GCOOS News & Updates for June 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 

Just in Time for Hurricane Season: New Gulf Monitoring Stations Enhance Resilience and Improve Navigation Safety

     As the Gulf of Mexico enters its 2015 hurricane season, two federal-state/local partnerships have installed new, and enhanced existing, monitoring stations that provide real-time environmental intelligence with highly accurate water level and meteorological data. These Continuously Operating Reference Stations (CORS) and PORTS® stations were installed to help protect communities in the Gulf of Mexico region, as well as support nationally significant shipping and energy industries. The partnership installing the CORS is the Gulf Coast Spatial Reference Consortium of the Conrad Blucher Institute (CBI) for Surveying and Science at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi; Louisiana State University's Center for Geoinformatics; the University of Southern Mississippi's Mississippi Spatial Reference Center; and the Alabama Department of Transportation. NOAA and local partners installed two new PORTS® at Port Fourchon and Morgan City, LA. Read more at http://gcoos.tamu.edu/?p=9326.


Image courtesy of CDIP, Scripps Institution of Oceanography

New Waverider Buoy Supports Harbor Pilots

     A new Datawell Waverider Mk III wave monitoring buoy (WMO ID 42098) was deployed on 5 June 2015, near the entrance to the Tampa Bay shipping channel. The addition of this buoy to existing NOAA Physical Oceanographic Real Time System (PORTS®) infrastructure supports the work of the Tampa Bay harbor pilots based out of Egmont Key, FL. Instruments on the Waverider buoy will provide the pilots with real-time data on wave height, period and direction, critical information to enhance safety as the pilots move between the station and inbound or outbound ships. Data from this buoy and photos of the deployment are available at http://tbports.org.

     Funded by the Greater Tampa Bay Marine Advisory Council - PORTS®, Inc., the local operator for Tampa Bay PORTS®, and operated in collaboration with the University of South Florida College of Marine Science and the US Army Corps of Engineers-funded Coastal Data Information Program at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the information also supports broader efforts to monitor and predict waves and shoreline change.  

     "While the primary beneficiaries of wave data from this buoy are the Tampa Bay Pilots and related shipping interests, the wave information is critical to studies of beach erosion and channel dredging" said Mark Luther, the head of local operations for Tampa Bay PORTS®. Read the article and see pictures at http://gcoos.tamu.edu/?p=9346.


Ranger Rick Magazine to Highlight Citizen Science in the Gulf 

     Ranger Rick photographer Joanna Pinneo spent several days capturing the work of students engaged in the GCOOS Citizen Science project. She first visited St. Petersburg, FL, where she photographed participants in Nature's Academy field classroom at Ft. DeSoto Park. While there, the middle school-aged kids conducted biodiversity studies, dissected sharks, assessed water quality, and had fun learning how to kayak and snorkel. From St. Petersburg, Pinneo headed to Galveston Bay, TX, where she continued capturing the field activities of students participating in programs of the Galveston Bay Foundation, including salt marsh grass planting in support of restoration activities. Both Nature's Academy, led by Executive Director and co-founder Dana Pounds, and the Galveston Bay Foundation, led by Water Quality Program Manager and GCOOS board member Charlene Bohanon, are partners contributing data to the new GCOOS Citizen Science Data Portal, to be launched this summer. The Ranger Rick Citizen Science issue is being developed as a collaboration of GCOOS Outreach and Education Manager, Dr. Chris Simoniello, and the National Wildlife Federation. http://gcoos.tamu.edu/?p=9355 


GCOOS-RA IOOS Grant and New Proposal Update

     The GCOOS-RA is in the process of refining its budget and activities for Year 5 of the current IOOS grant. The RA is also preparing the proposal to IOOS to pursue the next phase of funding. The proposal is due 31 August 2015.


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

     The University of Southern Mississippi (USM)-led CONCORDE Consortium for River-Dominated Coastal Ecosystems continues to plan its AUV Jubilee for the Northern Gulf in July. USM held an introductory webinar 14 May 2015 and held a teleconference on 28 May 2015 to discuss data flow issues.

