The Eyes on the Ocean™ Newsletter 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,

Welcome to May! Last week I attended the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) Steering Committee meeting in Halifax, Nova Scotia, as the chair of the GOOS Regional Council. I reported on GOOS Regional Alliance (U.S. IOOS is one of the GRAs) accomplishments, challenges, and opportunities and participated in discussions on the work to advance GOOS Strategic Objectives in support of the implementation of the GOOS Strategy 2030. 

On April 17th, the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS), Marine Technology Society (MTS), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and industry partners published a synthesis of key findings and recommendations from the series of four ‘Dialogues with Industry’. The dialogue series aimed to dismantle existing barriers and highlight opportunities for achieving a mature next-generation global ocean observing system to meet the needs of the blue economy. With participants and observers from over 40 countries and especially high industry participation, it provided a one-of-a-kind space for discussions around novel ideas in ocean observing. Read the report here:

This week marks Hurricane Preparedness week (April 30-May 6th). Be ready for hurricane season. Take action TODAY to be better prepared for when the worst happens. Understand your risk from hurricanes, and begin pre-season preparations now. Make sure you understand how to interpret forecasts and alerts, and know what to do before, during, and after a storm. If you live in hurricane-prone areas, you are encouraged to prepare before hurricane season begins on June 1.


From the U.S. IOOS Office:

  • Save the Date - IOOS Advisory Committee Public Meeting: The next public meeting of the IOOS Advisory Committee will be held June 27-29 in Monterey, CA. A notice will be published in the Federal Register and all meeting information will be available on the IOOS Advisory Committee website
  • New Deputy Assistant Administrator for Navigation, Observations, and Positioning Joins the National Ocean Service: Please join us in welcoming Rachael A. Dempsey, the National Ocean Service’s first-ever Deputy Assistant Administrator for Navigation, Observations, and Positioning! Rachael will have full responsibility for establishing, managing, and providing strategic direction for the NOS Navigation, Observations, and Positioning programs. Her experience in meteorological and oceanographic prediction and operational application and her demonstrated ability to bring about strategic change, lead people in pursuit of a mission, and produce high-quality results means she comes to NOS prepared to excel in this position. Prior to joining NOS, Rachael served nearly 28 years as a meteorology and oceanography officer in the United States Navy. She led large, diverse organizations and managed significant financial resources, including the Navy’s $2 billion undersea surveillance systems program. Learn more about her experience and responsibilities.
  • Welcome Rosa L. González! Rosa joined IOOS as Environmental Compliance Coordinator. Previous to IOOS, she worked on environmental compliance for the NOAA National Ocean Service Office of Response and Restoration. Rosa also worked on protected species permits and fisheries management at the NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service. In 2011, she served as a NOAA Sea Grant Knauss Marine Policy Fellow. Rosa holds a Master of Science degree from the University of Puerto Rico, where she studied coral reef fish recruitment on a protected coral species.
  • Welcome Jeff Coogan! Dr. Jeff Coogan is an accomplished marine scientist with expertise in physical oceanography, the coastal environment, and the development of new sensor systems for coastal monitoring. He has a well-rounded background with a Ph.D. from the University of South Alabama, a M.S. in Ocean Engineering from Florida Institute of Technology and a B.S. in Marine Biology also from the Florida Institute of Technology. Throughout his career, he has worked in both academic and professional positions, including work as an Engineer at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, a postdoc at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab, and as an Engineer for a Coastal Engineering consulting firm. He is currently the National Coordinator for QARTOD & the founder of a small startup building next-generation sensors to monitor environmental health. As a committed researcher, Dr. Coogan has authored several peer-reviewed publications and is focused on improving oceanographic data products through innovative technology and automated data processing. 
  • Shifting the Narrative at the Ocean Visions Summit: IOOS Deputy Director Krisa Arzayus had the opportunity to speak at the Ocean Visions 2023 Biennial Summit, which took place April 4-6, 2023, at the wonderful Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta. The event brought together nearly 400 solvers from the ocean-climate community; people who are committed to developing and advancing a range of solutions that can restore both the ocean and the climate, and help humanity and nature avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Read the highlights from the Summit here.
  • Share Your Perspective on Oceans, Coasts, and the National Nature Assessment - May 16th and 18th: How are changing coastlines affecting businesses and communities? What’s the current and likely future condition of marine ecosystems and fisheries? How could assessing trends in coastal and ocean natural resources help improve our work and lives? The U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) is pleased to host two virtual listening sessions on development of the National Nature Assessment for audiences who care about the relationships between the ocean, coasts, and people. A session focused on marine perspectives will be held on May 16th, 2023, from 2:00pm-3:30pm ET, and a session focused on coastal perspectives will be held on May 18th, 2023, from 2:00pm-3:30pm ET. The National Nature Assessment will provide a comprehensive assessment of the status of nature today—a snapshot of how America’s lands, waters, wildlife, and ecosystems are doing and the benefits they provide. This assessment will also let us look ahead to the future and explore how future changes in nature may affect the nation.
  • From the IOOS Association: 
    • No update.


