The Latest from SECOORA
March 5, 2012
Southeast Coastal Ocean Observing Regional Association
NFRA/IOOS Meeting | Annual Meeting Registration | PI Spotlights: SEAKEYS Assets Removed from Water, Pat Welsh in the News, and ROFFS Announces Paper | Other News of Interest | Job Announcements | Coming Events


NFRA/IOOS Annual Spring Meeting

The NFRA/IOOS Annual Spring meeting was held February 28-March 1, 2012 in Washington, DC.  The meeting included Regional Association (RA) reviews, a report from the IOOS Office on major accomplishments and issues, build out plan updates, and discussion of the goals for the coming year.  Debra Hernandez, Dick Dodge and Megan Lee attended from SECOORA.


Register today!

SECOORA's Annual Meetings will be held May 7-9, 2012 at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (RSMAS).  The planning is well underway and includes panel discussions, a SECOORA Regional Coastal Ocean Observing System (RCOOS) principal investigator (PI) meeting, a field trip, and an evening social.

  • Meeting Registration is now open! Register today.
  • A block of rooms is being held at the Mayfair Hotel, 3000 Florida Avenue Miami, Florida 33133. For reservations please call 1.800.433.4555 by April 9, 2012 and ask for the SECOORA rate ($125/night).

Please see the dates below for specific meeting times and mark your calendars accordingly! 
Monday, May 7th from 3-5pm:  SECOORA Board meeting.  The Board of Directors should plan to arrive Monday, May 7th by 3pm.
Tuesday, May 8th from 8am-5pm:  Members and Stakeholders Meetings.  The meetings will be followed by an evening social at RSMAS.

Wednesday, May 9th from 8am-12pm:  Coordinated SECOORA RCOOS PI meeting. 

SECOORA PI Spotlights

SEAKEYS Assets Removed from Water

The SEAKEYS network has been operational for over 20 years and provides a long time series of observations in the Florida Keys. The program provides a framework for long-term monitoring and research along the 220 mile Florida coral reef tract and in Florida Bay at a geographical scale encompassing the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS).  Compounding the problem of limited funding, the instruments are primarily on a series of stationary platforms (lighthouses, towers), the structural integrity of which has now becoming questionable due to age. The US Coast Guard do not have plans to repair the lighthouses but intend to sell. It is anticipated that non-profit entities will purchase these for their historical value.


To address the future of SEAKEYS and its infrastructure and funding, the Florida Institute of Oceanography (FIO) held a meeting at the Keys Marine Lab in November 2011. The user community was invited and included representatives from many areas of NOAA (Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary; National Weather Service; Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory; Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory), the National Park Service, the Ocean Reef and Gun Club, and FIO. The NOAA/National Data Buoy Center, Coast Guard, FL Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, and representatives from Audubon, the dive and fishing communities, and staff from a local legislative office were unable to attend, but some sent letters of support. Following the meeting other funding sources were sought but were not successfully identified.


At the end of 2011, due to a lack of financial support, FIO made the difficult decision to terminate the SEAKEYS program, and are withdrawing all FIO assets from the water. NOAA/AOML, with assistance from NOAA/FKNMS, has agreed to take over maintenance of one station (FIO is loaning an instrument to NOAA/AOML for this purpose); NOAA/GLERL are investigating the possibility of maintaining a second station; and a limited subset of meteorological sensors will be visited every two years by NOAA/NDBC, with no maintenance support between visits.


SECOORA Board Member Pat Welsh in the News

Pat Welsh and his team from the University of North Florida were recently highlighted in the local paper for their work in water quality monitoring, with custom designed buoys, Guana Lake in FL.  View the article.


