Last updated: 22 August 2014

GCOOS Regional Association
17-18 August 2010
Biloxi, MS

The 11th Meeting of the Board of Directors (BoD) of the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System (GCOOS) Regional Association (GCOOS-RA) was held on 17-18 August 2010  in Biloxi, MS. The attendees and their GCOOS-RA roles are listed in Appendix A. The provisional agenda is given in Appendix B. Major action items from the meeting are given in Appendix C.

August 17, 2010

Welcome and Introductions
Worth Nowlin, Chair of the GCOOS-RA BoD, welcomed new Board member Stephan Howden and thanked Mark Luther, who rotated off, for his years of service. Attendees then introduced themselves.

Nowlin gave his thoughts on the four major action tasks for this meeting. Two relate to the GCOOS proposal for the NOAA IOOS Fiscal Year 11 (FY11) Federal Funding Opportunity (FFO). The BoD should reach a decision on the people and time for Board review of Letters of Intent received in response to the GCOOS call under the FY11 FFO and also should agree on a time table for preparation of the GCOOS proposal to NOAA. A third task is to set up teams for development of the specific elements of a comprehensive observing system for the GCOOS region, including a high frequency radar (HFR) network, moorings, and harmful algal bloom (HAB) observations, among others. Finally, the BoD should consider the functions and structure of the GCOOS Office and the positions needed. Nowlin reported he is stepping down as Chair of the BoD. He gave two pieces of advice to the BoD: transform the GCOOS-RA into a non-profit corporation as soon as possible, and maintain the BoD focus on what can be done to build parts of the GCOOS in these funding-limited times.

The provisional agenda was accepted.

Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Incident
Ann Jochens, GCOOS Regional Coordinator, introduced the topic of the British Petroleum/Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Incident and provided information on GCOOS-RA activities. The incident began on 20 April 2010 when the British Petroleum (BP) Macondo 252 exploratory oil and gas well, being drilled approximately 52 miles southeast of Venice, LA, in the Gulf of Mexico, experienced a blow-out, and the drilling platform, the Deepwater Horizon semi-submersible (DWH), exploded, eventually sinking on 22 April–destroying the marine riser, resulting in 11 deaths, and causing oil and gas to spill into the Gulf at the seafloor. As a result of this incident, which was continuing at the time of the BoD meeting, the GCOOS-RA Office staff priorities had shifted from routine activities to actions that provided support and assistance to the BP/DWH Oil Spill Unified Area Command (UAC), federal agencies, and state agencies. Many GCOOS-RA members were actively involved in providing data and model output and in participating directly in the response to the spill.

Specific GCOOS-RA contributions and participation in the response to the oil spill were numerous. Significant non-federal, real-time data sets were immediately available to the NOAA Office of Response and Restoration (OR&R) as a result of the GCOOS interoperable data systems, which were sending non-federal, real-time data to the NOAA National Data Buoy Center (NDBC). The GCOOS-RA provided easy data discovery with important data sets readily identified; prompt access to real-time data sets with seamless data transport; and data that were already processed and formatted for use in models and analyses. Data from non-federal GCOOS-RA partners included currents from off LA, MS, AL, FL, and the deep Gulf. The GCOOS-RA Office staff supported the OR&R modeling effort through the immediate provision of GNOME-ready files from operational ROMS model and the extension of wind forecasts from 48- to 72-hours–completed within 12 hours of the request. The staff also provided the NOAA National Coastal Data Development Center (NCDDC) with immediate access to legacy data at the start of the incident, including climatology and historical data sets. Matt Howard, GCOOS DMAC Coordinator, reported on the new GCOOS Products page (, which includes an oil spill resources page, that was put in place about a week after the incident began.

Stephan Howden reported on his HF Radar network in MS, AL, and FL panhandle. When the incident began one of his three systems was being moved and a second had been removed for Hurricane Ida and then for dune replenishment. He worked to get local, state and federal regulatory permissions to re-install the HFRs and make the network operational. Although there was no coverage in the Mississippi Sound, the HFRs in the region that was covered had no problems caused by oil dampening.

Harvey Seim, SECOORA BoD Chair, reported on the contributions of SECOORA and, for Sam Walker of the NOAA IOOS Office, on the interactions of NOAA IOOS with the UAC. With the GCOOS-RA, SECOORA developed a white paper that outlined a plan to map submerged oil. Although this specific plan was not funded, the mapping concept eventually resulted in a project under the UAC that was managed by the NOAA IOOS Office. SECOORA partners also re-tasked cruises and received NSF rapid grants for oil spill-related sampling. SECOORA also added an oil spill resources page to their web site (

Seim then described the IOOS contributions to the oil spill response effort and provided insights into his experience at the Unified Area Command. In addition to the HFR operations of the University of Southern Mississippi and the University of South Florida, an IOOS glider program was set up through the UAC to map the submerged oil. Resources from a number of IOOS Regional Associations were used. Unfortunately, the gliders only sampled the upper 1000 m or less, whereas the submerged oil problem extended to deep waters, so CTD measurements were needed. Seim reported that the depth of the dispersed oil challenged our technologies and made it difficult to quickly sample the water column to find the submerged oil. In response to questions, Seim noted that the sampling was generally coarse and irregular, with Colored Dissolved Organic Material (CDOM) measurements used to estimate where the oil was and with no measurements made of the gases. Seim reported that the Environmental Response Management Application® (ERMA) web-based Geographic Information System (GIS) tool was fantastic at displaying data sets; ERMA is designed to assist both emergency responders and environmental resource managers in dealing with incidents such as the Deepwater Horizon spill (

Jan van Smirren summarized GCOOS interactions with British Petroleum and its oil spill responders. Many people at BP are cycling in and out at 2-week intervals, which makes for poor success in contacting them. Van Smirren recommended that, if GCOOS-RA wants to pursue partnership opportunities with BP, a strategy must be developed soon. John Dindo suggested that it might be better if the GCOOS-RA set up as a non-profit corporation. There was no groundswell for pursuing opportunities with BP directly. Nick Shay suggested that the GCOOS-RA should develop a blueprint, involving industry, academics, and government, for responses to major disasters (e.g., hurricanes, oil and gas spills). He mentioned that some agency personnel seemed to think that there was an HFR network for surface currents already in place; they were surprised that there is no real sustained observational HFR network in the Gulf.

Mike Spranger reported on the regional coordination of the activities of the Land Grant and Sea Grant programs in response to the oil spill. The Gulf of Mexico Sea Grant Programs united to provide training for response and to develop a comprehensive oil spill web page with resources ( They also collaborated on a number of issues, including damage assessment, seafood safety, reassuring the public that seafood is safe, community and family resilience, and communications with the public. The Land Grant and Sea Grant Programs also joined together to bring a larger community together and present a united front for improving the monitoring system. Andy Reich, Chair of the GCOOS Public Health Task Team, reported that public health surveillance suggests there is not much acute impact except within the group constituting the workers on the response. The issue is the uncertainty of the long-term impact of the socioeconomic problems resulting from the spill. There is a need to formulate public health messages and get those messages out to the public.

