The Eyes on the Ocean™ Bi-weekly is an informal way of keeping you up-to-date on U.S. IOOS® activities.

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From the Director:

Dear IOOS Community,

This week, I hand the pen over to my Deputy Director, Krisa Arzayus, to provide a guest intro to the newsletter.




Dear IOOS Community,

Last week, we celebrated the 51st Earth Day and I am proud to mark that observance as part of the IOOS community. IOOS, and ocean observing in general, have such a huge role to play in understanding, protecting, and finding balance for the planet.

U.S. IOOS is an established, trusted program that has been working at regional, national, and global scales for over 20 years.  Our products and services are grounded in the spirit of collaboration and trust, leveraging our collective resources to build strong productive partnerships.

As a sign of that trust we’ve built, we saw the renewal of our authorization through the passing of the Coordinated Ocean Observations and Research Act, signed into law this past December, following a unanimous vote in the Senate.  The act updates our mandate in a number of ways and significantly, it calls for IOOS to be an advocate and ally for data sharing and integration, with a new emphasis on modeling and product delivery services. It’s terrific to see that level of support from the Hill and we’re already making strides to fulfill that mandate.

As we move ahead in response to the new Administration’s priorities like addressing the climate crisis, promoting American leadership internationally, and focusing on diversity, equity, inclusion, we are positioned to be strong partners to coastal communities; federal, state, local, and tribal government; industry; and the scientific community as we respond to these calls to action.

As a Nation, we have some great challenges that come with incredible opportunities in the years ahead and, together, I am confident that IOOS will play an integral part in delivering solutions.  It's an exciting time to be part of the ocean observing community!

Best Wishes,

Krisa M. Arzayus, Ph.D.
Deputy Director, U.S. IOOS Office

From the U.S. IOOS Office:

  • DOE and NOAA Announce Winners of the Ocean Observing Prize DESIGN Contest; Launch BUILD Contest: On April 19, the Department of Energy, in collaboration with NOAA, announced the winners of the 2nd contest in the Ocean Observing Prize: DEVELOP competition, the DESIGN contest.  This contest sought ideas to integrate marine renewable energy with ocean observing platforms to help us improve our ability to forecast hurricane intensity and protect coastal communities from oncoming storms.  The 7 winning teams will share a $400,000 prize pool and advance to the next stage of the DEVELOP competition  The full press release can be found here
  • Welcome Erick Lee: Erick Lee has joined the IOOS team as a Financial Management Specialist. Erick’s duties will include supporting Budget Execution and providing administrative and logistical support to the IOOS Advisory Committee. Erick most recently worked for the Department of Homeland Security and is currently based out of California. Welcome to the team Erick!

Observation Subsystem and Sensor Technologies:

    • No update.
    • Webinar Series: Huge kudos to our industry partners from Teledyne (Slocum Gliders) and ALSEMAR (Sea Explorer) for briefing in the UG2 Webinar series. Their presentations were very informative with over 80 participants listening in.  Our industry series will continue for our next Webinar scheduled for June 10th.  Feedback and suggestions for the Webinars are more than welcomed as the goal is to make this informative to the UG2 community.
    • UG2 Steering Committee: The UG2 Steering Committee met onFriday April 23rd.  Main topics discussed were updates from the four focus sub-groups: Coordinated Operations, Best Practices, Training, and Private Sector Engagement and a 2022 Glider Workshop venue and date (International and US).  We will post meeting outcome notes via the UG2 email group.
    • 2022 Hurricane Season: With the 2022 hurricane season forecasted to be another active one, above the “new” average, the hurricane glider working group, chaired by Kathleen Bailey, has been active planning missions and coordinating with mission partners to provide critical observations to hurricane models.  Complete funding and asset availability are still being determined.
  • Spring Meeting of the Atlantic Cooperative Telemetry (ACT) Mid-Atlantic and Northeast Network: On April 13, 2021, Dr. Matt Ogburn (ACT Network Manager) and Kim Richie (ACT Data Manager) from the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) kicked off the 3 day Spring meeting of the ACT Network. Day 1 included welcomes from MARACOOS and the ATN, technical updates and data agreements/security for the ACT-MATOS (Mid-Atlantic Telemetry Observation System) Database plus networking, new technology and science presentations. More than 70 members of the ACT Network are now using the ACT-MATOS Database, representing 657 acoustic receiver stations and 2,666 tagged animals of 30 different species with nearly 6 million matched animal detections.  Days 2 and 3 were dedicated to technical workshops led by the Canadian Ocean Tracking Network (OTN) data management team providing application instructions on acoustic telemetry data processing, analysis, visualization and plotting capabilities they have developed. 
  • SERC Earth Week: The Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) kicked off Earth Week on April 19, 2021 with a look at how biologists track shark and ray migrations as part of their Movement of Life Initiative. By outfitting them with satellite & acoustic tags, SERC biologists can find out which habitats are most important for conservation. Check out:
  • The Global Biogeochemical-Argo Fleet: Knowledge to Action Workshop virtual sessions will be held over a series of Tuesdays in May (4, 11, 18, 25) and June (1). Sessions will explore the applications of a global data-stream from the Biogeochemical-Argo array in fisheries, carbon budget verification, and environmental forecasting. The impetus for the workshop is the G7 Future of the Seas and Oceans Initiative for better ocean observations to ensure sustainable use by future generations. The audience for the workshop is global, and to accommodate a global audience, the workshop sessions will be repeated twice each day at 0700 PDT Panel (1400 UTC) and 1600 PDT (2300 UTC). Many of the presentations will be pre-recorded and available a week before each session starts. For more information and to register for workshop sessions, please visit the workshop website:

