NOAA Announces Funding to Support Ocean Observing in the Mid-Atlantic

August 13, 2009

NOAA’s Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) has awarded more than $2.7 million in competitive grant funding to the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Ocean Observing Regional Association, coordinated through the University of Delaware, in support of continued development of a comprehensive ocean observing system for the Mid-Atlantic region.

Over half of the funding will go to Rutgers University’s Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences, which will receive $1.7 million for continued development of the observing system components. Rutgers will focus on efforts to better coordinate and use data collected by underwater vehicles, buoys and other tools. This will help to monitor environmental conditions so decision-makers can minimize the impact of severe weather, natural hazards and other emergencies. Scott Glenn, Ph.D., of Rutgers Coastal Ocean Observation Lab will oversee the effort.

The Chesapeake Inundation Prediction System will receive $372,200 to build forecasting efforts and predictions for the impacts of storm surge on coasts, bays, and estuaries. The Mid-Atlantic consortium will also allocate $269,655 for their regional data management and communication efforts.

The consortium 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 be also 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.