NOAA Announces Funding to Support Ocean Observing Along the Gulf Coast

August 13, 2009

The NOAA Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) is awarding $973,083 in 2009 competitive grant funding to support ocean observing efforts in the Gulf of Mexico.

Three grants awarded to the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System will be managed by regional coordinator Ann Jochens, Ph.D., of Texas A&M University. One project will continue the operations of the GCOOS Regional Association, which governs development of the system and determines the needs for data and products of many stakeholders.

A second grant will maintain and enhance the GCOOS web data portal to enable easier access and use of available ocean data as a first step toward a regional operations center. The third grant will be used to standardize the near real-time marine data delivery systems of ten major non-federal data providers of the Gulf of Mexico.

GCOOS is one recipient in a series of nationwide peer-reviewed IOOS grant projects, totaling $21 million this year. The goal of each regional observing system is to maintain and enhance ocean and coastal observations in the area, making data easier to access and giving planners and policymakers the information needed to improve safety, enhance the economy, and protect the environment. Data from each region will also be available to researchers throughout the country via the national IOOS.

“This award represents NOAA’s commitment to implementing the Integrated Coastal and Ocean Observation Act of 2009 which recognizes the IOOS regional systems as key components of the national effort,” said Zdenka Willis, NOAA IOOS program director. “These projects are crafted to meet local customer needs while also contributing to the success of the national effort.”

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.