RYE, NH /PRNewswire/ -- The maritime and ocean research community will benefit greatly from federal funding of more than $1.7 million recently awarded to NERACOOS, the Northeastern Regional Association of Coastal Ocean Observing Systems.
NERACOOS, a 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 information, including providing weather and ocean data to fishers and commercial shippers so that they may determine if conditions are safe for passage and to emergency managers issuing storm warnings. NERACOOS is also advancing efforts to use this data for water quality monitoring, harmful algal bloom predictions and warnings, and coastal flooding and erosion forecasting systems.
NERACOOS has received $1,770,000 from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The majority of the funding will be distributed among its operational (or research) partners to sustain the data collection and forecasting efforts of the program.
- University of Maine Physical Oceanography Group—Funding to support operations and maintenance of the Gulf of Maine buoy array (formerly GoMOOS), and to support operations of a coastal radar system that measure currents and supports search and rescue
- Gulf of Maine Research Institute—Funding to support NERACOOS data management, Web site, and data product development
- University of New Hampshire—Funding to support a buoy in Great Bay, a wave buoy off New Hampshire, and instruments to continue measuring ocean acidification
- University of Massachusetts at 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, specifically designed to better understand water quality in the area
- Bedford Institute of Oceanography, Nova Scotia—Funding to help support a wave forecast system and 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, Director of the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System, 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.
As Portsmouth Harbor Pilot PJ Johnson notes, "having access to the latest ocean data is critical to the safety of our operations and has improved the safety of maritime commerce in this region."