Observation Subsystem and Sensor Technologies:

  • Surface Current Mapping
    • New SeaSonde HF Radar in Massachusetts: Congratulations to Dr. Anthony Kirincich’s team at WHOI on their installation of a single antenna long-range CODAR SeaSonde® HF Radar at Salisbury Beach State Reservation in Massachusetts!  This new station expands the NERACOOS oceanographic HF-radar network and has been added to the IOOS Surface Currents Program HFR National Network (ID #SBSR).  The WHOI team expects to begin installation on the first site of the Central Maine HFR array, which will combine with this SBSR site, in early May 2023.
    • First HF-radars Installed on the North Coast of Puerto Rico for Measuring Surface Currents and Waves:  The CARICOOS HF-radar network has been expanded with the addition of two new mid-range CODAR SeaSonde® HF-radar systems located in Toa Baja and Fajardo in a continued effort to provide for U.S. Coast Guard and maritime sector information needs, to reduce maritime hazards/risks and support rapid response operations (search-and-rescue, hazardous spills).  Near real-time surface current information will be provided in 2 km and 6 km resolution products covering the high-traffic sea lane between Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  These data will augment decision-support tools to enhance the safety and efficiency of the full range of maritime operations taking place in the region.
    • Seeking Applicants for CIMAS Position: We are seeking applicants for a CIMAS position to work on-site at NOAA's NCEP/Environmental Modeling Center in College Park, MD, examining ocean observations and their impacts on ocean models in support of a NOAA hurricane intensity forecast improvements project.  This would be a 2-year term.  There are 2 application avenues - one for PhDs and another for Master's-level candidates. Candidates must be a U.S. Citizen or green card holder to access the NWS systems.
  • Gliders 
  • Buoys & Moorings
    • A Birthday for GAKOA: Ten years of monitoring in the Gulf of Alaska: Alaska’s longest continual ocean acidification mooring just turned ten years old. In lieu of a birthday cake, AOOS partners at the University of Alaska brought the mooring back to shore for its annual maintenance and got it right back out in the water. Read more about GAKOA here.
    • Hanalei and Waimea Wave Buoys Redeployed: The Hanalei Wave Buoy was redeployed on April 1, 2023. Moored approximately four miles offshore Hāʻena Point, Kauaʻi, this buoy measures wave energy and height, as well as sea surface temperature. The Waimea Wave Buoy moored approximately four miles off Waimea Bay, Oʻahu was redeployed on April 26. This buoy measures wave direction and wave energy. Both buoys transmit data every half hour. Long-term partnerships between PacIOOS, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), and the Coastal Data Information Program (CDIP) enable data streaming into the PacIOOS website and PacIOOS Voyager.
  • Harmful Algal Blooms 
    • Reeling About Red Tide? Check Out These Reels: GCOOS recently worked with an interdisciplinary international team to create Instagram Reels (short videos) to promote the Red Tide Respiratory Forecast and explain how and why the forecast is produced. The Forecast predicts red tide conditions on individual beaches at three hour increments throughout the day during red tide blooms.  Check them out on GCOOS’ new Instagram page!
    • Harmful Algal Bloom Early Warning System Guidance: A team of international researchers and managers, including NCCOS scientists, published the “Joint FAO-IOC-IAEA Technical Guidance for the Implementation of Early Warning Systems for Harmful Algal Blooms” to help improve harmful algal bloom monitoring and forecasting around the globe. The document will guide authorities and institutions involved in consumer protection or environmental monitoring to implement or improve early warning systems for harmful algal blooms that can contaminate seafood and threaten public health. There is growing concern that harmful algal bloom events will become more frequent as ocean temperatures rise and nutrient inputs increase. Many countries have developed surveillance systems to monitor harmful algal blooms; however, they may not be sufficient to ensure seafood safety. Early warning systems can address this issue and help reduce the impact of harmful algal blooms. The report describes several harmful algal bloom early warning systems around the world, including NOAA’s many ecological forecasting products.
    • NHABON Webinars: 
      • June NHABON Webinar: Please join us for our next webinar on June 14, 2023 from 3:00-4:00 PM EST on HAB Events and Response. Stay tuned for registration. 
      • Missed one?  Visit the archive!
  • Marine Life
    • ATN Updates: ATN websites have been updated and refreshed. This includes reflecting updates to the Argos fees, program terms, and a new application form. We also have a new IOOS Marine Life landing page that directs to ATN, MBON, and other programs. 