A few key points from Ryan Vandermeulen, USM point-of-contact:

  • We're encouraging participants to submit their glider data to the National Glider Data Assembly Center (NGDAC)
  • This will help with real-time glider data display during the Jubilee (enhancing adaptive sampling capabilities), with an added benefit of getting your data incorporated into operational models and contributing to increasing the representation of Gulf of Mexico glider data on a national level!
  • There are two routes to do so: 1) Submit directly to NGDAC by getting your data formatted into proper IOOS .nc, or 2) Submit to GCOOS, who will work with formatting your raw data into IOOS .nc (Minimally invasive to the user!!)
  • In order to make this happen, we need participants to coordinate with Rutger's University if they plan to submit directly to the NGDAC (tnmiles@marine.rutgers.edu), or coordinate with GCOOS if you'd like them to format your data (mkhoward@tamu.edu)
  • They need your data! If possible, please send an example data file to one of these individuals as soon as possible so we can all work to making this a successful (and smooth) collaboration.

     If possible, we'd like to see your proposed cruise track as well, so we can get started with coordinating adaptive sampling strategies. Please send robert.arnone@usm.edu  a .kml of your proposed cruise track if you know where you'll be flying! 

     Read more about the GoMRI-funded CONCORDE at http://gcoos.tamu.edu/?p=8927  or contact Ryan Vandermeulen at Ryan.Vandermeulen@usm.edu.


GCOOS Chapter in Coastal Ocean Observing Systems 1st Edition is Coming Soon!

     This book, being published by Elsevier in July 2015, provides state-of-the-art scientific and technological knowledge in coastal ocean observing systems, along with guidance on establishing, restructuring, and improving similar systems. Edited by Yonggang Liu, Heather Kerkering, and Robert H. Weisberg, the book includes a GCOOS-RA chapter, by Chris Simoniello, Stephanie Watson, Barbara Kirkpatrick, Michael Spranger, and Ann E. Jochens, Shin Kobara and Matthew Howard on the efficiency and effectiveness of one comprehensive observing system in the Gulf of Mexico providing many societal benefits. Look for the book in July at http://store.elsevier.com/product.jsp?isbn=9780128020227.


Gulf Restoration News 

Natural Resources Damage Assessment (NRDA) Phase IV

     The Deepwater Horizon NRDA Trustees have agreed in principle on 10 Early Gulf Restoration Projects. Trustees are invited to submit comments by 19 June 2015 - http://www.gulfspillrestoration.noaa.gov/restoration-planning/phase-iv/. To date, nearly $700 million has been allocated for 54 early restoration projects. 



     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.


NOAA RESTORE Act Science Program

     See all the details for this program at http://restoreactscienceprogram.noaa.gov/ .


National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund

     To view a listing of projects funded by the NFWF Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund, visit http://www.nfwf.org/gulf/Pages/gulf-projects.aspx#.VUu4QtpViko .


National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Gulf Research Program (GRP)

     The NAS GRP has a Request for Applications open for Data Synthesis Grants. Letters of Intent are required by noon EST 17 June 2015 with full proposals due 31 July 2015. Read more at http://www.nationalacademies.org/gulf/datagrants/index.htm .


RESTORE Centers of Excellence

Florida - FIO is coordinating a Centers of Excellence Research Grant Program, which is reviewing proposals now. Read more at http://www.fio.usf.edu/research/restore-act .

Alabama - The competitive process for selection of their Center of Excellence is final and proposals are being solicited - due 30 June 2015. See their coastal restoration website for more information at http://www.alabamacoastalrestoration.org/.

Mississippi - Applications for MS RESTORE Center of Excellence were due at the end of April 2015. Reviews ongoing. FMI see http://www.restore.ms/ .

Louisiana - public comments on the administrative policies for the Center of Excellence grants are being reviewed. 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 see 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_march2015.pdf . Florida DEP has also created an infographic on Florida restoration facts 5 years after the DWH oil spill at http://www.dep.state.fl.us/deepwaterhorizon/files2/info_graphic.pdf.



     For more information or to submit projects, visit http://www.alabamacoastalrestoration.org/.



The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources held 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 . Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) held a public meeting on 4 June 2015 to present the Draft Phase IV Early Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessments by the NRDA trustees and solicit comments - http://www.restore.ms/early-restoration-draft-phase-iv-early-restoration-plan-and-environmental-assessments/.  



     The Louisiana Legislature has approved the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) Fiscal Year 2016 Annual Plan, providing $884 million in expenditures for coastal protection and restoration projects in fiscal year 2016, an increase of approximately $159 million over the year prior.

