The U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS®) produces, integrates, and communicates high-quality ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes information that meets the nation’s safety, economic, and stewardship needs.
The U.S. IOOS launched a new $60 million Ocean-Based Climate Resilience Accelerator program. Accelerators are private entities that support the development of innovative early to mid-stage businesses with training, resources, mentorship, and seed funding with the aim of bringing products to market. This program will form partnerships with and fund eligible U.S.-based organizations to develop accelerators to identify and support small businesses across five theme areas to attract capital, mature their technologies, and scale business models for climate impact and economic prosperity. Those theme areas are ocean-based renewable energy; coastal and ocean carbon sequestration monitoring and accounting; hazard mitigation and coastal resilience; ecosystems services, including change detection, change analysis and change adaptation and mitigation; and other ocean, coastal and Great Lakes-based climate resilience theme areas as determined by the applicant.
The program is a two-phase competitive funding opportunity opened in FY 23 and closing in FY 24. Phase one will fund selected projects with up to $250,000 per project for accelerator program design. The second phase of the competition will invite applicants selected in phase one to apply for funding of up to $10 million each to implement their program design.
The U.S. IOOS embarked on a new $3.9 million cooperative agreement with the Marine Technology Society to establish a multi-year framework to engage the Ocean Enterprise. The Ocean Enterprise includes public, private, nonprofit, tribal, and academic entities that provide ocean observation, measurement and forecasting data, or deliver operational ocean information products and services.
Expanding on the Dialogues with Industry program launched in 2022 by MTS, the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS)/UNESCO and NOAA, this project will support defining Ocean Enterprise requirements and identifying new market opportunities to advance public-private partnerships that support coastal and ocean climate resilience and workforce development. These partnerships provide critical services and support to many marine environmental management activities and economic sectors, including offshore energy, shipping, and coastal resilience. Throughout the project, MTS and NOAA will consolidate recommendations from across the global Ocean Enterprise community and translate them into actionable recommendations, road maps, and needs assessments to support the delivery of ocean observing services, the development of the Ocean Enterprise workforce, and the enhancement of coastal and ocean climate resilience.
The National Ocean Service Modeling Advisory Board has released a first ever NOS Modeling Strategy. Spanning 2023 to 2028, the strategy outlines a unified approach and specific goals for enhancing the capability for coastal, ocean, and Great Lakes forecasts, hindcasts, projections, and reanalysis across spatial and time scales across NOS.
Led from the U.S. IOOS Office and developed by the NOS Modeling Advisory Board, the strategy builds on the NOS Modeling Vision: to enable individuals and communities nationwide to understand and use reliable, accurate, and accessible predictions of coastal conditions. It sets out three central goals for modeling at NOS:
Address user needs through sustained community engagement and partnerships.
Develop ocean and coastal models through community modeling.
Issue national ocean service forecasts through accurate and reliable operational models.
In addition, there is a forward-looking section that synthesizes the calls to action and highlights what each program and office will provide.
The U.S. IOOS distributed $3 million for ten pilot projects and a harmful algal bloom technology testbed across all 11 IOOS Regional Associations in FY 23. This funding is a part of Congress’s support for the nascent National Harmful Algal Bloom Observing Network. The network’s aim is to enhance the nation’s capacity for monitoring and detection of these blooms. The pilot projects focus on observation, data integration, and information services about the extent, toxicity, and length of blooms. This information will aid coastal managers, seafood harvesters and aquaculture growers, drinking water utilities, animal-stranding networks, and other groups in their decision-making. The pilots build on HAB initiatives in all the IOOS Regional Associations and include development and support for regional HAB bulletins as well as support for HAB forecasts, regional HAB networks, HAB monitoring infrastructure, HAB models, alert systems, and community science efforts.
Supported by Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) and Inflation Reduction Act funds, the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System embarked on an unprecedented volume of projects and cooperative agreements in FY 23. These projects and agreements address advancements in ocean observing and modeling as well as building partnerships with the Ocean Enterprise under NOAA’s Climate Ready Coasts and Communities and Climate Data and Services initiatives.
Under BIL, projects include $14 million to enhance coastal and ocean observing systems, $3.7 million for Regional Ocean Partnerships, and $3 million for coastal inundation and flood mapping. In addition, FY 23 saw the announcement of the availability of up to $100 million over five years to the U.S. IOOS Regional Associations for climate resilience projects and $100 million toward ocean-based climate resilience accelerator programs to support small businesses and innovation for climate resilience.
The U.S. IOOS launched a new Marine Life landing page which connects all of IOOS’s existing Marine Life related web pages, portals, use cases, and guidelines and provides a single, succinct resource to reference. There is a centralized location for users to discover the various marine life activities in which IOOS is engaged.
The IOOS Marine Life Program goal is to implement a long-term, sustained marine life observation and data-sharing capability that builds on and expands the infrastructure, momentum, and successes of existing IOOS biological observing programs, in particular the Marine Biodiversity Observation Network, Animal Telemetry Network, National Harmful Algal Bloom Observing Network, soundscape monitoring, and efforts of IOOS partners and Regional Associations. The program will leverage well-developed national and regional activities, stakeholder engagement and priority-setting processes, collaboration with National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science community structures, technology development, and nearly a decade of National Oceanographic Partnership Program interagency investment towards developing this capability.
Scientists from across the National Ocean Service collaborated to develop a new NOAA technical memo about artificial intelligence, adaptive capacity, and climate resilience. Titled “Artificial Intelligence in Support of Coastal and Ocean Resilience,” the memo focuses on NOS’s ability to utilize the power of artificial intelligence (AI) by providing example applications for climate and coastal resilience and identifying directions for future development and implementation of AI to improve NOS’s capabilities to identify and implement actions to address climate change and inform coastal resilience. Read the paper in NOAA’s Institutional Repository.