GCOOS News & Updates for April 2015

Greetings from GCOOS

In addition to the news items below, please visit our Website, http://gcoos.org, our real-time Data Portal, http://data.gcoos.org and Products page, http://gcoos.org/products/ for more information, data and products information.


Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System News 

The GCOOS-RA Solicits Letters of Intent by 17 April 2015 by 5 pm Central Time

Email to: [email protected]

     Members (signatories) to the GCOOS-RA Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) or employees of Members may submit Letters of Intent (LoIs) to develop and maintain a prioritized suite of observing system activities for the production and delivery of products in the Gulf of Mexico Region. Entities that are not Members that are interested in submitting an LoI should sign the MoA to become a Member before submitting an LoI. LoIs will be evaluated according to published criteria by a review panel, not in conflict of interest, appointed by the GCOOS-RA Board of Directors. The maximum request GCOOS will accept is $225,000/year.

     Commercial firms, NGOs, government entities, and academic/research institutions are encouraged to submit LoIs. Cooperation among these entities is encouraged. It is expected that all these classes of entities will participate in proposals submitted on behalf of the GCOOS-RA.

     Submitters of successful LoIs may propose in response to appropriate Call for Proposals from the NOAA IOOS, other federal agencies, or other funding entities. They also may prepare proposals to potential funding entities as directed by the BoD. Find out about the ocean observing priorities for the LOI at



U.S. and Mexican Scientists Improving Research and Response Collaborations in the Gulf of Mexico

International partnership highlights shared goal of moving Gulf science beyond political boundaries

     Scientific leaders from the U.S. and Mexico recently took steps to strengthen their collaborations to develop better ocean-observing capabilities and improve data sharing Gulf-wide during the Eighth Ordinary Session of the Consortium of Institutions for Marine Research in the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean at a meeting in Mexico City.

At that February meeting, Mexico's Consortium of Institutions for Marine Research (CIIMAR) officially joined the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System Regional Association (GCOOS-RA). The memorandum of understanding signed by Dr. José Piña, President of the CIIMAR and President of the University Juárez Autónoma de Tabasco (UJAT), and Dr. Barbara Kirkpatrick, GCOOS-RA Executive Director, will pave the way for scientists in the U.S. and Mexico to further share ocean information and to begin including data gathered by Mexican scientists on the GCOOS Data Portal. Read more at http://gcoos.tamu.edu/?p=9035


GCOOS-RA Celebrates Milestone 10th Anniversary During Annual Meeting

Board sets priorities, welcomes new board members

     The Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System Regional Association celebrated its milestone 10th anniversary during the organization's annual meeting for members and its board of directors in New Orleans from 11-13 March 2015. GCOOS-RA is a nonprofit organization responsible for developing a network of business leaders, marine scientists, resource managers, governmental and non-governmental organizations and other stakeholder groups that combine their data to provide timely information about our oceans to the public, industry and others. Read more at about the GCOOS-RA 10th Anniversary and Meeting at http://gcoos.tamu.edu/?p=9080  and see Zdenka Willis' (IOOS) story on the meeting at http://www.ioos.noaa.gov/ioos_in_action/stories/gcoos_10_years.html .


GCOOS-RA Working with the Gulf Marine Mammal Community

     GCOOS-RA staff presented at, and participated on the Steering Committee for the Gulf of Mexico Marine Mammal Research and Monitoring meeting in New Orleans, LA, this week. The primary objective of the meeting was to catalyze collaborations for long-term research planning, information sharing, and capacity building around Gulf marine mammals. Barb Kirkpatrick, GCOOS-RA Executive Director, presented on the GCOOS history with the Sperm Whale Seismic Study, the GCOOS Build-out Plan elements supporting marine mammal monitoring, the GCOOS Data Portal, the Integrated Tagging of Aquatic Animals (iTag) effort, the IOOS Animal Telemetry Network (ATN), and AOOS' work with the ATN and marine mammal projects and databases in Alaska. Stephanie Watson, GCOOS-RA Communications Manager, served on the meeting Steering Committee and facilitated the Habitat Use and Distribution breakout group with Chris Simoniello, GCOOS-RA Outreach and Education Lead. Presentations will be posted soon on the workshop website at http://mmc.gov/gom/gom_meeting.shtml 


