July 30, 2008
NOAA is awarding $750,000 to support marine observing efforts in the Great Lakes region. The fiscal year 2008 funding is provided through NOAA’s Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) program.
Funding will be directed to the Great Lakes Observing System, where Interim Executive Director Roger Gauthier of the Great Lakes Commission will oversee the continued development and associated management of regional marine observations. The aim is to make regional data easier to access and use, identify and prioritize future regional needs for ocean information, and monitor environmental conditions so decision-makers can minimize the impact of severe weather, natural hazards, and other emergencies.
“Regional partnerships are critical to the success of a national Integrated Ocean Observing System,” said Zdenka Willis, NOAA IOOS program director. “With increased understanding of our oceans, coasts, and Great Lakes comes an increased ability to keep our nation safe, our economy secure, and our environment healthy and productive.”
The Great Lakes region is one recipient in an anticipated series of IOOS grants across the nation this year, totaling $20.4M. These grants will support the continuation of 17 multi-year projects awarded in 2007, as well as new efforts in 2008.
“This agreement represents another big step forward for the Integrated Coastal and Ocean Observing System, as called for in the President’s Ocean Action Plan,” said retired Navy Vice Admiral Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Ph.D., Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA Administrator. “This year’s award is a great example of NOAA’s dedication to our ocean and coastal observing capacity, as well as our commitment to work with our regional partners.”
This money supports NOAA’s efforts to develop a national IOOS, a vital tool for tracking, predicting, managing, and adapting to changes in our marine environments. This network of people and technology is pulling ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes data and information together, so it is easily accessible from one source and can be used by scientists and decision-makers to get a ‘bigger picture’ view of environmental change.
NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and conserves and manages our coastal and marine resources.