Data Management and Cyberinfrastructure (DMAC) Subsystem and Tools Built on IOOS data (DMAC listserv – contact Micah Wengren, DMAC System Architect,, or the 'ioos_tech' listserve:

  • Save the Date! 2021 IOOS DMAC Meeting, 15 – 17 June 2021, Virtual: We are pleased to announce that the 2021 DMAC Meeting will take place virtually on the afternoons (1:00 - 5:00 PM ET) of Tuesday, June 15 through Thursday, June 17. Please save these dates in your calendars.  We will reach out for agenda input for presentation and breakout discussion topics soon. Further information on event logistics will be coming out soon as well. Questions or suggestions about the agenda should go to Mathew Biddle (, Micah Wengren (, Tiffany Vance ( and Kathy Bailey (
  • Artificial Intelligence and ESIP Working Group: Hassan Moustafid attended a new ESIP working group (aka "cluster") on Data readiness. This cluster is co-chaired by Yuhan (Douglas) Rao (NCSU), Tyler Christensen (NOAA NOS), Rob Redmon (NOAA). The goal of the Data Readiness Cluster is to bring together ESIP members and external partners to discuss advancements, define standards, and develop tools for open environmental data for artificial intelligence (AI) applications. The main goals of the cluster include coordinating the development of AI-ready environmental data, promoting the endorsement of national/international standards, providing a platform for stakeholders to exchange experiences, and promoting technology and tool development to improve the readiness of open environmental data for AI. The cluster will meet regularly to implement the roadmap co-designed by group members. This group will seek active collaboration with other groups within and beyond ESIP to ensure our work benefits the general environmental data community. The group will seek active collaboration with Machine Learning, Cloud Computing, and other relevant clusters. Recording of 2021 ESIP Winter Meeting Session on AI-ready Data (link to YouTube).
  • QARTOD (National Coordinator Mark Bushnell,
    • Update Manual for Real-Time Quality Control of Water Level Data: The updated Manual for Real-Time Quality Control of Water Level Data has been completed and is now posted on the QARTOD web page at It can also be found in the NOAA Institutional Repository at and the Ocean Best Practice System repository at Search for DOI 10.25923/vpsx-dc82. We are grateful to the many individuals who assisted in this update effort, thank you! 
    • Ocean Best Practice System: At the April meeting of the OBPS Steering Group, the decision was made to accept best practice documents in languages other than English. Previously, only documents with an embedded English title and abstract were accepted, which was determined to be too constrictive. Now, the English title and abstract can be submitted separately, and in cases where they are not available an effort will be made to create them. 

Modeling and Analysis Subsystem (IOOS PO and IOOS Coastal and Ocean Modeling Testbed (COMT) POC – Tracy Fanara,   

  • No update.

Interagency and International Collaboration/News:

  • New U.S. Navigation Information Strategic Plan Released: The U.S. Committee on the Marine Transportation System (CMTS) published a new U.S. Navigation Information Strategic Action Plan: 2021-2026. This plan outlines a high-level strategy for U.S. federal agencies to deliver navigation information to mariners and support a safer marine transportation system by advancing e-navigation efforts. NOAA, the U.S. Coast Guard, and Army Corps of Engineers are co-leads of the CMTS team that created the plan. The plan will support ongoing and future OCS programs, such as Precision Marine Navigation. The plan is also designed to align with OCS’s international collaboration efforts with the International Maritime Organization and International Hydrographic Organization.
  • Please Register: NWS-Academia Partners Roundtable - May 24-25, 2021: Registration is now open for a unique two half-day NWS partner engagement event with the Academic sector of the weather, water and climate enterprise. The National Weather Service invites you to join us for two-part afternoon discussions on May 24th and May 25th from 1pm-4pm eastern time each day. A nearly final draft agenda can be found here.
    • GoToWebinar LINK and Webinar ID 349-436-979
    • GoToWebinar LINK and Webinar ID 325-566-603
    • Register for May 24, 2021: Research for a Weather-Ready Nation.
    • Register for May 25, 2021: Education for a Weather-Ready Nation.
  • NOAA to Test an Autonomous Boat in Maumee Bay: Capable of patrolling the shallow waters of Maumee Bay in western Lake Erie, researchers will use the SeaTrac Autonomous Surface Vehicle to monitor the most toxic area of the western Lake Erie harmful algal bloom. Once fully tested and equipped, researchers anticipate the vessel will be capable of:
    • Mapping large areas of the algal bloom every day. 
    • Sending near-real time toxin data to researchers every few hours.
    • Staying out in the lake for months at a time, collecting data 24 hours a day, even during storms.
    • Read more about this story here.
  • NOAA Custom Chart Tool Released to the Public: The Office of Coast Survey (OCS) released NOAA Custom Chart, a dynamic map tool that enables users to create their own paper and PDF nautical charts derived from the official NOAA electronic navigational chart (NOAA ENC®), NOAA’s premier nautical chart product. The online tool uses official NOAA ENC data to create nautical charts with customized scale and extent, which can be downloaded as PDF files. While these printable PDFs look a bit different from traditional paper charts and initially will not meet carriage requirements for regulated vessels, the NOAA Custom Chart tool utilizes the best available data, delivers an improved service for users, and ensures consistency between ENC and NOAA Custom Chart PDFs, resulting in an up-to-date chart regardless of the final format.
  • National Harmful Algal Bloom Observing Network Framework Workshop Report Now Available: The National Harmful Algal Bloom Observing Network (NHABON) Framework offers a high-level regional analysis of existing efforts to monitor and forecast harmful algal blooms (HABs) and identifies gaps in observing capabilities that can best be addressed with a national network. The framework is the product of an internal NOAA workshop hosted by NOAA’s Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) and National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS), with representatives from five NOAA Line Offices (NESDIS, NMFS, NWS, NOS, and OAR). Continue reading here.
  • HAB Bulletin Informs Quinault Nation’s Clam Harvest: The National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) funded Pacific Northwest Harmful Algal Bloom (PNW HAB) Bulletin, along with shellfish test results, helped Quinault Indian Nation shellfish managers determine it was safe to open Mocrocks Beach, Washington, to tribal razor clam diggers this month. This is the first time tribal members have been able to access the prized resource since last fall, when all clamming beaches in Washington and Oregon were closed because of an algal bloom that produced domoic acid. Domoic acid is a neurotoxin that can build up in shellfish and cause amnesic shellfish poisoning in humans. Quinault members value razor clams both culturally and economically, selling a portion of each year’s harvest. NCCOS grant support for the PNW HAB Bulletin runs through 2022. The US Integrated Ocean Observing System has provided additional support to the University of Washington, the Northwest Association of Networked Ocean Observing Systems (NANOOS), and NOAA Fisheries. Efforts are underway to transition the bulletin to NANOOS for continued delivery of trusted HAB forecasts to the region’s natural resource managers.
  • Sea Level Rise Continues Along Atlantic and Gulf Coasts: NOAA’s Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services (CO-OPS) calculated new trends for its long-term water level stations, incorporating all CO-OPS water level data up to the end of 2020. The data shows that most long-term trends along U.S. coastlines point to long-term and persistent sea level rise. Specifically, all U.S. Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coastal stations experienced an uptick in their sea level trends in 2020. However, many stations along the Pacific coast experienced a slight reduction in their sea level trends, possibly due to La Nina conditions over the past year. These trends span over 100 stations along the Atlantic, Gulf, and Pacific coasts, as well as islands within the Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean.
  • CO-OPS Makes Marine Navigation Safer in Corpus Christi: CO-OPS continues to work with the Port of Corpus Christi Authority to expand the Corpus Christi Physical Oceanographic Real-Time System (PORTS®). This expansion includes additional visibility, meteorological, and wave sensors that will provide real-time information mariners can use to navigate the increasingly busy and congested seaport. Two new water level stations will also go operational in the next month. PORTS is an integrated system of sensors concentrated in seaports across the U.S. that provide accurate and reliable real-time information about environmental conditions.
