NOAA has now certified the last of 11 Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) regional associations as Regional Information Coordination Entities. Data coming from all IOOS partners now adheres to common federal collection, storage and management standards, meaning it can be integrated with other data, and help make "big data" research and development possible.
Certification expands the pool of federal-quality data available nationwide. Users can rely on the data or information tools offered through these regional associations and be assured it is as reliable and trusted as the data from other federal sources like NOAA. Scientists, managers and businesses are able to directly use this data without spending additional time and resources quality checking or archiving data, and this will help spur new data-driven products and innovations.
“These certified IOOS regions make an important contribution to our nation’s Blue Economy, a top priority for NOAA,” said retired Navy Rear Adm. Tim Gallaudet, Ph.D., assistant secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and acting under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere. “This comprehensive, trusted, stakeholder-driven data aids navigation, fishing and aquaculture, weather forecasting and much more.”
Scientists, shippers, and disaster response crews and others use data from NOAA-certified IOOS associations in many different ways:
The U.S. Coast Guard uses certified data from buoys and high frequency radar data to aid in search and rescue.
Port authorities around the nation use real-time data from buoys, current meters, tide gauges and high frequency radars to safely guide cargo ships in and out of harbors.
Emergency responders use current, wave and wind data to respond to hazardous materials spills, and to help forecast where oil, sewage and other materials will flow.
Researchers from NOAA and partners use data from IOOS undersea gliders to research how hurricanes grow in strength, which will help make hurricane forecasts more accurate.
“The regional associations are at the very core of IOOS. Their community ties and local expertise are essential for keeping the national system performing for all users,” said U.S. IOOS director Carl G. Gouldman. “Completing the certification process allows all users to directly benefit from these great resources and strengthens the relationship between regional and national interests.”
IOOS is a coordinated network of regional associations that compile and distribute data on America’s coastal waters, Great Lakes, and oceans. IOOS coastal and marine data, such as water temperature, water level, currents, winds, and waves, are collected by many different tools including satellites, buoys, tide gauges, radar stations, animal tags and underwater vehicles. The 11 regional associations cover most of the U.S. coastal zone in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, and the Great Lakes.