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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 30, 2008

Contact: Ben Sherman, 301-713-3066
Jennie Lyons, 301-427-2446

NOAA Announces Funding to Support Alaska's Ocean Observing System Regional Association

NOAA's Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) is awarding $1,399,976 in fiscal year 2008 funding to support ocean observing efforts in Alaska.

Funding will be directed to the Seward Association for the Advancement of Marine Science, which serves as the fiscal agent for the Alaska Ocean Observing System (AOOS). Molly McCammon, executive director of the AOOS Regional Association, will lead a project to plan, develop, and manage observing systems in the three geographically, culturally and economically diverse large marine ecosystems of the Gulf of Alaska, Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands, and the Arctic Ocean.

“This agreement represents another big step forward for the Integrated Coastal and Ocean Observing System, as called for in the President’s Ocean Action Plan,” said retired Navy Vice Admiral Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA Administrator. “This year’s award is a great example of NOAA’s dedication to our ocean and coastal observing capacity, as well as our commitment to work with our regional partners.”

“Regional partnerships are critical to the success of a national Integrated Ocean Observing System,” said Zdenka Willis, NOAA IOOS program director. “With increased understanding of our oceans and coasts comes an increased ability to keep our nation safe, our economy secure, and our environment healthy and productive.”

This money supports NOAA’s efforts to develop a national IOOS, a vital tool for tracking, predicting, managing, and adapting to changes in our coastal and ocean environments. This network of people and technology is pulling coastal and ocean data and information together, so it is easily accessible from one source and can be used by scientists and decision-makers to get a ‘bigger picture’ view of environmental change.

Alaska is one recipient in an anticipated series of IOOS grants across the nation totaling $20.4M. These grants will support the continuation of 17 multi-year projects awarded in 2007, as well as new efforts in 2008.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and information service delivery for transportation, and by providing environmental stewardship of our nation's coastal and marine resources. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with its federal partners, more than 70 countries and the European Commission to develop a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it observes, predicts and protects.

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On the Web:

NOAA: http://www.noaa.gov

NOAA National Ocean Service: http://www.oceanservice.noaa.gov

NOAA IOOS program: http://ioos.noaa.gov/

 

 

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