LSU Earth Scan Laboratory Generates SST Composite Image Showing Warm Core Eddies in the Gulf

     GOES-13 night-time SST composite from 20 March 2015 reveals Warm Core Eddy (WCE) Michael and a smaller WCE to the west of it.  Cold Core Eddies (CCEs), surrounding the Loop Current (LC) and the WCEs, are instrumental in the detachment and final separation of WCEs from the LC.  Eddy Michael experienced its first detachment from the LC in mid-January. However, in February, the LC recaptured it and it has yet to separate completely from the LC. The coldest coastal waters are introduced into the northern Gulf of Mexico by the Mississippi and Atchafalaya Rivers. Image and caption provided by Nan Walker and Ambrose Bordelon of the LSU Earth Scan Laboratory (www.esl.lsu.edu). For the complete image of our featured image please see: http://gcoos.tamu.edu/?attachment_id=9065.


Gulf of Mexico Scientists Appointed to National Research Council Committee

     The National Research Council announced the committee membership for the study on "Effective Approaches for Monitoring and Assessing Gulf of Mexico Restoration Activities." Special congratulations to the Gulf members, including Drs. Matt Howard, Pamela Plotkin, Paul Montagna, Kenneth L. Heck, Jr., Kenneth A. Rose, and Dr. Mark S. Woodrey. Learn more at http://www8.nationalacademies.org/cp/CommitteeView.aspx?key=49695 .


Update on Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) Jubilee in the Northern Gulf of Mexico, 13-17 July 2015

     The University of Southern Mississippi-led CONCORDE Consortium for River-Dominated Coastal Ecosystems continues to plan its AUV Jubilee for the Northern Gulf in July. Many teachers nationwide are applying to participate and the Naval Oceanographic Office will now be adding a glider.  Read more about the GoMRI-funded CONCORDE at http://gcoos.tamu.edu/?p=8927 .


Texas A&M Geochemical and Environmental Research Group (GERG) Reveille Glider Mission 

      From 2-25 March 2015, the Texas A&M GERG profiling glider, Reveille, covered 225 km. This was Reveille's first mission with both the thruster and the 800cc buoyancy pump. The new pump allows the glider to operate within a wider range of densities. This enables the glider to overcome large fluctuations in the salinity and/or temperature of the water in which Reveille is flying. Learn more about this mission and other GERG glider activities at https://www.facebook.com/TamuGergGliders .

Gulf Restoration News 

Environmental Law Institute's (ELI) Comparison of RESTORE Act Funding Mechanisms Updated

See the updated version of ELI's comparison of RESTORE Act funding mechanisms at:



The RESTORE Council published the final rule for the RESTORE Act Spill Impact Component Planning Allocation at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-01-13/pdf/2014-30675.pdf . Read the Council-Selected Restoration Component and Context Reports at https://www.restorethegulf.gov/release/2015/03/12/council-selected-restoration-component-proposals-and-context-reports .


NOAA RESTORE Science Program

FFO 2015 Proposals are under review. The final Science Plan will be published sometime this month. Read more at http://restoreactscienceprogram.noaa.gov/ .


RESTORE Centers of Excellence

Florida has a Centers of Excellence Research Grant Program with full proposals due 20 May 2015. Read more at  http://www.fio.usf.edu/research/restore-act .

Alabama - The competitive process for selection of their Center of Excellence is being finalized. See their coastal restoration website for more information at http://www.alabamacoastalrestoration.org/

Mississippi - The final RFP for the MS RESTORE Center of Excellence is complete. See http://www.restore.ms/centers-of-excellence-rfp/ .

Louisiana - public comments on the administrative policies for the Center of Excellence grants are being accepted through 17 April 2015. http://coastal.la.gov/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/COE-Policies-2015_Final2.pdf

Texas - The Texas Centers of Excellence were announced back in January - see http://www.tceq.state.tx.us/news/releases/1-15restore . One of the Centers, the Texas OneGulf Consortium, has a website at http://www.harteresearchinstitute.org/tx-onegulf .



See the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) website for more information at http://www.dep.state.fl.us/deepwaterhorizon/ or the Gulf Consortium website at http://www.fl-counties.com/advocacy/gulf-consortium. See the Florida DEP presentation on the next National Fish and Wildlife Foundation's Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund cycle at  http://www.dep.state.fl.us/deepwaterhorizon/files2/nfwf/nfwf_public_webinar_march2015pdf.