Stephan Howden reported on the gaps in the GCOOS, of which there are many, relative to the oil spill response. Looking first at HF Radar, although there are lots of HFRs on the east and west coasts, there are very few on the Gulf coast. Unique to the Gulf is the offshore infrastructure that provides potential to obtain HFR observations; however, platforms generally are not good sites for HFRs and operational issues would need to be researched and corrected. Sub-surface physical measurements in deep water consist mainly of the oil and gas industry ADCPs on platforms and rigs, but many of these are stationary only for several months. Chemical measurements are lacking.

Nick Shay discussed gaps in GCOOS-related research. GCOOS-RA should establish closer ties with our Mexican neighbors, as both countries have a host of common issues associated with oil and gas exploration and production, and with oil spills for which biogeochemistry is important. Closer ties also should advance our understanding of oceanographic processes, ecosystem dynamics, the Loop Current impacts, and circulation at all depths. A number of research activities are underway: the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMR) funds research to understand background conditions; the Consortium for Ocean Leadership (COL) has developed a white paper and has been pushing for coordinated research at the White House level; the Gulf State Sea Grant Programs conducted a community-wide survey of research priorities and needs to develop a Research Plan for the Gulf (; and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) is funding a Gulf of Mexico Large Marine Ecosystem Project (GoM LME).

Josie Quintrell reported on the activities of the National Federation of Regional Associations (NFRA) relative to the oil spill. On the policy front, NFRA is working to make IOOS be seen; the response of the IOOS RA community showed high-level agency personnel the value of IOOS. There is window of opportunity for funding. A scalable plan for the GCOOS is needed, along with an economic analysis of what the value was of glider, HFR, and other RA data sets to the response. Discussion resulted in the recommendation that a partnership of GCOOS-RA, SECOORA, Mexico, GOMA, and the Land Grant and Sea Grant Programs be established to work on getting the GCOOS in place.

Buzz Martin provided his insights as an oil spill responder into the Unified Incident Command organizational structure (ICS) for oil spill response. The ICS is a structure that quickly brings together many people (personnel of the responsible party, federal agencies, state agencies) to respond to a spill. The goal is to fix the problem, not place the blame. Although this goal often is attainable, it did not work well in this spill. Martin summarized the trajectory analysis that is used and how information from all available sources is fed into the system to come up with the "minimum regret" trajectory analysis. He provided recommendations for providers of data and model output to get their information included.

Air-deployed Temperature and Current Project
Nick Shay, University of Miami, reported on his oceanographic research flights over the Gulf in support of the oil spill response. Air-deployed, expendable CTDs and current profilers were used to obtain synoptic snapshots of the thermal, momentum and haline structure of the Loop Current and surrounding eddy field. Ten flights were made during a major eddy shedding event of the Loop Current–Eddy Franklin. Additional flights are planned pending confirmation that the data improved the trajectory of the models.

Formalizing Regular, Productive Interactions with SECOORA and CaRA
Nowlin, Jochens, and Seim were joined via teleconference by Debra Hernandez of SECOORA and Jorge Corredor and Julio Morell of CaRA to discuss RA interactions. The possibility of the 3 RAs jointly supporting, under the FY11 FFO, the work of about six satellite labs to standardize products was evaluated. All agreed the concept was interesting in principle and might prove beneficial. However, because the cost would be high, there likely would be challenges in prioritizing the products, as each RA has slightly different needs. Additionally, it is unclear what funding vehicle could be used. The RAs agreed to set up a call to discuss this further. Also discussed was the possibility of a glider network to measure the depth of the mixed layer for hurricane information. This network could extend from the CaRA, GCOOS-RA, and SECOORA regions to the MACOORA region.

Update on Operational Forecast Model Activities
Chris Mooers, Portland State University (PSU), gave an overview of the Gulf of Mexico – Pilot Prediction Project (GOMEX-PPP) being funded by the Department of Energy and the oil and gas metocean industry joint group, Climate and Simulation of Eddies/Eddy Joint Industry Project (CASE/EJIP). Mooers is the Principal Investigator of the prime contract, which is through PSU, and is funded at $1.56M over 2.5 years. The project aims to evaluate multiple data-assimilative circulation models, demonstrate a prototype mesoscale ocean prediction system for the Gulf, and recommend a concept of operations for an operational circulation model system. Mooers reviewed the models involved, the phenomena that will be the focus for the model test bed, the time period being tested (2009-2010), and the model skill assessment metrics.

Update on Collaborations with Mexico
Alfredo Prelat provided a summary of the interactions of the GCOOS-RA with Mexican entities, including the Secretaria de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (SEMARNAT) and Pemex, over the last five years. The GCOOS-RA is working to establish a data and information management system that is (1) part of a national system, integrated with other regional coastal observing systems; (2) coordinated with observing system elements in Mexico; and (3) integrated with the global ocean observing system module. Through several meetings, GCOOS-RA Board members have encouraged Mexican entities to become a signatory to the GCOOS-RA Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) to help develop a Gulf-wide GCOOS; to consider sharing with the GCOOS-RA non-proprietary, non-commercial data or products of mutual interest; and to consider offering members to participate on the GCOOS Councils and Committees. Meetings included a 31 March 2005 meeting with Pemex in Mexico City, Mexico, and a 29 June 2006 meeting with Pemex and others at Villahermosa, Tabasco, Mexico. At the June 2006 meeting, GCOOS-RA Board members first met Dr. Porfirio Avarez-Torres, and our strong relationship with SEMARNAT began. In March 2010, SEMARNAT became the first Associate Party of the GCOOS-RA with Dr. Diaz de Leon Corral, Director General of SEMARNAT, signing the MoA. With us today are Dr. Alvarez, who is now the Project Coordinator of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, Gulf of Mexico Large Marine Ecosystem Project, and, representing SEMARNAT, Dr. Salomón Díaz Mondragón, Director de Integracion Regional, SEMARNAT.

Dr. Alvarez reported on the Mexico/U.S. Gulf of Mexico Large Marine Ecosystem. He reviewed the status of the project’s five main components: Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis, Gulf-wide Strategic Action Programme, Pilot Projects, Monitoring and Evaluation, and Coordination. The three project objectives are: reduction of pollutants and excessive nutrient loads, recovery of over-exploited marine resources, and rehabilitation of marine and coastal ecosystems. With the occurrence of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, a fourth objective related to joint assessment of the ecosystem base line and long-term monitoring may be added. The spill also has motivated project participants to move activities on the Gulf of Mexico Blue Ocean Joint Integrated Assessment forward faster. The project is hosting several workshops in the coming year, including a Regional Workshop: Education for Sustainability of the Gulf of Mexico on 8-10 September 2010 in Veracruz, Mexico; a Regional International Forum: From the Rivers to the Gulf of Mexico, Towards an Ecosystem Management Approach on 27-29 September 2010 in Mexico City, Mexico; and a workshop in Spring 2011 on Sustainable Management of the Gulf of Mexico’s Living Marine Resources Facing Climate Change, perhaps in coordination with the Gulf of Mexico Summit.

