through risk reduction, regional sediment management, and ecosystem restoration activities will be discussed. On Thursday, Sept. 5, there will be discussions on the recovery from Hurricane Sandy including coastal breach closures, with which Cheryl has been actively involved in Fire Island, New York (see News items posted 2013-08-01 and 2013-07-24).

posted: 2013-08-29

Hurricane Sandy Eroded Half of Fire Island's Beaches and Dunes: New Report Quantifies Coastal Change

Beaches and dunes on Fire Island, New York, lost more than half of their pre-storm volume during Hurricane Sandy, leaving the area more vulnerable to future storms.

While the damage and destruction on Fire Island was immediately evident after the storm, a new U.S. Geological Survey study released today is the first to quantify the actual changes to the coast caused by the storm.

"The beaches and dunes of the island were severely eroded during Sandy," said Cheryl Hapke, a USGS research geologist and lead author of the study. "The island was breached in three locations, and there was widespread damage and destruction of coastal infrastructure, including private residences. The report shows that the beaches and dunes lost 54.4 percent of their pre-storm volume, and the dunes experienced overwash along 46.6 percent of the island, dramatically changing the island's shape."

See the USGS Press Release and read the new report.

posted: 2013-08-28

Remapping Coastal Areas Damaged by Hurricane Sandy

Plans for remapping parts of the East Coast where Hurricane Sandy altered seafloors and shorelines, destroyed buildings, and disrupted millions of lives last year are being announced today by three federal agencies. This remapping plan comes one day after the Administration's Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force progress report.

The USGS, NOAA, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are using emergency supplemental funds provided by Congress to survey coastal waters and shorelines, acquiring data that will update East Coast land maps and nautical charts.

Using ships, aircraft, and satellites, the agencies will measure water depths, look for submerged debris, and record altered shorelines in high priority areas from South Carolina to Maine, as stipulated by Congress in the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013.

The areas to be remapped will be based on their relative dangers to navigation, effects from the storm, and discussions with state and local officials as well as the maritime industry.

posted: 2013-07-24

USGS Geologist on National Science Radio Program

On July 12, 2013 for the 3 pm EDT segment, Cheryl Hapke was featured on the National Public Radio (NPR) show Science Friday. The two-hour show, hosted by Ira Flatow, is a live weekly science interview on science topics that are in the news. Cheryl was discussing the breach on Fire Island, NY from Hurricane Sandy. Among the issues brought up were when the breach might close, should it be closed manually, and what the benefits versus risks may be if it is left to close naturally. The discussion also focused on whether there is enough sand available to continue to replenish the nation's beaches after severe storms.

Read more and listen to the program.

posted: 2013-07-18

Post Hurricane Sandy Field Assessment Continues at Fire Island, New York

On June 23, Cheryl Hapke and Owen Brenner (USGS) traveled to Islip, NY to conduct field work at Fire Island. Working with National Park Service (NPS) staff who are providing field assistance and acting as plover (Charadrius melodus) monitors, the USGS scientists will resurvey the series of profiles and tracklines they have been surveying since Hurricane Sandy.

The USGS is also working in collaboration with the NPS and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to conduct a survey of the open breach at Fire Island. On Wed. June 26, the USACE amphibious LARC system (Lighter, Amphibious, Resupply, Cargo vessel) from Duck, NC, will survey the breach, collecting high resolution bathymetry. Scientists will simultaneously collect flow velocity and water level information. The effort is intended to better understand the dynamics and evolution of the newly-formed breach system.

posted: 2013-06-28

USGS Storm Response to Hurricane Sandy in Fire Island National Seashore, N.Y., featured in American Geophysical Union (AGU) Periodical

On May 21, USGS coastal science researchers Cheryl Hapke and Hilary Stockdon along with William Schwab from the Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center (WHCMSC) and Mary Foley from the National Park Service (NPS) published a lead article in the AGU periodical EOS titled "Changing the Paradigm of Response to Coastal Storms."ť The article describes how a breach from Hurricane Sandy in Fire Island, N.Y., remains open more than 6 months after the storm. The breach, within a federal wilderness area, is being carefully evaluated and monitored by a multiagency group, balancing increased risk to infrastructure and human safety with benefit to the natural environment. This is an unparalleled management approach along a developed coastline and could serve as an option for response to future storms.

posted: 2013-06-17

SPCMSC Coastal Scientist Invited Panelist at AAPG/SEPM Special Session on Hurricane Sandy

On May 21, SPCMSC Geologist Cheryl Hapke spoke at the combined annual meeting of the American Association of Petroleum Geology (AAPG) / Society for Sedimentary Geology (SEPM) in Pittsburgh, PA. Cheryl was one of three invited panelists for a Special Session on Hurricane Sandy and Our Vulnerable Developed Coastlines. Cheryl had recently returned from a 75-day detail to the Hurricane Sandy Joint Field Office (JFO) in Queens, NY. Cheryl was appointed as a Subject Matter Expert (SME) on coastal change to the Natural and Cultural Resources (NCR) group. The NCR is one of six Recovery Support Functions (RSF) specified in the new Natural Disaster Recovery Framework (NDRF) implemented in 2011. The Department of Interior (DOI) is assigned responsibility as the coordinating agency for NCR RSF, and Cheryl became the lead field coordinator of the NCR Recovery Support Function because of her continued presence and familiarity with New York State and local stakeholders and regional federal partners. Cheryl led the transition from the response-phase Beach Infrastructure Task Force to formulation of the recovery-phase Coastal Resiliency Task Force. Cheryl initiated the publication of Coastal Resiliency Fact-Sheets, based loosely on USGS fact sheets, which have been adopted by many other RSF efforts.

For more information on the AAPG/SEPM Special Session, please see http://www.aapg.org/pittsburgh2013/ForumsandSpecialSessions.cfm

posted: 2013-05-23

SPCMSC Staff Featured in New York Times Article on Hurricane Sandy

On Dec. 17, Cheryl Hapke and B. J. Reynolds were featured in an article on Hurricane Sandy by Henry Fountain published in the Times' Tuesday Science Section. The article describes the ongoing field work in measuring the impact from Hurricane Sandy and discusses some of the framework geologic issues that affect the long term coastal erosion hazard potential of Long Island, NY. The article also featured an interactive graphic showing the airborne lidar data, aerial photography, and pre- and post- storm beach profiles.posted: 2013-01-02

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