For more information or to submit projects, visit  




Mississippi Department of Marine Resources is holding a "State of Our Coast" summit 12-13 May, 2015. Learn more at http://dmr.ms.gov/index.php/news-a-events/760-state-of-our-coast .



The Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority releases Flood Risk and Resilience Viewer (http://cims.coastal.louisiana.gov/floodrisk/ ) and a funding guide for Resources to Reduce Coastal Flood Risk (http://coastal.la.gov/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/CPRA-Pocket-Guide-to-Funding-Resources.pdf ), developed in cooperation with Shell. The Fiscal Year 2016 Annual Plan and the System-wide Monitoring and Assessment Program Plan are available at http://coastal.la.gov/newscategory/whats-new/ .  



Learn more about Texas' RESTORE efforts or submit a project at

https://wwww.restorethetexascoast.org/ .


National Academy of Sciences Gulf Research Program

The Community Resilience and Health: Workshop Report (2015) is available here.  


National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund
States will be submitting their next proposals to the fund this month. Learn more at http://www.nfwf.org/gulf/pages/home.aspx.

Gulf of Mexico Alliance Update
     The Deepwater Horizon Project Tracker is going live! To view, please see www.dwhprojecttracker.org. The Gulf of Mexico Alliance invites you to a demonstration webinar on Thursday, 23 April 2015 at 12:00pm CDT, 1:00pm EDT at https://meet51615459.adobeconnect.com/public-demo/. The DWH Project Tracker will be live on 20 April 2015. Play around with it and then join GOMA for a short 10-15 minute demonstration of this interactive tool on 23 April. This new website is the first comprehensive guide that maps all the funded oil spill restoration projects related to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The development team will be available to answer questions following the demonstration. The DWH Project Tracker is a project of the Gulf of Mexico Alliance, The Trust for Public Land, and Ducks Unlimited. Funding was provided by the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities and the Knobloch Family Foundation.
     The "Get to Know GOMA" Webinar recording is available also. See the GOMA March 2015 newsletter at http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs130/1104176519411/archive/1120396590742.html for more information.

Gulf of Mexico Regional News 

Screenscope Releases Trailer "Lessons from the Deep"

See the video trailer funded through GoMRI:



Award-winning Video Teaches about Drone Technology for Oil Spill Response Research

See the GoMRI-award winning educational video at:



GoMRI RFP-IV Consortia Web Presence

Visit these new websites and pages for project information and activities: Consortium for Resilient Gulf Communities (CRGC) webpage Deep-Pelagic Nekton Dynamics of the Gulf of Mexico consortium (DEEPEND) website and Aggregation and Degradation of Dispersants and Oil by Microbial Exopolymers (ADDOMEx) Consortium website.


Florida Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day - 16 May 2015

Learn more about the 16 May 2015 Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day in Florida at  http://myfwc.com/fishing/saltwater/recreational/lionfish/events/ .


USGS Makes Thousands of Photos and Videos of the Seafloor and Coastline Available

The USGS has developed a Coastal and Marine Geology Video and Photograph Portal at http://cmgvideo.usgsportals.net/.  The portal includes "never seen before" Gulf of Mexico coastline aerial imagery, along with imagery from many other areas. USGS also has a "USGS iCoast - Did the Coast Change?" application where citizen science volunteers compare pre- and post-storm aerial imagery at http://coastal.er.usgs.gov/icoast/about.php . Learn more about USGS Coastal and Marine Geology Program at http://marine.usgs.gov/ .

IOOS/National/Legislative News 

IOOS Advisory Committee Meets 29 April 2015 in Washington, DC

     The Committee will provide advice on: (a) Administration, operation, management, and maintenance of the System; (b) expansion and periodic modernization and upgrade of technology components of the System; (c) identification of end-user communities, their needs for information provided by the System, and the System's effectiveness in dissemination information to end-user communities and to the general public; and (d) any other purpose identified by the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere or the Interagency Ocean Observation Committee.