Dr. Díaz reported on activities of SEMARNAT and summarized the many information and monitoring efforts that are ongoing in Mexico. One is the National Ocean Information project, which aims to build a network of information and monitoring systems with shared databases to avoid duplication. He reviewed the national efforts for integrated monitoring by various entities, such as CIMARES, which has established a Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Group, and CONACIO, which is proposing the creation of a National Oceanographic Data Center of Mexico. In addition to the Gulf of Mexico Large Marine Ecosystem Project, another Gulf of Mexico information and monitoring project is the Gulf of Mexico Coastal and Marine Plan, which is nearing completion. The plan is akin to land use planning and includes the marine environment and the coastal land environment, with states and federal governments signing off on the marine use plan. The result of the efforts to integrate information and monitoring will be a National Ocean and Coastal Policy that will inform decision-making. As shown by the many activities in D&iactue;az’ talk, Mexico is well ahead in Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning and Ecosystem-Based Management.

Mike Spranger and Chris Simoniello summarized GCOOS Education/Outreach (E/O) collaborations with the Gulf of Mexico Large Marine Ecosystem Project. Participation of Simoniello in LME E/O included presenting information on the project at the USF Faculty Meeting on 1 June 2010 in St. Petersburg, FL. Discussion focused on entraining USF College of Marine Science faculty in specific GOM LME research priority areas (e.g., sediment biogeochemistry, HABs, and fisheries) and possible graduate student exchange opportunities (emphasis on HABS, sea grass, and fisheries). Carolina Quiroz, who is based in Mexico and works on the LME E/O aspects for UNIDO, participated with Spranger and Simoniello in the 19-21 April 2010 workshop on Sea Level Rise in the Gulf of Mexico: Awareness and Action Tools for the Climate Outreach Community of Practice. The workshop took place in St. Petersburg, FL, and had the goal of taking an ecosystem approach to E/O activities in the Gulf of Mexico.

National Federation of Regional Associations Update
Josie Quintrell, Executive Director of NFRA, gave an update on NFRA activities. Among the major accomplishments in 2010 was the publication of Providing Coastal Information in a Changing Climate: The Regional Contribution to the National IOOS that presents a vision of the regional IOOS being built by the 11 Regional Associations. Themes that are common across all RAs are: Marine Operations, Climate Variability and Change, Ecosystems, Fisheries and Water Quality, Coastal Hazards, and Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning. As a result of the unified response of the RAs to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the upcoming revision will add a section on this topic. Quintrell reviewed the many activities being pursued by NFRA, prominent among which is that NFRA is increasing its activities in Washington, D.C., through meetings of its Executive Committee with federal agency leadership and Congressional staffers to inform them of IOOS and its importance. She emphasized that a grassroots effort is critical for IOOS, with constituents from the states letting their representatives and senators know of the need for a fully capable IOOS. Funding levels for regional IOOS in FY11 are expected to remain at current levels. There is possible traction for IOOS through the demonstrated success of the regional IOOS response effort to the oil spill and the clear gaps in needed observations that would have helped with the response.

Gulf of Mexico Master Mapping Project
Jennifer Wozencraft gave an overview of the Gulf of Mexico Master Mapping Plan project, which is one of the actions being pursued by the Ecosystem Integration and Assessment (EIA) Priority Issue Team (PIT) of the Gulf of Mexico Alliance (GOMA) and which is a focal area for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The requirements of stakeholders over the next 10 years for elevation data (e.g., coastal land topography and ocean bathymetry) and products are being ascertained. The planned mapping activities of federal, state, and local governments, as well as academia, are being identified. This information will be used to identify gaps in mapping and to formulate a strategy to fill them. The final products of the activity will be a Gulf of Mexico Master Mapping Plan document and a web-based tool that geographically displays mapping requirements and upcoming mapping activities. Quality control issues have not yet been addressed, but will be considered after the rules for collaborations on mapping are determined. A possible role for the GCOOS-RA is to be the holder of the plan and to maintain its currency; this means GCOOS people must maintain ongoing involvement in the project.

GCOOS Interactions with the Gulf of Mexico Alliance
GCOOS continued to engage with the Gulf of Mexico Alliance. One GCOOS Board and/or staff member is liaison to each GOMA Priority Issue Team (PIT). The reports of the liaisons are provided in Appendix D. Additionally, Howard and Simoniello are members of the GOMA Data Management Advisory Committee, and Jochens is a member of the Harmful Algal Bloom Working Group of the Water Quality PIT. These three GCOOS staff members, as well as Board members Spranger and Walker, attended the GOMA Governors’ Action Plan II Implementation and Integration Workshop on 3-5 August 3-5, 2010 in Biloxi, MS ( They participated in the planning and implementation activities of the PITs.

Mike Spranger introduced Rhonda Price, who is the GOMA Coastal Community Resiliency (CCR) PIT Coordinator. The CCR PIT focuses on the social science side of communities and their resiliency in the face of coastal hazards ( Price summarized some of the activities in which GCOOS might be interested. One project is the geospatial assessment of sea level rise impacts. The GOMA geospatial work group is developing a Master Plan to develop a region-wide geospatial infrastructure that will obtain baseline data for monitoring local sea level rise trends. Help is needed to install elevation stations. The PIT is working to get new elevation stations installed and to secure funding to continue their long-term operation. The GCOOS water level activities might assist with this effort. The PIT is part of the StormSmart Coasts Network ( that is working to develop resiliency toolkits for homeowners. Spranger noted that the CCR PIT was dynamic and was addressing climate change; he noted there was a potential for GCOOS to help CCR, particularly on issues related to sea level rise.

The Board reviewed the points of contact with the GOMA Priority Issue Teams. Table 1 gives the contacts for the coming year.

Table 1.  GCOOS Points of Contact with GOMA Priority Issue Teams
17 August 2010

Priority Issue Coastal Community Resilience Ecosystems Integration & Assessment Environmental Education Habitat Conservation & Restoration Nutrient Water Quality
GOMA PIT Lead Tina Shumate Larry McKinney Phillip Hinesley James Pahl Kim Caviness Becky Prado
GOMA PIT Coordinator Rhonda Price Seneca Holland Lee Yokel Ryan Fikes Ann Porter Steve Wolfe
NOAA PIT Facilitator Heidi Recksiek Becky Allee Ann Weaver Heather Young Laurie Rounds  
EPA PIT Facilitator John Bowie Diane Altsman LaKeshia Robertson Drew Puffer Lael Butler Jeanne Allen
GCOOS Board Contacts Mike Spranger Worth Nowlin Sharon Walker Nancy Rabalais Stephan Howden Barb Kirkpatrick
GCOOS Contacts: PIT Focus Areas Risk and Resilience Assessment GMMMP Community Education and Outreach Expanded Partnerships Nutrient Characterization HAB
  Mike Spranger Jennifer Wozencraft Sharon Walker, John Dindo, Chris Simoniello None Ann Jochens Ann Jochens
Barb Kirkpatrick
Nancy Rabalais
  Risk and Resilience Management Toolbox Data Access and Acquisition Public Awareness Policy Changes Nutrient Criteria Development Mercury
  Mike Spranger Matt Howard Sharon Walker, John Dindo, Chris Simoniello None None None
  Risk and Resilience Communication Living Marine Resources K-12 Environmental Literacy Technology Development Hypoxia Pathogens
  Mike Spranger None Sharon Walker, John Dindo, Chris Simoniello None Nancy Rabalais
Ann Jochens
    Emergent Wetlands** Economic Value Communication GRSMMP Nutrient Reduction Strategies Monitoring
    None Sharon Walker, John Dindo, Chris Simoniello None Ann Jochens Matt Howard
    Ecological Services Valuation   Reversing the Downward Trend***    
    None   None    

