NFRA News June 2012

National and Regional
Coastal and
Ocean Observing News


NFRA and IOOS News

NFRA Washington DC Visits

Josie Quintrell, NFRA Executive Director, and other NFRA Board members spent time in Washington DC this month meeting with a variety of congressional, federal agency, and NOAA staff. These meetings highlight how IOOS is making a difference to people in the various regions of the country.  NFRA also initiated discussions with Hill staff about reauthorizing the ICOOS Act in 2013.  Meetings were held with staff from the Senate Commerce, Justice, Science Subcommittee; House Science Committee, Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee; the House Natural Resources Committee, Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs; and the House Transportation Committee.  Meetings were also held with Commerce, OMB, National Ocean Service and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM).  In addition, RA Directors met with their delegations while they were in town. These meetings always prove informative for both parties.


2012 U.S. Ocean Policy Report Card Sites Need to Fully Support IOOS
The Joint Ocean Commission Initiative (JOCI) released its 2012 U.S. Ocean Policy Report Card assessing the nation's progress toward implementing the National Ocean Policy.   The report card noted the strong regional efforts on research, observing, mapping and restoration but called for further action to fully develop and support IOOS.  


 "The nation needs to increase its commitment to long-term investment in ocean science and research, including full development and deployment of the IOOS. The IOOS-which includes data collected from sensors below, on top, and above the ocean-allows us to better understand, model, and forecast changes to the planet 16 JointOcean Commission Initiative and its oceans. This in turn improves our understanding of how changes will affect ocean industries and coastal businesses, improves the safety of marine operations, enhances national and homeland security, and mitigates the impacts of natural hazards. Unfortunately, these benefits have been limited by insufficient commitment and investment, resulting in the lack of continuous data at varying scales-global, national, regional, and local-and limiting the capacity to identify meaningful trends that provide the foundation for sound decision making. The Joint Initiative urges Congress and the Administration to make the long-term commitment of resources necessary to fully implement IOOS, including the regional ocean observing network. This investment is comparable and complementary to that provided for weather forecasting, providing core information on ocean-coastal and ocean-atmosphere dynamics that influence economic, national security, and ecological drivers important to the nation."  View the full report card.


IOOS Supports Regional Ocean Partnerships with Coastal Data

Regional Ocean Partnerships (ROPs) now serve all regions of the nation to advance effective coastal and ocean management through regional ocean governance.   Regional information is central to these efforts and the IOOS regions are helping to organize, plan for, or build data tools to integrate and analyze coastal data for regional decision-making by a range of users.   A snapshot of the type of activities underway is now availableView the document


Deadline Extended: White Papers for IOOS Summit
The IOOS Summit Co-Chairs have amended the guidance for white papers enabling authors to revise their submissions between June 30 and July 20. However, authors must submit at least an outline by June 30, since the IOOS Summit Chapter Leads are beginning to meet and synthesize the white paper topics.  View the guidelines and templates. 



New FGDC Coastal and Marine Ecological Classification Standard
FGDC has approved the Coastal and Marine Ecological Classification Standard (CMECS) as the first-ever comprehensive federal standard for classifying and describing coastal and marine ecosystems.  The standard is suitable for estuaries to head of tide, coastal waters, even deep ocean.  Learn more about the standard.  



Regional Spotlights
This section of the newsletter highlights various activities across the regions. 




NERACOOS Supports Efforts to Improve Nutrient Monitoring  in Coastal Waters
Long Island Sound, Narragansett Bay, and other urbanized coastal water bodies are prone to low dissolved oxygen during the summer months that can lead to fish kills and other problems. NERACOOS is supporting  the University of Rhode Island's Graduate School of Oceanography and SubChem Systems, Inc. to develop and test nutrient sensors that can be deployed on piers and buoys and relay the data back to shore in real-time.  This will significantly improve managers, the public and other to access the most timely and up-to-date information on water quality.  Eventually, the collaboration hopes to build nutrient sensing facility that has both the sensors and expertise to support real-time monitoring of nutrients. 


PacIOOS Welcomes the University of Guam Sea Grant Program as a PacIOOS Partner

PacIOOS is excited to add the University of Guam Sea Grant Program as a signatory partner.  UOG Sea Grant is dedicated to facilitating capacity building, leadership development, and the extension of scientific information to the many diverse communities of Micronesia.


MARACOOS Hosts Informational Session on the Hill
On Monday, June 29th MARACOOS sponsored a Hill briefing for House staff about IOOS activities in the Mid-Atlantic region. A variety of speakers from MARACOOS discussed how ocean observing and forecasting makes a difference for the Mid-Atlantic region and how such information protects lives, property, health and promotes the economy. Speakers provided examples of how IOOS assists ports and harbors, search and rescue, fishermen, offshore wind development, flooding and beach water quality. Over 30 people attended the meeting. For more information, contact Gerhard Kuska at


CeNCOOS and SCCOOS Meeting

CeNCOOS and SCCOOS held their annual Joint Strategic Advisory Committee (JSAC) meeting on Jun 4. Thanks to Toby Garfield who hosted the meeting at the San Francisco State University facility at Tiberon, CA. There were 34 attendees with representation from Federal, State and local agencies. The meeting consisted of member presentations and discussions regarding our four focus areas of maritime operations, coastal hazards, climate and ecosystems and water quality.


AOOS Partnership improves Yukon River salmon forecast

AOOS is partnering with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADFG) and NOAA Fisheries to help improve run timing predictions for salmon in Alaska's Yukon Delta. Researchers from ADFG and NOAA have identified a combination of spring conditions that is closely related to the timing of Chinook salmon.  Using percent spring ice cover between St. Lawrence Island and the Yukon delta, April air temperatures in Nome, and marine surface temperatures just offshore of the delta in May, the members of the team predicted the timing of the run in the last two seasons to within three days of the actual timing before the start of each run. With the new partnership, data exchange and analysis has been more streamlined. So far the run timing predictions for 2012 are correct! Visit to learn more about the story behind this year's salmon forecast.

About NFRA
NFRA is a non-profit organization formed by the Regional Associations for Coastal and Ocean Observing in support of the Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS). 


The NFRA mission is to:

  • Develop Regional Associations for coastal and ocean observing to deliver scientific data and information on the nation's oceans;
  • Promote the integration and coordination the regional systems into a integrated national system to enhance observational and predictive abilities in ocean science;
  • Develop regional programs through capacity building, exchange of technical information, and sharing of facilities and infrastructure; and
  • Educate the public about ocean observing and its importance to the nation.

Please contact Josie Quintrell, NFRA Director, for more information.

Upcoming Events

Deadline for submitting community white papers for IOOS Summit Extended:  Outline by
June 30, 2012

Complete Submissions by July 20, 2012


NANOOS Annual Meetings

July 26-27, 2012


GCOOS Annual Meeting

Sept 26-27

Corpus Christi, TX



October 14-19, 2012
Hampton Roads, VA


NFRA Board Meeting

November 12, 2012

Herndon, VA


IOOS Summit

November 13-16, 2012

Herndon, VA