Infrastructure Law to fund National observing priorities

The sun hangs low over the ocean horizon, with a strip of sandy beach in the foreground.

Sunrise on a Florida Beach by Becca Cheney / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA 4.0

This month, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina M. Raimondo announced funding opportunities from NOAA's $2.96 billion in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funds to address the climate crisis and strengthen coastal resilience and infrastructure. Over the next five years, NOAA’s targeted investments in the areas of habitat restoration, coastal resilience, and climate data and services will advance ongoing federal efforts toward building climate resilience.

The U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System is the lead office in the National Ocean Service for distribution of $13.5 million in the first of five years of funding to support ocean and coastal observing systems, flood and inundation mapping and forecasting, and Regional Ocean Partnerships. We are currently working with our 11 Regional Associations and other partners to allocate those funds with year 1 disbursements anticipated in winter 2022.

Ocean and Coastal Observing Systems
A projected total of $6.9 M will be directed to the IOOS Regional Associations in year 1 to fund their highest-priority infrastructure refresh needs, including high frequency radars, underwater profiling gliders, moorings, buoys, sensors, and technology upgrades, all of which are critical to ensure the health and stability of the sustained ocean observing system. These funds will be distributed in two waves — an initial 2-year cooperative agreement followed by a 3 year award for the remaining funds.

Flood and Inundation Mapping and Forecasting
A total of $1.7 M (projected) in year 1 will be distributed to principal investigators from the IOOS modeling community to support the development of ocean predictions spanning the Eastern Seaboard and Gulf of Mexico and couple them to the National Water Model. An additional $2.8 M (projected) will be allocated to contracts to develop a cloud computing environment to encourage community collaboration on the coastal coupling challenge.

Regional Ocean Partnerships
A total of $1.8M will be distributed in year 1 to the five IOOS Regional Associations (GLOS, CARICOOS, SECOORA, AOOS and PacIOOS) who currently serve as Regional Ocean Partnership equivalents to enhance regional data sharing and integration of federal and non-federal data.

A small allocation of additional funds will be implemented within the U.S. IOOS Office to support technical contracts and administrative efforts involved in the use of these funds. You can view the full NOAA announcement here detailing all the ways that Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funds are being implemented throughout the agency.


U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System
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Silver Spring, MD 20910

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