CO-­OPS Improves Data Quality by Installing New Microwave Sensors (from 3 April 2015 IOOS Z-gram)

     NOAA, National Ocean Service Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services (CO-OPS) has started transitioning to operations the next generation state­ of ­the ­art Microwave Water Level (MWWL) sensors for the National Water Level Observation Network (NWLON).  These sensors do not make contact with the water and are superior to previous acoustic technology used by CO-­OPS. They are cost effective, eliminating the need for diving and underwater cleaning of support structures (such as clamps, pilings) and do not involve corrosion or dissimilar metal effects for underwater components, resulting in additional savings. CO­-OPS has installed MWWL sensors at ten NWLON stations, and plans to transition 148 of the tidal NWLON stations to this new technology over the next 12 years. The two most recent stations that were updated are the NWLON station in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico which replaces the NWLON station in Aguadilla that was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy in 2012; and the NWLON in Wachapreague, VA.  For more information, contact  [email protected] or  [email protected].


Explore Once, Use Many Times (from 20 March 2015 IOOS Z-gram)

     For full post go to https://noaacoastsurvey.wordpress.com/2015/03/18/explore-once-use-many-times/.  NOAA's Office for Coast Survey is collaborating with NOAA's Office of Ocean Exploration to maximize the use of the multi-beam data being collected by NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer.


White House Releases Implementation Report

     The White House released a report on the implementation of the National Ocean Policy. The report can be found at  https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/nop_highlights_annual_report_final_-_150310.pdf


Participate in the IOOS Ocean Enterprise Study

     The Ocean Enterprise: A Study of U.S. Business Activity in Ocean Measurement, Observation, and Forecasting. Read more and participate at: http://www.usworks.com/usioos/.


Planning for MTS/IEEE OCEANS'15 Washington DC (from 20 March IOOS Z-Gram)

     The US IOOS Program Office has secured two booths in the exhibit hall and will be looking for community engagement.  We are exploring options for IOOS focused session tracks and events such as town halls and an IGNITE style session.

Abstract submissions are now open and close in late May: http://www.oceans15mtsieeewashington.org/index.php/program/abstract-submission  . If you have additional ideas on session tracks, workshops, tutorials and non-traditional activities, Doug Wilson is looking for your help, please see the program so far, but also consider being part of the organizing team: http://www.oceans15mtsieeewashington.org/index.php/program/topics.

Contact Doug at: [email protected].

Employment Opportunities 

Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation Public Outreach Coordinator



IOOS Association Program Coordinator (part-time)



Ocean Observatories Initiative Operations and Maintenance Manager


National Oceanographic Partnership Program Summer 2015 Internship Opportunity

Funding Opportunities 

Sound and Marine Life JIP - Due 30 April 2015

Long Term Fixed Acoustic Monitoring of Marine Mammals throughout the Life Cycle

of an Offshore E&P Field Development



Florida RESTORE Centers of Excellence Grants Program - Due 20 May 2015   

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Request for Applications for 2015 EPA Science to Achieve Results (STAR) Fellowships for Graduate Environmental Study.

Current Events and Meetings 


National Ocean Science Bowl (NOSB), 23-26 April 2015, Ocean Springs, MS



2015 Offshore Technology Conference, 4-7 May 2015, NRG Park, Houston, TX


2015 Gulf of Mexico Climate Outreach Community Practice Meeting, 19-20 May 2015, St. Petersburg, FL


2015 Southeast Coastal Ocean Observing Regional Association Annual Meeting, 19-20 May 2015, Jacksonville, FL

Click here for details


Blue Planet Symposium, 27-29 May 2015, Cairns, Australia



Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council, 8-12 June 2015, Marriott Beachside, Key West, FL


Capitol Hill Ocean Week (CHOW), 9-11 June 2015, Washington, D.C. Newseum


GOMA All-Hands Meeting, 16-18 June 2015, Biloxi, MS



OTN-Hosted International Conference on Fish Telemetry, 13-17 July 2015, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada



ESCA55: Unbounded boundaries and shifting baselines, estuaries and coastal seas in a rapidly changing world, 6-9 September 2015, London, UK

Click here for details


GCOOS-RA Board of Directors Meeting, 17 September 2015, St. Petersburg, FL

Details TBA



MTS/IEEE Oceans '15, 19-22 October 2015, Washington, D.C.