August 2020 IOOS Association News Updates


Senate Passes IOOS Reauthorization by Unanimous Consent

The Senate passed S. 914, the Coordinated Ocean Observations and Research Act of 2020, that would reauthorize the IOOS Program. We are thankful for the Senate's support and in particular the authorization levels that allow for a steady increase in funding to fill critical gaps and address stakeholder needs. The bill would also authorize the National Water Center in Tuscaloosa, AL. 

The House already passed its version in a larger bill, but with the significant differences in the two bills, the most likely path to passage is if the House takes up the Senate version. We will be working with the House in the next few months in hopes of getting a final bill by the end of the 116th session.

IOOS up $1.5 Million in House Appropriations Bill

The House Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill passed on July 31, increasing the IOOS Regional funding line to $40.5 million — $1.5 million above FY 20 levels. This continues to fund the Fill the Gaps campaign for underwater gliders and surface current mapping. In addition, the House directed $2 million to support the continuation of the HAB observing network pilot projects started in FY 20.

The Senate is expected to mark up their appropriations bills soon.

IOOS Regions Receive Over $40 Million to Support Observing Activities

NOAA’s U.S. IOOS Program Office has awarded over $40 million in grants to support ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes observing efforts on the 11 IOOS Regional Associations (RAs). The IOOS RAs serve the entire coastline of the United States and its territories, covering the Atlantic, Gulf, Caribbean, Pacific, and Great Lakes.

Each RA works with regional partners and stakeholders to understand needs to develop products that address those needs. These awards represent the final year of the five-year cooperative agreement and address a variety of national priorities that manifest differently in each region. The funds will address safe maritime operations, coastal hazards and extreme weather, flooding, ecology, fisheries and water quality, and long-term observations.

Find out more about IOOS in your regions here:

Dr. Ru Morrison Receives First Caraid Award

The IOOS Association is pleased to announce that the first recipient of the Caraid Award is Dr. Ru Morrison.

Ru Morrison at his Scottish home in North Uist.

The Caraid Award recognizes those who have made outstanding contributions to observing and understanding our oceans, coasts, and Great Lakes througvision, leadership, friendship, and collaboration. The word “Caraid1” is a Scottish Gaelic word, meaning “care" or "love” and is pronounced like “courage.” These are the attributes - caring and the courage to do what matters - that make IOOS work. Fittingly, Ru was chosen as the first recipient of the award - he inspired us to learn about Caraid, not only as a word, but also as an ethos he brings to all of his work.  

Ru is a founding member of the IOOS Association and the first Director of the Northeastern Regional Association of Coastal and Ocean Observing Systems (NERACOOS). His vision, leadership, collaborative and can-do approach was instrumental in developing a thriving coastal observing system in the Northeast United States as well as inspiring action at the national and international levels. His commitment and passion for ensuring stakeholders have access to reliable and timely data and information is central to his successes. Like so much of what makes a difference, his values, dedication and passion are what bring him distinction and what inspires us to this day: the work was done with Caraid.

While Ru lives and works in the United States, he maintains his love and commitment to his Scottish homeland. He is Chief of the Clan Morrison and delights friends and colleagues when he wears his formal Scottish attire to events. Every summer, he returns with his family to their ancestral home on the North Uist in the Outer Hebrides. Caraid honors both Ru's collaborative spirit and his love for his homeland.  

1. To hear the pronunciation:

Image: Ru Morrison at his Scottish home in North Uist.    

Hurricane Gliders Aid Forecasts

Over 30 gliders are now deployed off the coasts of Puerto Rico, the Gulf of Mexico, and the eastern United States to collect data that scientists will use to improve the accuracy of hurricane forecast models. The IOOS regions, in partnership with NOAA and the Navy, are deploying underwater gliders to measure temperature and salinity, essential for improving hurricane forecast models. 

Gliders are being flown by Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System (GCOOS), Caribbean Coastal Ocean Observing System (CARICOOS), Southeast Coastal Ocean Observing Regional Association (SECOORA), and Mid-Atlantic Regional Association of Coastal Ocean Observing System (MARACOOS). 
Orange lines show the planned paths of the 30 unmanned gliders to travel this summer for hurrican intensity predictions. Once launched, gliders will make regular dives along a set course and surface several times a day to send collected data to an available satellite. Warm water has the potential to strengthen storms while cool waters may weaken them, so knowing if a storm will pass over only warm water or areas where cold water may be stirred up from below helps scientists and forecasters to predict whether a storm will intensify or weaken as it travels. Credit: NOAA 
For more information, please see:


Upcoming Events

August 25 - 26: IOOS/OAR Pacific Region Workshop
September 2: AOOS Board Meeting
September 16 - 18: NASEM - Sustaining Ocean Observations: Phase 2 Workshop
September 30 - October 4: Coastal Summit - Restore America's Estuaries and Coastal States Organization
October 6 - 7: IOOS/OAR Great Lakes Region Workshop
October 13 - 15: IOOS/DMAC Meeting (Virtual)
October 19 - 24: SACNAS Conference
October 27 - 30: COL Industry Forum and Members and Board Meeting



Funding OpportunitiesImplementation of the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System NOAA-NOS-IOOS-2021-2006475 and Response to Frequently Ask Questions.
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