Data Management and Cyberinfrastructure (DMAC) Subsystem and Tools Built on IOOS Data:

  • Ocean Chemistry Data Now Available in PacIOOS Voyager: Data from the three Saildrone Explorers deployed last month are now available in Voyager! The Saildrones have completed a transit around Hawaiʻi Island, and will continue on to each of the main Hawaiian Islands during their six month project. As the Saildrones travel, they provide near real-time measurements of water temperature, salinity, chlorophyll, dissolved oxygen, and pH. This data provides critical water quality information for further research into the effects of climate change and ocean acidification on Hawaiʻi’s coastal waters. To access this data, visit PacIOOS Voyager, click on Observations, Remotely Operated Vehicles, Which ROV?, SD1089, 1090, or 1091.
    • No update.

Modeling and Analysis Subsystem:   

  • No update.

Around the Regions:

  • New report on The U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System: A Prototype User Valuation: The IOOS Association supported a 2019-2021 prototype study by the Center for the Blue Economy of the Middlebury Institute of International Studies to better understand the value of the data and information provided by the IOOS Regional Association through their websites to their users. The study concluded that the value of the IOOS regional observing system, just to initial users, lies between $192 million and $233 million per year, which can be considered both a conservative and incomplete estimate because the study did not include two of the 11 IOOS Regional Associations and did not consider the likely much larger values resulting from end uses of the array of information products and services that rely on observing data provided by the IOOS regional observing system. The full report is available at the IOOS Association website or the Center for the Blue Economy’s Digital Commons.
  • Alaska Regional Ocean Partnerships: The newly formed Regional Ocean Partnerships Steering Committee held its first meeting on March 22. The SC is composed of members from UAF/ACCAP, NOAA OCM, NOAA AFSC, SOA DNR, Native Village of Kotzebue, BOEM, Wildlife Conservation Society, and Ikaagun Engagement. As this was the first meeting of the SC, there were discussions on the terms of reference, working procedures, and roles and duties of the SC. The SC also discussed the overall direction of the ROP funding. We look forward to continuing the discussions and moving forward with this program with the help of our Steering Committee!
  • It’s a Wrap: GCOOS Spring Webinar Series: GCOOS concluded its Spring Webinar series of weekly talks by investigators funded through our U.S. IOOS five-year cooperative agreement. The recorded series consists of 17 presentations consolidated in eight videos that can be accessed on the GCOOS YouTube channel or on our website. Topics covered support priorities identified in the GCOOS Strategic Plan: Marine Operations, Coastal Hazards, Healthy Ecosystems & Living Resources, Human Health & Safety, Outreach & Education, Data Management & Cyberinfrastructure, Numerical Modeling & Forecasting, and Monitoring Long-term Environmental Change. Speakers demonstrated how the information they are providing is benefitting people, ecosystems and the economy of the Gulf of Mexico and the nation.
  • CARICOOS and Sociedad Ambiente Marino formalize long-standing collaboration: CARICOOS and Sociedad Ambiente Marino (S.A.M) representatives gathered to sign an agreement to formalize a collaboration of sharing data to promote the conservation of coastal and marine resources. CARICOOS will support S.A.M.’s coral reef rehabilitation plans and other coastal restoration and protection initiatives by lending instrumentation for collecting biogeochemical observations to learn more about the coastal environment where their work is being done. Read more here.
  • GCOOS Spring Meeting: The Spring Members’ Meeting of the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System included discussions of data collection and dissemination from renewable energy platforms and new and up-and-coming uncrewed systems, as well as the latest information from the large-scale effort to better understand the Gulf’s Loop Current System. The April 18 meeting, held at the University of Southern Mississippi’s Gulf Park Campus in Gulfport, included a welcome from Dr. Leila Hamdan, USM Associate Vice President for Research and Coastal Operations, an announcement of the winners of the annual GCOOS Board of Directors election, and updates from Kristen Yarincik, Director of the IOOS Association, and Carl Gouldman, Director of the U.S. IOOS program office, who also announced the recertification of GCOOS. Read more here.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Accessibility:

  • Educating and preparing youth and communities for coastal hazards: On March 30, CARICOOS and Sea Grant Puerto Rico joined efforts with the Instituto Nueva Escuela and the Puerto Rico Department of Education to integrate the parties' efforts and resources to educate and prepare youth, and their communities, for coastal hazards, helping keep them safe. As a pilot project, CARICOOS will design a coastal hazard and resilience informative center at the Montessori Public School Alejandro Tapia y Rivera in La Parguera, Lajas, Puerto Rico, where information about ocean, meteorological, and water quality observations from nearby waters will be shared with students and the local community. Read more here. 
  • UAF Tsunami Bowl: AOOS helped to sponsor the UAF Alaska Ocean Science Bowl held in Seward March 3-5. Jill volunteered as a judge and Sheyna was able to watch her daughter participate as a student. This is such a great event and AOOS looks forward to getting more involved in future years.
  • Boaters Engagement in Oregon:  NANOOS Engagement lead Rachel Wold was recently invited to demonstrate the NVS Boaters App at several recreational organizations in Oregon, including a virtual presentation for the Sauvie Island Yacht Club on March 3. This was her fourth meeting with SIYC since 2018, and the group has become an invaluable source of feedback for NANOOS user products. Rachel also presented in-person to the Columbia River Sailing Association on March 24 after meeting some members at the Portland Boat Show in February. Both groups were highly engaged with great questions and ideas, and she looks forward to connecting with them more in the future.

Interagency and International Collaboration/News:

  • UN Decade of Ocean Science For Sustainable Development Updates 
    • Ocean Decade launches new Call for Decade Actions No. 05/2023 focusing on marine pollution and marine ecosystems: The vision of the Ocean Decade is ‘the science we need for the ocean we want’. The Ocean Decade provides a convening framework for diverse sectors from around the world co-design and co-deliver the scientific knowledge and the partnerships needed to achieve a better understanding of the ocean system, and deliver science-based solutions to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. To achieve the Ocean Decade vision, a wide range of partners will implement endorsed Decade Actions in the form of programmes, projects or activities over the next eight years. You are invited to contribute to that vision by requesting endorsement for transformative Decade Actions via Call for Decade Actions No. 05/2023. Please note that to access the Call documentation and submit your Action, you will need to be a member of the Ocean Decade Network. We encourage you to join the Network as soon as possible! The call for Decade Actions No. 05/2023 is open until 31 August. Read more here: 
  • Ocean Observatories Initiative News:
    • Increasing Global Growth of OOI Data Userbase: The collection, archive, and delivery of high-quality oceanographic data to the scientific community is central to the mission of the Ocean Observatories Initiative.  Researchers world-wide are taking advantage of the 134 billion rows of freely available OOI data to make discoveries about the oceans and atmosphere.  Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the OOI was designed to collect and serve ocean data for up to 30 years. The 30-year timescale makes it possible to measure and observe both short-lived episodic events and longer-term changes occurring in the ocean. Such data are critical to increasing knowledge about ocean processes and if and how the ocean is changing. Read more here.
    • Watch Pioneer Relocation Update: Dr. Albert Plueddemann, senior scientist with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and principal investigator for the Coastal and Global Scale Nodes of the Ocean Observatories Initiative, was the featured speaker at the April 2023 “Science on the Sound” Lecture Series at the Coastal Studies Institute on the ECU Outer Banks Campus. Dr. Plueddemann presented information on an exciting new research ocean observing array headed to the offshore waters of the Outer Banks. Relocation of the Ocean Observatories Initiative Pioneer Array happened on April 20.  Read more and find a recording of the presentation here.
  • JUST RELEASED: Dialogue With Industries - Draft Synthesis: MTS, GOOS, NOAA and the UN Ocean Decade has released a draft synthesis on the dialogue with industry series. The draft report provides a synthesis of the content and outcomes of four Dialogues with Industry held from September 2022 to January 2023. The objective of these dialogues was to explore and define opportunities for maturing public and private sector capability and capacity to support a growing need for actionable ocean data, information, and knowledge in support of the delivery of economic, societal, and environmental benefits. Read the report here: 
  • Global Ocean Observing For Earth Day: In honor of Earth Day, the Global Ocean Monitoring and Observation Program published an article on NOAA’s contributions to the global ocean observing system. For decades, scientists have been working together across international boundaries to study our global ocean and develop a global ocean observing system. This system is made up of a variety of instruments that collect ocean data and all the people who contribute their ideas, research and passion for ocean science to improve our world. NOAA’s Global Ocean Monitoring and Observing Program supports half the world’s ocean observing research by investing in programs such as Argo, the Global Drifter Program, the Global Tropical Moored Buoy Array, and a variety of data products, such as the Surface Ocean CO2 Atlas, that show us how the ocean is changing over time. Hear more about the evolution and future vision of the global ocean observing system from some of our partners in Germany, India, Indonesia, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States in our video, Evolution of the Global Ocean Observing System. 
  • NOAA Releases Citizen Science Action Plan: Along with the NOAA Citizen Science Strategy, the Action Plan provides a roadmap for NOAA to advance public participation in our research and monitoring efforts, and creates opportunities for Americans to contribute to our efforts to build a Climate-Ready Nation, strengthen the New Blue Economy, and incorporate diverse perspectives in science. By implementing this Action Plan, we also ensure collaboration, inclusiveness, and data quality are core considerations of the projects we offer. 
  • First-ever U.S. Ocean Climate Action Plan Underscores Urgency of Protecting Ocean, Coasts, Great Lakes: America’s new Ocean Climate Action Plan recognizes there is no path to a healthy and livable climate without a healthy ocean. Many NOAA staff played pivotal roles in developing the plan, which outlines new actions to equitably support healthy communities, ensure a sustainable ocean economy, and harness the ocean’s potential to advance solutions to the climate crisis. As a comprehensive roadmap to ocean health, the plan catalyzes actions by the federal government and public and taps the power of science, technology and innovation. It presents “science as possibility,” underscoring the urgency of seizing the opportunities that climate change presents to protect our waters, with numerous complementary benefits.