  • NGS Presents Use Cases for the Modernized NSRS: On April 8 NGS Regional Advisors and Geodesists Nic Kinsman, Galen Scott, Boris Kanazir, Kevin Jordan, and Jeff Jalbrzikowski presented an online webinar on four applied-use cases that give users a glimpse of what it will be like to work in the modernized National Spatial Reference System (NSRS). These thought experiments framed around floodplain mapping, passive control for a multi-year corridor project, transitioning data to the modernized NSRS, and airport and other infrastructure monitoring showcase how features of the modernized NSRS can be leveraged in both familiar and new workflows. These use cases are intended to facilitate stakeholder feedback about necessary products or training and to serve as a starting point for those interested in pursuing detailed, data-driven case studies in the future. More than 380 people attended the webinar, which is available online for other interested parties.
  • UN Ocean Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development Updates:
    • Update on the Call for Decade Actions No. 01/2020: The first Call for Decade Actions (No. 01/2020) was launched on 15 October 2020 and closed on 15 January 2021. This first Call targeted large-scale, global or major regional programmes, as well as in-kind or financial contributions to the Decade. The Call for Actions resulted in 215 programme submissions and 27 contribution submissions, from partners in 53 countries. The submissions received demonstrated a high understanding of and alignment with the Ocean Decade vision and mission. A wide variety of proponents submitted programmes for consideration including governments, research bodies and non-governmental organizations. A wide diversity of themes were addressed in the submissions with ecosystems, climate change, sustainable ocean economy and capacity development some of the most common themes. Over the last few months a rigorous, multi-step review process was carried out by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) Secretariat in advance of the first meeting of the Interim Decade Advisory Board Meeting, that was held from 6 – 8 April 2021.
    • High-Level Launch of the Ocean Decade - First International Ocean Decade Conference (1 June 2021 | 11h-15h CEST): The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), in partnership with the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC-UNESCO), will host the "High-Level Launch of the Ocean Decade - First International Ocean Decade Conference" on 1 June 2021. This event will be followed by a series of virtual and hybrid events - the Ocean Decade Laboratories - from July 2021 to mid-2022. Join this collective and international effort to celebrate the start of the Ocean Decade and contribute to "Creating the Ocean we want". Save the date and find out more details here.
  • Nomination of experts for Online Training Courses on Operational Ocean Monitoring and Forecasting Systems, 14–16 June 2021 and 22–24 June 2021: The IOC-WMO-UNEP-ISC Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) is inviting countries to nominate experts to participate in two training opportunities.
    • Open online training courses on Understanding the Benefits of Operational Ocean and Forecasting Systems, 14-16 June 2021 (‘Awareness Workshop’) 
    • Interactive training course on Implementing an Operational Ocean Monitoring and Forecasting Systems, 22–24 June 2021 (‘Hands-on Workshop’), where participation numbers are limited and applicants will be considered based on their qualifications.
    • Applications: Online applications (with selection option for either the ‘Awareness Workshop’ or the ‘Hands-on Workshop’ or both) are available at The nomination period opens on 21 April and will close on 16 May 2021. Only online applications will be considered.
  • Grants & Funding Opportunities:
    • SECOORA 2021 Education and Outreach RFP: SECOORA is soliciting proposals to develop online or online accessible K-12 marine science curricula and/or activities that can be implemented by parents, teachers, and other educators. Proposals must demonstrate how they will increase participation of underrepresented communities in science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) educational activities.  Proposals due May 21, click here for the full details and how to submit
    • NSF Convergence Accelerator Broad Agency Announcement: The NSF Convergence Accelerator program addresses national-scale societal challenges through use-inspired convergence research. Using a convergence approach and innovation processes like human-centered design, user discovery, and team science and integration of multidisciplinary research, the Convergence Accelerator program seeks to transition basic research and discovery into practice—to solve high-impact societal challenges aligned with specific research themes (tracks). NSF Convergence Accelerator tracks are chosen in concordance with the themes identified during the program’s ideation process that have the potential for significant national impact. The NSF Convergence Accelerator implements a two-phase program. Both phases are described in this solicitation and are covered by this single solicitation and corresponding Broad Agency Announcement. The purpose of this parallel activity is to provide increased opportunities for proposals that are led by non‑academic entities. Proposals that are led by Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs), non-profits, independent museums, observatories, research labs, professional societies and similar organizations should respond to this solicitation. Proposals led by for‑profit or similar organizations should respond to the BAA. Phase I awardees receive significant resources to further develop their convergence research ideas and to identify important partnerships and resources to accelerate their projects, leading to deliverable research prototypes in Phase II. This solicitation for FY 2021 invites proposals for the following Track Topics: Networked Blue Economy and Trust & Authenticity in Communications Systems. Read more here: Letters of Intent are due May 5, 2021 and full proposals are due June 14, 2021. 
    • NOAA’s Weather Program Office (WPO; formerly OWAQ, the Office of Weather and Air Quality) is accepting proposals for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) from August 12, 2020, through November 18, 2020. WPO’s FY21 NOFO is soliciting research toward improving weather, water, air quality, and earth-system modeling and observations, and social, behavioral, and economic science applications. Projects should focus on advancing science and technology from the research stage to transitionable outputs or prototype products that NOAA or external partners could further develop into practical applications and operations. The three grant competitions from this notification are valued at approximately $7.75 million per year with Letters of Intent due by 5pm ET on Tue Sep 22, 2020. Read more about this opportunity and access the funding announcement here. 

