News Release: $2 million in federal funding to benefit ocean observing in the Northeast

RYE, N.H.  (July 18, 2012)—Coastal, maritime and marine science communities will benefit from federal funding of $2 million recently awarded to NERACOOS, the Northeastern Regional Association of Coastal Ocean Observing Systems.

NERACOOS, a regional component of the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS®), spans coastal waters from the Canadian Maritime Provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick to Long Island Sound.

Their mission is to provide those who use these waters with actionable information, including weather and ocean data to emergency managers who issue storm warnings, and to fishers and commercial shippers to determine if conditions are safe for passage.  NERACOOS is also advancing efforts to use this data for ocean planning, water quality monitoring, harmful algal bloom predictions and warnings, and coastal flooding and erosion forecasting systems.

The $2,032,393 received from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration represents the second year of funding of a 5-year award.  The majority of the funding will be distributed among the NERACOOS operational/research partners to sustain the data collection and forecasting efforts of the program.

Recipients are:

  • University of Maine Physical Oceanography Group—Funding to support operations and maintenance of the Gulf of Maine buoy array (formerly GoMOOS), and to support coastal radar system operations that measure currents and enhance search and rescue.
  • Gulf of Maine Research Institute—Funding to support NERACOOS data management, website and data product development.
  • University of New Hampshire—Funding to support a buoy in Great Bay, and a buoy off the coast of New Hampshire to continue measuring ocean acidification.
  • University of Massachusetts Dartmouth—Funding to support a sophisticated forecast system that predicts ocean conditions.
  • University of Rhode Island—Funding to support development and testing of sensors to measure ocean nutrients and to support sharing of data from Narragansett Bay.
  • University of Connecticut—Funding to support buoys in Long Island Sound to advance understanding of water quality in the area.
  • Bedford Institute of Oceanography, Nova Scotia—Funding to help support a wave forecast system and the monitoring and detection of harmful algal blooms.

“This funding, with its allocations to these important ocean observing projects, will enable us to collect vital data that will be used to benefit those whose livelihoods depend on the ocean, as well as all those who care about the future of the health of the environment,” says J. Ru Morrison, PhD., executive director of NERACOOS.

Zdenka Willis, U.S. IOOS director, agrees. “We are delighted that this funding to NERACOOS will allow us to expand upon our mission of increasing the understanding of our coastal waters, so that decision-makers can take action to improve safety, enhance the economy, and protect the environment,” Willis says.

"The Coast Guard in the Northeast uses real-time ocean and weather observations from NERACOOS for search and rescue missions and other operations," said Tim Carton, Search and Rescue Specialist at the 1st Coast Guard District. "The information from NERACOOS is also important when responding to environmental threats that are often driven by weather and currents."
For more information about NERACOOS and its work in the Northeast, visit www.neracoos.org; for IOOS, go to www.ioos.gov.

Contact:
Tom Shyka, NERACOOS
(207) 650-9766, tom@neracoos.org