     Read more at http://us9.campaign-archive1.com/?u=3d6138b29e4223c069af96595&id=f35916e780&e=dba642d0ee.



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



Gulf of Mexico Regional News 

2015 Gulf of Mexico Alliance All-Hands Meeting (16-18 June 2015)

     The 2015 Gulf of Mexico Alliance Meeting will be held 16-18 June in Biloxi, MS. For more information on the agenda and schedule of events please see: http://www.gulfofmexicoalliance.org/announcements/events/2015-all-hands-meeting/.


Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies Book Published by Texas A&M University Press

     A new book, almost two decades in the making, entitled The American Sea: A Natural History of the Gulf of Mexico, is by the late Dr. Rezneat Darnell, Professor Emeritus at Texas A&M University, Department of Oceanography. It is an amazing compilation by a single individual. Read about it at http://www.tamupress.com/product/American-Sea,8196.aspx.


IOOS/National/Legislative News 

June is National Oceans Month!

     President Obama proclaimed June as National Oceans Month for 2015, celebrating these life-sustaining ecosystems, and reaffirming out vital role as stewards of our planet.  Learn about the week on the NOAA National Ocean Service's website  http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/news/june15/30days.html and see amazing image galleries like "Views from the seafloor" at  http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/caribbean-mapping/gallery-seafloor.html . For more on this please see http://gcoos.tamu.edu/?p=9310.  


Capitol Hill Oceans Week Held - 9-11 June 2015

     The annual Capitol Hill Oceans Week (CHOW) was held last week 9-11 June 2015 at the Washington Newseum in Washington, DC. The event, hosted by the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation with sponsors' support, has been an annual event for more than a decade. CHOW has convened Congressional Members and staff, Administration officials, state and local government representatives, business executives, military officials, academic experts, and conservation leaders to explore a wide range of cutting-edge and challenging policy issues relating to our ocean. Learn more about the event at http://nmsfocean.org/CHOW-2015.


NOAA Climate Stewards Education Project (CSEP)

     CSEP provides formal and information educators working with elementary through university age students with sustained professional development, collaborative tools, and support to build a climate-literate public that is actively engaged in climate stewardship. CSEP also provides support for educators to execute climate stewardship (mitigation or adaptation) projects with their audiences to increase understanding of climate science and practical actions to reduce the impact of climate change. The project is part of NOAA's portfolio of activities to strengthen ocean, climate, and atmospheric science education. Read more at http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/education/climate-stewards/.


The Ocean Enterprise: A Study of US Business Activity in Ocean Measurement, Observation and Forecasting (from 1 June 2015 Z-Gram) 
     The survey is open now through mid-June. The study aims to identify and dissect the scale and scope of the United States private sector activity in support of ocean measurement, observation and forecasting, and the use of ocean information to deliver safety, economic and environmental benefits.

     Any company who is a provider or intermediary is welcome to join the study at  http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/oceanstudy.

     Summary information is also available on the IOOS web page: http://www.ioos.noaa.gov/ioos_in_action/ocean_enterprise_study.html. This study is sponsored by NOAA's National Ocean Service and the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS®) and being conducted by the ERISS Corporation and The Maritime Alliance.

Employment Opportunities 

National Academy of Sciences Gulf Research Program -Consultant, Offshore Safety


Chemistry Assistant at Greenwater Lab



Project Administration Manager for Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative



Gloucester Marine Genomics Institute - Science Director, Marine Biotechnology and Education Director (2 positions)


Funding Opportunities 

National Academy of Sciences Gulf Research Program Data Synthesis Grants - LOIs due Noon EST 17 June 2015.

Read more at http://www.nationalacademies.org/gulf/datagrants/index.htm 


NOAA NMFS Coastal Ecosystem Resiliency Grants - Deadline 2 July 2015 



NOAA Regional Coastal Resilience Grant Program - Deadline 24 July 2015 


Current Events and Meetings 


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


Gulf Research Program Advisory Board Meeting, 25-26 June 2015, Battle House Renaissance Mobile, Mobile, AL




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



Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council Meeting, 10-14 August 2015, Hilton  Riverside, New Orleans, LA


Oceans in Action 2015, 20 August 2015, Stennis Space Center, MS


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

Click for details.


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



Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council Meeting, 5-9 October 2015, Hilton Galveston Island, Gaveston, TX



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