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May 27, 2008

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

NOAA Announces Funding to Support Ocean Observing in the Mid-Atlantic Region

NOAA's Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) is awarding $2.1million in fiscal year 2008 competitive grant funding to support the ocean observing efforts in the Mid-Atlantic region.

The University of Delaware will receive $400,000 to oversee efforts by the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Ocean Observing Regional Association to manage data delivery and long-range planning. University Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies Carolyn Thoroughgood, Ph.D., will oversee the region wide effort.

Rutgers University's Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences will receive $1.7 million to develop the actual components of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Coastal Observing System. Rutgers will focus on efforts to better coordinate and use data collected by underwater vehicles, buoys and other tools to monitor environmental conditions so decision-makers can minimize the impact of severe weather, natural hazards and other emergencies. Scott Glenn, Ph.D., professor of physical oceanography at Rutgers Coastal Ocean Observation Lab will oversee the effort.

“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 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.”

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

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 consolidating coastal and ocean data, so it is easily accessible and can be used by scientists and decision-makers to get a ‘bigger picture’ view of environmental change.

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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