GRSMMP=Gulf Regional Sediment Management Master Plan; GMMMP=Gulf of Mexico Master Mapping Plan
**Emergent Wetlands Status & Trends Report     ***Reversing the Downward Trend in Habitat and Ecosystem Services

GCOOS Councils, Committees, and Task Forces
The Chairs of the GCOOS Councils, Committees, and Task Teams provided written reports on their activities (Appendix E). John O’Connell is the new Chair of the Education and Outreach Council (EOC) for a two-year term and Joe Swaykos has moved to Past Chair. Joe Stinus has retired and so has resigned as Chair of the Products and Services Committee (PSC). There was discussion on the need for closer connections between the EOC and PSC. It was suggested that a person be identified to be a bridge between the two, and McPherson agreed to discuss this with Swaykos.

Andy Reich, Chair of the Public Health Task Team, has found that engaging the Public Health community with GCOOS has not been too successful. He suggested that information from NFRA on what the RAs have in common that would help Public Health managers make good decisions would be useful. Quintrell agreed to send Reich information on other RAs. Other suggestions to engage the community were for the RAs to have a small working group on public health, to develop a single web site that would be useful to tie together the individual web sites of each state, or to package some information to show the public health community what can be done (e.g., SECOORA). Dwayne Porter mentioned that South Carolina has a modeling effort that helps with assessing swimming beaches that could have high bacteria during swimming season; perhaps this could be broadened to FL. However, the FL shoreline configuration is much more complex, so modeling is not so easy. One asset would be to have improved information on nearshore circulation, such as might be obtained through HFRs, to help with assessments regarding shellfish closures.

Report on GCOOS Data and Products Portal
Postponed to another meeting

Report on Development of Sub-system Observing Networks
Worth Nowlin provided a summary of a preliminary plan with cost estimates for a fully capable GCOOS. The preliminary elements are summarized in the handout given in Appendix F. He recommended that for each area identified, as well as other areas not identified, a small group be assigned to vet, change, and improve the plan and cost estimates. During the discussion, the following ideas were suggested: get 8-10 platform operators to put deep CTD and current measurements on their platforms; at the shelf edge use Weller-type air-sea flux moorings; deep moorings should be structured for model validation, assimilation into models, and obtaining information on water properties; a GCOOS emergency response plan should be developed to include oil spill type events and hurricane response.

Status of GCOOS Proposal for the NOAA IOOS FY11 BAA
Postponed to day 2.

Adjourn for the Day

Bill Walker, Director of the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources, and his wife Sharon arranged an evening cruise and light meal on a sailboat in the Mississippi Sound. The Board thanks them for their hospitality and a delightful evening.

August 18, 2010

Election of Executive Committee and Chair of the Board
The Board elected Terry McPherson as Chair (term: 8/2010 – 8/2012) and Nancy Rabalais, Ray Toll, Mike Spranger, and Alfredo Prelat to the Executive Committee (term: 8/2010 – 8/2011). Terry McPherson thanked Worth Nowlin for his service and gave remarks on the state of the GCOOS. He called for a special Board meeting in December 2010 to focus the GCOOS-RA on a strategy to achieve priorities (who are we, what do we want to do, how to get it funded, what performance metrics). He requested that the GCOOS E/O Coordinator and/or EOC prepare a fact sheet on the benefits of GCOOS for each congressional office. He suggested there be teams that focus on opportunities from the many federal agencies and to consider alternatives to federal funding. There was discussion on funding successes (e.g., Great Lakes bilateral agreements with Canada) and alternatives (small contributions from many companies could add up to something useful).

Date and Location of Next Board Meeting; Date and Time of Next Telecoms
The Board agreed to the following meeting/telecon schedule:

  • Special BoD meeting: 14-15 December 2010; Houston, TX
  • Annual Meeting: 2-3 March 2011; Houston, TX
  • Telecoms: 3 pm central on 5 October 2010 and 25 January 2011

NOAA IOOS FY11 BAA and Other Funding Opportunities
Thirty-four Letters of Intent (LOIs) were received in response to the GCOOS-RA call for participants in the GCOOS FY11 proposal. The Board agreed on a proposal preparation team of Terry McPherson, Stephan Howden, Jennifer Wozencraft, Jan van Smirren, Nancy Rabalais, John Dindo, and Worth Nowlin. Jochens will assign a point person for each Letter of Intent with like LOIs grouped together unless there is conflict. Reviewers will recuse themselves during discussion of LOIs for which they have a conflict of interest. Jochens will provide the team with the LOIs and a score sheet by close of business 19 August. The team will hold telecons the week of 23 August to determine which LOIs will be included in the proposal. They will use the approved evaluation criteria and score sheet based on them. Selections of LOIs to move forward will be determined as quickly as possible. The notice to the principal investigators (PIs) will include guidance on why the decision was made. Jochens will work with the PIs of the successful LOIs to prepare the proposal, which will be reviewed by the Board. It was agreed that the proposal would be for the full $4M/yr over 5 years as allowed by the FFO. There was discussion on what to do if we receive less than $4M in funding. Some members expressed the view that maintenance of existing observations was more important than maintaining the data portal.

Discussion of Section 4 of GCOOS-RA Business Model
Postponed to another meeting

Discussion and Approval of New Members on Committees & Councils
The Board approved Joe Swaykos for the PSC. The Board agreed on the following Board liaisons for other groups.

Stakeholder Council: Cort Cooper, Ray Toll
Education and Outreach Council: Mike Spranger, Sharon Walker
Observing Systems Committee: Buzz Martin, Barb Kirkpatrick
Products and Services Committee: Worth Nowlin, Alfredo Prelat
DMAC Committee: Stephan Howden, Jan van Smirren
Membership Committee: Terry McPherson
Public Health Task Team: Nancy Rabalais, Barb Kirkpatrick
NFRA: Nancy Rabalais, Raymond Toll
Relations with Mexico: Alfredo Prelat, Nancy Rabalais, Worth Nowlin

Restructure Office and GCOOS
The Board discussed a number of items for improving the GCOOS. It was suggested that a small advisory committee be established on how to handle data and products. Legacy data, including physical, biogeochemical, ecosystem measurements, should be served via the GCOOS Portal. Advisory committee members might be from the IOOS DAC, an NGO, the E/O community, industry, GOMA, and NCDDC.

