On September 14, 2021, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced continued support for the expansion and modernization of our nation’s coastal, ocean, and Great Lakes observing capabilities through eleven new five-year cooperative agreements for the Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) Regional Associations (RAs).
NOAA will distribute $41 million to the IOOS RAs in the first year of the agreements. The eleven RAs provide locally-sourced, stakeholder driven information and products that support regional economic, environmental, and community needs, including for fisheries and shellfish industries, maritime commerce, resource management, recreation and tourism, and public health and safety. These funds are used to deploy, operate, and maintain over 300 observing assets that collect oceanographic, coastal, and Great Lakes data to help improve safety, enhance the economy, and protect the environment.
Past cooperative agreements supported regional coastal observing systems that deploy a range of technology such as oceanographic moorings, underwater gliders, water level sensors and high-frequency radars that collect data and transform it into useful and accessible information. Continued funding will support our country’s blue economy and improve our ability to monitor changes in our oceans, coasts, and Great Lakes.
“This funding is vital for our RAs to fill critical coastal, ocean, and Great Lakes observing information gaps at the local and national levels,” said Josie Quintrell, Executive Director of the IOOS Association. “These cooperative agreements will further the ability of the RAs to provide timely, actionable data to meet the unique needs of the regional environment and population, providing operational information for decision-making.”