A CO-OPS employee installs an air gap sensor which measures bridge clearance on the Don Holt Bridge in Charleston, South Carolina. The sensor is part of the Charleston Harbor Physical Oceanographic Real-Time System (or PORTS®). Information from the sensor is critical for under bridge clearance, as ships continue to maximize channel depths and widths while, at the same time, push the bounds of bridge heights.
Looking for information on tides? The Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services, also known as “CO-OPS,” is where you want to head. CO-OPS and its predecessors have gathered tide information along our nation's coasts for over 200 years.
But CO-OPS isn’t just about measuring and predicting tides. CO-OPS's technicians, scientists, and engineers collect water level, current, and other oceanographic observations and predictions that help to protect life, property, and the environment.
CO-OPS products help to ensure safe, efficient, and environmentally sound maritime commerce. Coastal managers rely on CO-OPS data and analyses in making planning decisions. When hazards such as hurricanes and tsunamis threaten our coasts, CO-OPS water level data is critical in warning us, so we can prepare and stay safe. And when it comes to monitoring our changing climate, CO-OPS water level data helps us understand trends in sea level rise and the impacts of coastal storms and El Nino-type events.