The Board decided against publishing a newsletter at this time. Efforts should be placed on creating a better web design and developing fact sheets for targeted sectors and specific purposes. A fact sheet for industry is needed describing the Data Portal.

It was suggested that Board subgroups be establish to consider whether GCOOS-RA is taking the optimal approach to specific topic areas. The intent would be to provide more guidance to the councils and committees. The Board decided to ask the committees to review themselves and provide guidance on where are we going in the future.

The Board briefly considered converting the GCOOS-RA into a non-profit corporation. Jochens will investigate with SECOORA and NERACOOS the lessons they learned when they converted.

Discussion of the Direction for GCOOS
Terry McPherson lead the discussion on the direction for GCOOS. An observing plan that includes strategic (e.g., Observing System Committee’s Observing System Plan) and tactical implementation actions is needed. The oil spill showed that ecological data and information must be included in the planning. Nowlin will send the Board the details he has put together and a list of possible team members for sub areas by mid-September for Board review and action.

The Board discussed the oil spill and the GCOOS involvement. It seems that the GCOOS-RA was not one of the groups contacted by the NOAA IOOS Office, NFRA, or the government. The Board decided the profile for the GCOOS needs to be raised. The Board directs Howard of the GCOOS Office to put legacy data sets on the Data Portal; these should include environmental data, such as biological data from SEAMAP, state, and federal agencies.

Another goal is to take a holistic approach to the operational observing system for the Gulf. This requires improving the organization and interactions of GOMA, SECOORA, Land Grant/Sea Grant, and Mexico consortia (e.g., SEMARNAT, GoM LME, Pemex) with the GCOOS-RA. McPherson will take lead on getting these people together. He will focus on GOMA; Spranger on the Land and Sea Grant, Spranger and Shay on SECOORA, others to be determined are Board members to work with Mexico and possibly Cuba.

Spranger requested a GCOOS letter to the Land Grant/Sea Grants of the Gulf on ocean to watershed interests and oil spill recovery efforts. He will provide a draft letter of support to Jochens.

Alfredo Prelat reported that there will be a meeting in September in Mexico between SEMARNAT and Pemex; a GCOOS representative is needed. None was identified.

Prelat suggested that the GCOOS-RA send letters requesting funding to some ten point people in the oil and gas industry. The Board agreed. He will send Simoniello suggestions on people and an example letter. She will put the material together. McPherson and Nowlin will sign the letters to be sent. Prelat will follow-up.

Report on status of proposals/projects endorsed by the GCOOS-RA
Postponed to another meeting

Report on Development of Informational Resources
Flyers and informational materials are being developed. The PSC produced four thematic papers, which are posted on the GCOOS web ( Additional papers are planned. There should be added a mechanism to determine the number of hits. Informational fact sheets are needed for congressional members and agency personnel. Included should be information that shows support for the GCOOS. Simoniello will prepare fact sheets for each congressional member from the Gulf States. The GCOOS general flyer has been updated; it will be posted to the web. Simoniello is working with Howard and the Data Portal Team to develop outreach materials for the web. She also is working on the development of the five E/O Kiosks. Because GOMA has not advanced far in this effort, GCOOS will provide an interactive, stand-alone exhibit that can be added to the GOMA kiosk when constructed.

Report on Efforts to Recruit New Parties to the GCOOS-RA MoA
Jochens reported that the GCOOS-RA now has over 100 Parties to the Memorandum of Agreement. This was the number targeted for the end of the current RA support grant in April 2011. The Board and GCOOS groups should continue recruitment efforts.

Discussion of New or Outstanding Business

Adjourn Board Meeting

Begin Executive Committee Meeting
The Executive Committee met briefly. There being no business, the Executive Committee adjourned.

Adjourn Executive Committee Meeting



APPENDIX A: Attendee List, 17-18 August 2010

Name Affiliation Role 17 18
Porfirio Alvarez GOM LME-UNIDO GRF Invited Speaker
Landry Bernard USM/NDBC Membership Committee Chair  
Jorge Corredor CaRA RA Coordination *  
Salomón Díaz SEMARNAT – Mexico Associate Party  
John Dindo Dauphin Island Sea Lab Board of Directors member
Debra Hernandez SECOORA RA Coordination *  
Matt Howard GCOOS-RA Office DMAC Coordinator * *
Stephan Howden University of Southern Mississippi Board of Directors member
Stephanie Ingle Lighthouse R&D Party  
Ann Jochens GCOOS-RA Office Regional Coordinator
Barb Kirkpatrick Mote Marine Lab Board of Directors member
Alexis Lugo-Fernandez BOEMRE Representing Board of Directors member
Buzz Martin TGLO Board of Directors member *  
Susan Martin GCOOS-RA Office GCOOS Research Associate
Terry McPherson STG Board of Directors member
Chris Mooers Portland State University Invited Speaker  
Julio Morell CaRA RA Coordination *  
Worth Nowlin GCOOS Office Board of Directors member
John O’Connell Texas Sea Grant GCOOS Education & Outreach Council Chair
Rich Pentimonti Raytheon Party  
Alfredo Prelat TTI Exploration Board of Directors member
Rhonda Price MS Department of Marine Resources Party; GOMA representative  
Josie Quintrell NFRA NFRA Executive Director  
Nancy Rabalais LUMCON Board of Directors member
Andrew Reich Florida Department of Health GCOOS Public Health Task Team Chair  
Harvey Seim SECOORA Invited Speaker; RA Coordination  
Nick Shay UM/RSMAS Invited Speaker
Chris Simoniello GCOOS-RA Office E/O Coordinator
Jeff Snider Lighthouse R&D Party  
Mike Spranger University of Florida Board of Directors member
Jan van Smirren Fugro GEOS Board of Directors member
Vembu Subramanian University of South Florida GCOOS DMACC Chair *  
Sharon Walker Institute for Marine Mammal Studies Board of Directors member  
Jennifer Wozencraft US Army Corps of Engineers Board of Directors member



