GCOOS-RA responded to the federal funding opportunity (FFO), NOAA-NOS-IOOS-2016-2004378, and submitted a grant proposal to cover the next five years of support. Our proposal is heavily focused on observations following our five priority themes and builds on our observational collaborations with researchers throughout the Gulf.

The FFO required us to develop three budget tiers —$1.5 million/year, $2.5 million/year and $4 million/year — with detailed budget information submitted at the $4 million level. We think that GCOOS-RA could greatly help our members strengthen Gulf observing capabilities at this level.

GCOOS-RA priorities outlined in the work plan include maintaining the base capabilities that have evolved over GCOOS’ lifetime, including our ability to advance strategic partnerships, support the data management and communications system (DMAC) for maximum interoperability with non-federal data providers and continue to maintain the GCOOS data portal. The plan will also allow us to continue our outreach and education programs to increase the public’s ocean literacy and enhance their understanding of the ocean’s impacts on them and their impacts on it.

At higher funding levels, our proposal calls for GCOOS to contribute more to operations and maintenance support of non-federal observational systems, add enhancements to our data portal and continue support for modeling efforts. The higher funding levels would also allow increased support for citizen-science projects and AUV operations as well as improved hurricane models and the creation of a contingency fund for adaptive sampling needs.

GCOOS-RA key priority areas:

  • Protect public health and safety;
  • Support healthy ecosystems and water quality;
  • Mitigate the effects of storms and man-made disasters;
  • Ensure safe and efficient marine operations;
  • Monitor the Gulf for long-term changes and environmental trends.