CoastWatch Annual Meeting - May 2023

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The 2023 CoastWatch Annual Meeting was hosted by the OceanWatch-Central Pacific node on May 22-25 in Honolulu, HI. More than 50 people attended the meeting in person, and about 20 people attended remotely. In addition to formal members of the CoastWatch program, participants included scientists and collaborators with particular interests in application of remote sensing techniques in the Pacific Islands region. This included representatives for the NOAA Geo-XO program, NMFS and NESDIS colleagues both based in the region and from the mainland US, academic partners from the Pacific Islands Ocean Observing System, University of Hawai’i, and Arizona State University, as well as students.

Two topics that received particular attention at this year’s meeting were the use of satellite data in monitoring coral reef communities and in dynamic ocean management of commercial fisheries. Participants also engaged in discussions concerning the use of hyperspectral ocean color products offered by NOAA’s future geostationary satellites. 

The OceanWatch-Central Pacific hosts organized two excursions for meeting participants, and these were universally viewed as highlights of the meeting. During a visit to the Honolulu Fish Auction, meeting participants gained first-hand exposure to the commercial fishing industry in the region and learned more about regulatory efforts to avoid interactions between longline fishing gear and protected species (e.g., sea turtles and marine mammals).  During an excursion to the Heʻeia National Estuarine Research Reserve, the participants learned about the local community’s effort to restore indigenous watersheds with traditional knowledge and innovative research to build resilient estuarine ecosystems.

The opportunity to spend a week together discussing satellite products and their use was invigorating, and the CoastWatch community was excited to welcome many new participants.

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2023 NOAA CoastWatch Annual Meeting Group Photo: May 23-27, 2023, University of Hawaii and hosted by the Ocean Watch Pacific Node.  (Photo NOAA). 

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Top left and right: Speaker presentations in the conference room during the annual meeting.  Center left and right: pre-dawn Honolulu Fish Auction visit. Bottom left: fishing boat unloading at fish market docks. Bottom right: visiting the taro fields at the Heʻeia National Estuarine Research Reserve. (photos: NOAA)