APPENDIX B: Provisional Agenda, 26 July 2010

17 August 2010

0800 Welcome and Introductions (Worth Nowlin, Chair, GCOOS BoD)
Welcome to new Board Members and Thanks to Members Rotating Off
0815 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Incident
Introduction (Ann Jochens)
GCOOS-RA contributions
General information support (Ann Jochens)
Data/model output streams & Products page (Matthew Howard)
HF Radar (Stephan Howden)
SECOORA contributions & interactions with NOAA IOOS (Harvey Seim)
IOOS contributions (Sam Walker)
Glider program
Experience the Unified Incident Command
GCOOS Interactions with BP (Jan van Smirren)
Regional Coordination: Land/Sea Grant Programs & future collaborative opportunities (Mike Spranger)
Gaps in the GCOOS (Stephan Howden)
HF Radar
Sub-surface measurements
Chemical measurements
Gaps in GCOOS-related Research (Nick Shay)
NFRA Activities (Josie Quintrell)
Insights into the Unified Incident Command Organizational Structure for Oil Spill Response (Buzz Martin)
0945 Air-deployed temperature and current project (Nick Shay)
1015 Break
1030 Update on Operational Forecast Model Activities (Chris Mooers)
1100 Discussion on How to Formalize Regular, Productive Interactions with SECOORA and CaRA (Worth Nowlin, Harvey Seim, Ann Jochens, Debra Hernandez)
1130 Update on Collaborations with Mexico
Mexico/U.S. Gulf of Mexico Large Marine Ecosystem (Porfirio Alvarez-Torres)
GCOOS E/O Collaborations with the Gulf LME (Mike Spranger and Chris Simoniello)
SEMARNAT’s activities in the Gulf of Mexico (Salomón Diaz Mondragon)
Interactions with Pemex (Alfredo Prelat)
1200 Lunch (provided)
1300 National Federation of Regional Associations Update (Josie Quintrell)
1330 Gulf of Mexico Master Mapping Project (Jennifer Wozencraft)
1400 GCOOS Interactions with the Gulf of Mexico Alliance
GOMA Data Managements Advisory Committee (Matthew Howard)
Collaborations on HABs (HABIOS Workshop #3; Obs Data Portal) (Ann Jochens)
Report on GOMA All-Hands Meeting (Ann Jochens)
Discussion of GOMA Liaison Reports and GCOOS Actions
Brief written reports submitted in advance of the meeting by:
Water Quality – Nancy Rabalais or Ann Jochens
Nutrient Reduction – Stephan Howden or Ann Jochens
Ecosystem Integrated Assessment – Worth Nowlin
Environmental Education – Sharon Walker
Community Resilience – Mike Spranger
Habitat Conservation and Restoration – Nancy Rabalais
Review of GCOOS Points of Contact with GOMA Priority Issue Teams & Assignments
1430 GCOOS Councils, Committees, and Task Forces
Discussion of written reports of the Chairs
Written reports from the chairs or staff identified below provided to the Board prior to the meeting with action items clearly spelled out.
Chairs are invited to attend to participate in the meeting including any discussion of their reports and action items.
Education and Outreach Council (John O’Connell)
Data Management and Communications Committee (Vembu Subramanian)
Products and Services Committee (Joe Stinus)
Observing Systems Committee (Stephan Howden)
Membership Committee (Landry Bernard)
Public Health Task Team (Andy Reich)
Stakeholder Council (Ann Jochens)
1500 Break
1515 Report on GCOOS Data and Products Portal (Matthew Howard, DMAC Coordinator, GCOOS Office)
1545 Report on Development of Sub-system Observing Networks (Worth Nowlin, Ann Jochens)
1600 Status of GCOOS Proposal for the NOAA IOOS FY11 BAA (Worth Nowlin, Ann Jochens)
1700 Adjourn for the Day
evening Possible boat trip courtesy of Mississippi DMR

18 August 2010: BUSINESS SESSION

0800  Election of Executive Committee and Chairman of the Board (by ballot)
0810 Date and Location of Next Board Meeting; Date and Time of Next Telecoms
0820 NOAA IOOS FY11 BAA and Other Funding Opportunities (Incoming Board Chair)
0850 Discussion of the Direction for GCOOS (Incoming Board Chair)
0930 Discussion of Section 4 of GCOOS-RA Business Model (Worth Nowlin)
1000 Discussion and Approval of New Members on Committees & Councils (Ann Jochens)
1015 Break
1030 Report on status of proposals/projects endorsed by the GCOOS-RA (Ann Jochens)
1040 Report on Development of Informational Resources
Flyers and Informational Materials (Ann Jochens)
Education and Outreach Web Materials (Chris Simoniello)
Status of E/O Kiosk Development (Sharon Walker)
Discussion of Additional Needs (BoD)
1100 Report on Efforts to Recruit New Parties to the GCOOS-RA MoA (BoD members and Staff)
1115 Discussion of New or Outstanding Business
1130 Adjourn Board Meeting
1135 Begin Executive Committee Meeting
Topic: New Chair Guidance?
1200 Adjourn Executive Committee Meeting



APPENDIX C: Major Action Items from August 2010 GCOOS-RA BOD Meeting

Item # Action Responsible Group or Person Timeframe
1 Select reviewers and timeframe for LOI priorities BOD 08/18/10
2 Prepare and submit GCOOS FY11 proposal Jochens (lead);
BOD (review)
3 Proview preliminary GCOOS plan to BOD for their review and comment, particularly on teams for development of specific elements of a comprehensive observing system for the GCOOS Nowlin
4 Put legacy data sets on the Data Portal; these should include environmental data, such as biological data from SEAMAP, state, and federal agencies Howard ASAP
5 Consider the functions and structure of the GCOOS Office and the positions needed BOD TBD
6 Improve the partnership of the GCOOS-RA with GOMA, SECOORA, Mexico consortia (e.g., SEMARNAT, GoM LME, Pemex), and the Land Grant and Sea Grant Programs to work on getting the operational GCOOS in place McPherson (lead + GOMA)
Spranger (Land and Sea Grant Prog.)
TBD (Mexico)
TBD by McPherson
7 GCOOS-RA, CaRA, SECOORA telecon on joint satellite projects Martin ASAP
8 Participate in drafting oil spill addition to NFRA publication Jochens TBD by NFRA
9 Provide information on what other RAs are doing with the public health issue to Andy Reich Quintrell TBD by NFRA
10 Arrange and hold a special BOD Meeting in December 2010 on a strategy to achieve priorities McPherson & Jochens 12/14-15/10
11 Prepare GCOOS Fact Sheets for each congressional office with interest in the Gulf coast and for specific targeted statkeholder groups (e.g., fact sheet for industry on the Data Portal) Simoniello 2/11 NFRA Hill Visits; as needed
12 Establish small advisory committee on how to handle data/products McPherson & Jochens TBD
13 Create a better web design Jochens & Howard TBD
14 Ask the committees to review themselves and provide guidance on where are we going in the future McPherson & Jochens  
15 Investigate establishing non-profit corp. & RA lessons learned Jochens 03/02-03/11
16 Arrange and hold the winter BOD Meeting and Annual Parties Meeting 03/02-03/11 McPherson & Jochens 03/02-03/11
17 Provide Jochens with a draft GCOOS letter to the Land Grant/Sea Grant Programs of the Gulf on ocean to watershed interests and oil spill recovery efforts; Chair review & sign; Send Spranger TBD by Spranger
18 Send letters requesting funding to some ten point people in the oil and gas industry Simoniello, Prelat, McPherson, Nowlin ASAP
19 Post updated GCOOS flyer on the web Jochens ASAP
20 Develop mechanism to determine # of hits on GCOOS web pages Howard ASAP



APPENDIX D: Reports on GOMA Priority Issue Teams, 17 August 2010

August 2010 Report on GOMA Coastal Community Resilience Team
Mike Spranger

Report by Mike Spranger, Member of GCOOS Board of Directors, Associate Director, Florida Sea Grant, and Associate Dean for Extension, University of Florida. POB 110405, Gainesville, FL. 32611.