Delivering the Benefits:

  • Model Forecasting Piney Point Wastewater Plume in Tampa Bay: SECOORA members and funded scientists are responding to emergency wastewater discharge in Tampa Bay from a phosphate mining facility reservoir. According to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, about 215 million gallons of polluted water from Piney Point, high in nutrients such as nitrogen, have been discharged in Tampa Bay, Florida to date (source). Dr. Bob Weisberg and his team from University of South Florida College of Marine Science (USF CMS) Ocean Circulation Lab are modeling the fate of the nutrient rich water through partial support from SECOORA and US IOOS. Read more on this story here
  • CARICOOS prepares for summer: Hurricane season in the Caribbean marks the beginning of repair work on underwater gliders. At this time, members of the CARICOOS team, with remote support from the AOML team, are installing conductivity and temperature sensors, changing the batteries and inspecting the instrumentation to ensure their operation.  In addition, CARICOOS continues its water quality sampling efforts as the region enters the sargassum season.
  • Great Lakes buoys head back out: In April and May, after the threat of ice is gone, operators across the Great Lakes region start deploying their buoys. Last year, due to COVID-19, deployments were delayed weeks or months in some cases. This year, with social distancing and other health protocols in place, deployments are set to go more smoothly, and GLOS expects to see most of the buoys back in the water by mid-May. This year, the buoys from Environment Canada were the first to be deployed into Lakes Ontario, Erie, and Huron, followed by three Limnotech buoys in southeastern Lake Michigan, and one from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee north of Milwaukee.  Check and see if your favorite buoys are back yet!
  • PNW buoys redeploying: 
    • Oregon Shelf: Oregon State University partners deployed the NANOOS-supported long-term mooring "CB-06" located 6 nmiles off Coos Bay, Oregon, on 7 April 2021. The at-sea effort was led by Prof. Burke Hales and accomplished from the Pacific Eagle, a tug that took on special cranes and a mini-A frame for the job. The mooring is currently reporting near-surface temperature, salinity, and solar radiation on NVS now, with biogeochemical data in cooperation with NOAA PMEL expected soon. This buoy is part of NOAA’s Ocean Acidification Observing Network, measuring ocean acidification variables. 
    • Columbia River Estuary: Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission partners deployed the NANOOS-supported "SATURN-07" mooring 13 April 2021, as part of Coastal Margin Observation & Prediction long-term monitoring of Columbia River estuary lateral bays. This buoy is located in Baker Bay, the most ocean-ward lateral bay on the Columbia River. It measures salinity, temperature, oxygen, chlorophyll, turbidity, and CDOM, monitoring the phytoplankton blooms and the exchange between the main-stem Columbia and the Bay. 


  • No update.


  • SECOORA 2021 Education and Outreach RFP: SECOORA is soliciting proposals to develop online or online accessible K-12 marine science curricula and/or activities that can be implemented by parents, teachers, and other educators. Proposals must demonstrate how they will increase participation of underrepresented communities in science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) educational activities.  Proposals due May 21, click here for the full details and how to submit
  • HABScope helps monitor "Every Beach Every Day": Impacts from red tide have persisted along the southwest Florida coast since December 2020.  While not as severe as red tide events in the past, beaches have been periodically affected by respiratory irritation from the bloom.  During this time the HABscope volunteer team continues to grow allowing us to monitor more beaches for respiratory impacts and include additional beaches in the Red Tide Respiratory Forecast. Volunteers are essential to the success of HABscope and our goal of monitoring "Every Beach Every Day" to inform the public of potential red tide impacts at their favorite beach. Learn more about HABscope and view the forecast here.
  • NANOOS Presentation for NOAA West Watch: NOAA's most recent West Watch was held on 20 April 2021. The webinar summarized coastal environmental conditions and impacts in the Western Region. The webinar included contributed slides from the NANOOS, CeNCOOS, and SCCOOS regions, who regularly report on their local coastal ocean conditions. See the webinar slide set here

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