Specifically, the bill includes $150 million for the Integrated Ocean Observing System over the next 2-5 years to address infrastructure needs throughout the country, enabling each of the 11 regions to expand the capacity for the growth of a localized blue economy and to assist communities prepare and respond to changing conditions. These investments help modernize aging infrastructure, address long standing community needs, and fund the repairs and spare parts necessary to ensure better dissemination of data and information in a changing environment. For example, this investment will allow IOOS to expand glider use for hurricane tracking, harmful algal blooms, hypoxia event detection, marine mammal monitoring, and maritime commerce.
In addition, the House recently released a new version of the Build Back Better Act, the other infrastructure package that is expected to pass with no Republican support. This bill also has significant support for oceans, coasts, and Great Lakes data observations. As of this writing, Congress is still negotiating details and the final framework of this package.