The Coastal Community Resilience (CCR) team met on 3-5 August, 2010 as part of the Gulf of Mexico Alliance (GOMA). There were 50+ that participated in the CCR team meetings from the five states. The purpose of the meeting was to review the year 1 activities, learn about current projects, and discuss and refine year 2 work plan. Copy of agenda is attached.

Regarding the annual GOMA meeting, there were more than 300 individuals from both the public (Federal, state, and local governments) and private sectors that attended the annual GOMA meeting. There also was a contingent of governmental officials from Mexico who attended.

The following activities and topics were covered at the CCR team meeting.

A Coastal Resilience Index (CRI) has been developed and field-tested in 16 communities throughout the Gulf of Mexico (GOM). The CRI is a tool that communities can use to examine how prepared they are for storms and storm recovery. Next steps are to align the CRI with the FEMA Community Rating System that may provide future insurance benefits to residents and businesses within the communities.

The StormSmart Coast website was reviewed. The CCR has an active work group within it. It is a way to connect people – tools, and people –people in via social networks. Next step is to refine it to a Web 2.0 system where it is interactive and people involved are providing/sharing information in a dynamic process. There may be an opportunity to see how we may connect StormSmart Coast with the GCOOS website.

A coastal climate survey for the GOM will be developed that will provide information on coastal hazard awareness and ability/understanding of individuals to be prepared for evacuation. This should be done in next several months. A Home Owners Handbook to Prepare for Natural Hazards has been developed for Mississippi. Efforts are underway to have similar handbooks for the states of Texas, Louisiana, Alabama and Florida. A study will be underway in next year to demonstrate the economic evaluation of the “ecosystem services” of an area. It appears that the Galveston Bay area will be the pilot study site.

Presentations were also provided on updates and installations of tide stations, SETS and CORS; the SLAMM model; how business/industry prepares for disaster; Florida post disaster redevelopment planning guidebook; and the Deep Horizon Oil Spill.

GOMA CCR work year 2 activities will continue to be in 3 areas:

1. Risk and Resilience Assessment – Provide tools to coastal communities to better understand the risks and impacts associated with coastal hazards, including climate change.

2. Risk and Resilience Management Toolbox – Prepare an inventory of existing capabilities and tools to address coastal hazards in the GOM region, identify important gaps and, where needed, develop new methods to enhance regional and local resilience.

3. Risk and Resilience Communications– Inform communities about the risks associated with coastal hazards and provide access to the tools necessary to increase their resilience.

There are several areas where GCOOS may have some involvement in the following GOMA CCR work action items.

Risk and Resilience Assessment 1.1 Produce and implement a Master Plan to enhance the region-wide observing system and enable the measurement of millimeter-scale changes in land elevations and water levels over the long term.
Risk and Resilience Assessment 1.2 Develop a data platform that includes existing coastal hazard information as well as global climate change-related variables as they relate to coastal habitats, communities, and weather variables.
Risk and Resilience Management Toolbox 2.2 Compile and maintain an inventory of existing resilience-related data, projects, tools, and policies from across the GOM region.
Risk and Resilience Communications 3.2 Develop an online Resilience Clearinghouse/Web portal ensuring that resilience-related information and tools are available to the public.
Risk and Resilience Communications 3.3 Share the results of sea level rise modeling work performed in the GOM via the clearing house and other mechanisms, and exchange information with efforts around the country related to sea level rise and other climate change impacts.

Tina Shumate, the GOMA CCR Priority Team Lead and Rhonda Price, GOMA CCR Priority Issue Team Coordinator who work for the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources were invited to the next GCOOS Board meeting, to be held on 17-18 August, 2010 in Biloxi, Mississippi. The purpose of their attendance is to meet with GCOOS Board members and discuss future areas of collaboration.

August 2010 report on GOMA Ecosystem Integration and Assessment Team
Worth Nowlin
With input from Matt Howard

This is a summary of recent activities undertaken relative to the GOMA Ecosystems Integration and Assessment (EIA) team.

  • Matthew Howard attended the GOMA EIA Workshop in Key West, Florida, on January 27-29, 2010. Then, in February and March 2010, Howard, Shin and Seneca Holland explored the possibility of using the US Army Corps of Engineers data viewer, being developed for GOMA EIA, to display GCOOS Web Coverage Service and Web Map Service products. It should be possible, although it was not implemented.
  • Seneca Holland attended the combined meeting of the GCOOS Products and Services and DMAC Committees in Austin, Texas, on 28-29 April 2010.
  • Seneca Holland requested GCOOS to distribute a data request letter from the Harte Research Institute. Ann Jochens sent this request to the GCOOS list serve in May 2010.
  • Ann Jochens and Matthew Howard plan to attend the GOMA all hands meeting In Biloxi, Mississippi, on 3-5 August 2010
  • On July 30, 2010, Larry McKinney and Worth Nowlin spoke via telephone. McKinney, like many of us, is concerned regarding the lack of coordination of research, assessment, restoration, evaluation, and future preparations for sustained observations and for future disasters. He proposes that a Gulf-wide summit be held to consider how best to affect such coordination. The timing might be for early fall 2010 after Congress is adjourned and immediate actions and opportunities are somewhat more clear. McKinney intends to introduce this idea at the GOMA All-Hands meeting the first week of August. He intends to assemble a steering committee to plan this summit; I agreed to be on that committee. I offered the support of the GCOOS-RA in any way consistent with our objectives. He and I will speak again after the All-Hands meeting.

Note regarding GOMA Data Management: Matt Howard is a member of the GOMA Data Management Coordination Committee and Vembu Subramanian is an observer. At the committee’s first meeting there was face-to-face discussion among representatives of each GOMA PIT.

Environmental Education
Sharon Walker

A powerpoint assessing education needs associated with the Deepwater Horizon
Oil Spill was provided. GOMA and GCOOS are both involved with this activity.

Habitat Conservation and Restoration
Nancy N. Rabalais

Monitor activities to identify if/when HCR takes on a task that is of GCOOS interest. Follow through their emails.

Nutrient Reduction: Managing Inputs & Reducing Impacts
Ann Jochens

Nutrient PIT has 4 Action Areas
Characterizing Nutrients and their Impacts
–Supporting State Efforts to Develop Nutrient Criteria
Nutrient Reduction Activities

Implementation of Sources, Fate, Transport, and Effects Studies
–St. Louis Bay, Mississippi
–Weeks Bay, Alabama
–Galveston Bay, Texas
–Mission-Aransas Bay, Texas
Possible DMAC activity

–Continue to Support the Goals and Actions of the MS River/Gulf of Mexico
     Hypoxia Task Force
–Establish Coordination among Coastal Hypoxia Monitoring Programs

Nutrient Reduction Activities
–educational activities (Hypoxia Bullets)

Integrate oil spill recovery research

Water Quality
Ann Jochens

Pathogens: Improve our ability to identify where pathogens in coastal waters pose a health risk and to determine the source of the microbes that are contaminating a site.

Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs): Advance Gulf-wide capacity for HABs prediction, prevention, and control.