ROFFS Announces New Scientific Paper

Mitch Roffer, SECOORA Executive Committee Member, recently announced that a research paper relating to the impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on Atlantic bluefin tuna spawning in the northern Gulf of Mexico has been peer reviewed and is press in the scientific journal Marine Pollution Bulletin (Elsevier Ltd.).  Nine researchers from industry, academia and government  working together produced the paper "Overlap between Atlantic bluefin tuna spawning grounds and observed Deepwater Horizon surface oil in the Northern Gulf of Mexico."  This paper and its details can be found onlineFunding for this research came from a variety of sources including NASA, NOAA, Florida Institute of Oceanography, University of Miami Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies, and ROFFS.

Other News of Interest

Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative Names Chief Science Officer

On February 24th, the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative named Dr. Charles "Chuck" A. Wilson as the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) Chief Science Officer. The Chief Science Officer is a new position created by the Research Board to provide scientific and research advice and leadership to the GoMRI. Dr. Wilson will coordinate the work of the GoMRI Research Board with the various administrative units implementing the research program and with the Gulf of Mexico Alliance. Additionally, he will support the Research Board's efforts to ensure the intellectual quality, research effectiveness, and scientific independence of the $500 million GoMRI research initiative. For more information, visit: 


Extension of public comment period on draft NOP Implementation Plan

The National Ocean Council is extending the public comment period on the draft National Ocean Policy Implementation Plan through March 28, 2012. This extension will provide stakeholders, users, and the public additional time to review the draft Implementation Plan and provide their input to inform development of the final Implementation Plan.  Learn More.


Job Announcements

Gulf Resilient Communities Regional Coordinator

The Gulf Resilient Communities Regional Training Coordinator is a one year, full-time, grant-funded contract position that will be housed at the Weeks Bay Foundation office in Fairhope, Alabama. The training coordinator will work with the Gulf Coast National Estuarine Research Reserves' (NERRs) Coastal Training Programs (CTP) in Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Texas to link the coastal community resilience goals of the NERRs and NOAA's Coastal Storms Program with the training and information needs of local communities. Additionally, the coordinator will work with NERR CTPs to engage five communities along the Gulf Coast on the topic of coastal storm preparedness and resilience through the use of the Coastal Resilience Index (CRI) and the organization and facilitation of resilience related trainings based on community needs. This project will engage local communities, raise awareness about the NOAA Coastal Storms Program, and result in activities that improve the resilience of the communities adjacent to the Gulf of Mexico. This position will be grant funded for one year. View the announcement.

Coming Events 

March 5-8, 2012 9th ONR/MTS Buoy Workshop, Victoria, British Columbia


March 8-9, 2012  Southeastern Coastal Wind Conference, Charlotte, NC


March 13-15, 2012 Southeast Regional Acoustics Consortium (SEAC) Workshop, Miami, FL


March 14-15, 2012 Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System Meeting, Gulfport, MS


April 23-27, 2012 SPIE Ocean Sensing and Monitoring IV, Baltimore, MD


April 30-May 4, 2012 2012 National Water Quality Monitoring Conference, Portland, OR


May 7-9, 2012 SECOORA Annual Meeting, Miami, FL


May 15-17, 2012 From Stem to Stern II, Clearwater Beach, FL


June 21-22, 2012 Sea Level Rise Summit: The Future of Florida and the Coast, Boca Raton, FL


June 24-28, 2012 National Marine Educators Conference, Anchorage, AK


July 8-13, 2012 EARTH Workshop, Wilmington, NC


October 14-19, 2012 OCEANS 2012 MTS/IEEE, Hampton Roads, Virginia


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Southeast Coastal Ocean Observing Regional Association
Are you interested in ocean observations, ecosystem management, marine operations, or coastal hazards? Then you should know about SECOORA, the Southeast Coastal Ocean Observing Regional Association. SECOORA is the regional solution to integrating coastal and ocean observing in the Southeast United States. Commitment to ocean observing technologies in our region is critical. Your input, guidance, support, and membership will insure that SECOORA continues to develop the products and services that you need. Join SECOORA and be a part of the Southeast's future. Contact Executive Director Debra Hernandez ( for more information.
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