  • NOAA Expedition to Explore Deep Ocean off U.S. West Coast: During the 2023 Shakedown + EXPRESS West Coast Exploration expedition, scientists will work to expand our knowledge of the geology and biology in the deepwater backyard Oregon and Washington, collecting data to support decision-making about sensitive marine life and habitats, geological features, and potential resources. Follow along here as they use a remotely operated vehicle to dive from NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer and explore deep-sea coral and sponge habitats, potential hydrothermal vent systems, fracture and rift zones, and the diverse life in the ocean’s water column from surface to seafloor.
  • Updated Relative Sea Level Trends Available: CO-OPS released the 2022 U.S. relative sea level trend update. CO-OPS calculates trends for 135 long-term water level stations in operation since 1960. Updated trends add to NOAA’s understanding of regional changes in sea level rise and are critical for coastal resiliency planning. This year, many stations observed only minor trend changes. The third consecutive La Niña, primarily affecting the tropical Pacific, caused increases in sea level rise trends in Guam due to prevailing easterly winds. The Eastern Gulf of Mexico coastline from the Florida Keys to Mobile Bay showed the largest overall trend increases with the addition of 2022 observations. Within this region, observed increases were greater than +0.1 millimeter/year. The vast majority of long-term trends along U.S. coasts point to persistent, long-term sea level rise.
  • CO-OPS Adds New Stations to Cape Cod/Buzzards Bay System: CO-OPS is preparing to disseminate data for two new Physical Oceanographic Real-Time System stations at New Bedford Harbor, Massachusetts. The stations, one tide gauge and one meteorological station measuring wind, air temperature, and air pressure, are being integrated into NOAA’s existing Cape Cod/Buzzards Bay Physical Oceanographic Real-Time System and will provide data to support decision-making for vessel traffic transiting Buzzards Bay and into New Bedford Harbor. This data will enhance inundation monitoring during coastal flooding, improve understanding of precise vessel drafts for cargo loading and unloading, and will be particularly valuable for mariners navigating channels. The Physical Oceanographic Real-Time System is a successful public-private partnership that provides an integrated system of sensors concentrated in seaports, which supplies commercial vessel operators with reliable real-time information about environmental conditions. New Bedford’s stations are a result of a partnership between CO-OPS and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center.
  • OCS Hosts NOAA Custom Chart Version 2.0 Webinar: The Office of Coast Survey (OCS) hosted a webinar to walk users through the new NOAA Custom Chart version 2.0, a web-based application that generates a customized paper nautical chart. The custom charts are created from the latest official NOAA electronic navigational chart (NOAA ENC®) data. The application allows users to create a geospatially referenced PDF file, which then may be printed and used to augment navigation using actual NOAA ENCs. OCS is excited to share NOAA Custom Chart version 2.0 with the public!
  • OCS and Collaborators Improve Crowdsourced Bathymetry: OCS and NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information, the International Hydrographic Organization, and Aqua Map, a popular mobile marine navigation app, collaborated to allow the submission of depth data in real time from nontraditional sources to the International Hydrographic Organization Data Centre for Digital Bathymetry. The collaboration will likely vastly increase the number of active crowdsourced bathymetry contributors and will improve the accuracy and timeliness of nautical chart updates. OCS began the collaboration when they updated multiple Intracoastal Waterway charts using information from Aqua Map and its 18,000 boating enthusiasts, which spurred a discussion with Aqua Map about crowdsourced bathymetry. OCS is committed to improving navigation data for the benefit of all boaters, and this is an exciting step toward catalyzing awareness and contributions of crowdsourced bathymetry. Crowdsourcing fills data gaps and contributes to the global goal of mapping the seafloor by 2030.
  • NGS Supports Tidal and Water Level Datums Workshop: On April 5 and 6, a number of NGS employees participated in a workshop co-hosted by the Center for Operational Oceanographic Products & Services (CO-OPS), the Canadian Hydrographic Service (CHS), and the Coordinating Committee on Great Lakes Basic Hydraulic and Hydrologic Data. Regional Geodetic Advisors Denis Riordan, Ed Carlson, and Dan Martin discussed using datums and historic relationships with older reference systems. Stephen White provided updates on VDatum, and Great Lakes Regional Advisor Jacob Heck co-presented an overview of the International Great Lakes Datum and its update. Galen Scott, Jeff Jalbrzikowski and Christine Gallagher also assisted in moderating the event which attracted more than 300 attendees from around North America.

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