Year 1:
–In collaboration with GCOOS, identified the end-users needing HAB information and the types of bloom information and forecasts they need.

–Identified the pertinent information and data necessary for modelers to develop forecasting tools that address those user needs.

–Built on API efforts to include Mexico in expanded HABs monitoring network by establishing collaborations, training 50 scientists in two algal-identification training workshops in Mexico, and providing equipment to help standardize identifications across the Gulf.

Year 2:
Will use this information to complete design of the HABIOS monitoring system at workshop co-sponsored by GOMA and GCOOS in Year 2.

Mercury in Seafood: Provide tools that allow states to understand and manage mercury in Gulf seafood

Monitoring: Help the states to assess the effectiveness of current programs, improve data comparability and a better understanding of where monitoring occurs and what data gaps exist in our current monitoring programs.

Year 1:
Developed a prototype of a Monitoring Program Catalog with NOAA to increase cost-effectiveness of state monitoring programs. Can be used to:
–Provide information on what monitoring is taking place at a given location
–Identify leveraging opportunities and reduce duplication of effort
–Identify data gaps
–Identify data to include in baseline studies (e.g., in response to oil spills).

Year 2:
Begin populating the Monitoring Program Catalog and make available to GOMA partners and the public.



APPENDIX E: Reports from GCOOS Chairs

Reports of the Chairs of the
GCOOS-RA Councils, Committees, and Task Teams

17-18 August 2010

Stakeholder Council
Education and Outreach Council

Data Management and Communications Committee
Membership Committee
Observing System Committee
Products and Services Committee

Task Teams:
Public Health Task Team

Stakeholder Council
Ann Jochens

Status as of 8/16/2010

# Name Affiliation Sector State
1 Cort Cooper Chevron oil/gas ops & climate CA
2 Robert Stickney TX Sea Grant Director mariculture TX
3 Andrew Reich FL Dept. of Public Health HABs/environmental quality FL
4 Dave Donaldson Gulf States Mar. Fish. Comm. fisheries MS
5 Ken Barbor U. Southern Mississippi rt Navy, hydrography, lead MS
6 John Jacob Sea Grant urban development TX
7 Jerry Madden Shreveport Sail and Power Squadron recreational boating LA
8 Dino Chouest Edison Chouest WORKBOAT INDUSTRY LA
9 Al Goodman MS Emergency Management Agency emergency responders MS
10 Paul Montagna TAMUCC & Harte Res. Institute ecosystem modeler, NERR TX
15 Bill Walker MS Dept of Marine Resources GOMA, Ex Officio MS
    Potentials to be Contacted    
      Media AL
      boats AL
      public interest NGO  

Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System Education and Outreach Council
John O’Connell, Chair

Action Items to Report to the Board of Directors, Biloxi, August 2010

  1. Science and the Media-Train the Trainer Workshop with the GOMA Public Relations Committee. September 30-October 1 2010, Pensacola, FL. A workshop with the USF Poynter Institute (Dr. Mark Walters) to enhance the communication of science to the public. This supports requests for information identified by the GCOOS EOC/GOMA EEN needs assessment conducted post-Deepwater Horizon crisis.
  2. Following up on work initiated in preparation of the 2010 EOC meeting, we will continue working with the GCOOS DMAC and web developers to evaluate the ease of use of the data portal for E/O audiences and build web pages for recreational boaters and fishermen.
  3. Focus areas for E/O product development were recently identified by a GCOOS EOC/GOMA EEN needs assessment (following the DWH crisis). For needs assessment results, see:

    Requests of relevance to the EOC to be vetted, prioritized and developed:


    • Public education on how to discern credible information;
    • Interpretation of scientific information to assist community decision makers, tourism industry, and small business owners;
    • Objective exhibits at public and informal learning centers Information about ocean circulation between the Gulf of Mexico and eastern seaboard;
    • Information about wetlands and marshes, including expected recovery time for fouled areas, Information on how to engage US citizens and help them feel connected-especially inland communities;
    • Easily understood information about the different technologies being used in the mitigation process;
    • Outreach personnel to work between science and media.


    • Assistance designing activities that use real time/continuous data to study chemical indicators of pollutants in the Gulf of Mexico;
    • Assistance developing activities that use real-time data to track the spill-both surface and subsurface;
    • Professional Development related to implementing a classroom-based monitoring program;
    • Learn where to find credible data about the spill and learn how to use it;
    • Information about wetlands-purpose, value, why fragile, and action items outlining what people can do to protect and conserve this natural resource;
    • Provide opportunities for educators to present and share their ocean and Great Lakes oil-related resources with their peers, and academic and industry professionals;
    • Assistance in the purchasing of equipment to conduct inquiry based lessons on water quality, and biodiversity (e.g. GPS, sensor packages with temperature, salinity, pH, and dissolved oxygen probes);
    • Provide a website to host student-collected and/or community-collected data and enable data sharing;
    • Lesson plans on the chemical aspects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill-e.g. fingerprinting;
    • techniques to confirm source, degradation process, gas (methane &vapor) issues, dispersants;
    • Activities around oil and the ocean-chemistry, biology, physical science, environmental science, math, and engineering, including technological innovations;
    • Onsite visits to schools from environmental educators to help host ‘public-type’ meetings with students;
    • Professional Development for early career teachers of marine science working inland-need to learn about basic geology, coastal processes, and oil and gas exploration.
  4. Activities to build capacity for the GOM LME collaboration continue.
    • Potential collaborator identified (Dr. Geoff Scott, Director, NOS National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science Center for Coastal Environmental Health and Biomolecular Research-assistance with organochlorine detection and possibly sea grass monitoring). Dialogue will continue.
    • Chris S. will be working with Chuanmin Hu, Inia Soto, and Jen Cannizzarro to host 11 Mexican scientists and technicians who will be learning about HAB detection methods. (USF-1st week of September)
    • Potentially working with Carolina Quiroz during a September venue in Veracruz.
  5. Working on identifying and writing a series of RA success stories. First is a story about how gliders have contributed to monitoring efforts of the DWH oil spill. Ideally, plan to post a new story 6-8x/year.
  6. Moving forward with the kiosk project. Project team assembly at the FL Aquarium and TX State Aquarium will proceed once the institutions receive written confirmation that GCOOS funds are available. EPA has not confirmed when their funds will be made available, hence the delay. GCOOS E/O has developed a plan to move forward without EPA funds, but retain the ability for the projects to be synergistic.
  7. E/O chair submitted a manuscript for the Fall MTS Journal IOOS edition (C. Simoniello, L. Spence, J. McDonnell, and N. Deans). Reviewer comments will be addressed once received.
  8. Working with EOC member Dr. Rusty Low to develop an Oil Spill module for the Earth System Science Education Alliance. All resources will be made available via the GCOOS website.

GCOOS-RA Data Management and Communications Committee (DMACC)
Work Report to the, GCOOS-RA BOD, August 17-18, 2010, Biloxi, Mississippi
Vembu Subramanian, Chair GCOOS DMACC

Item 1: Current DMACC Membership and Liaisons

  1. GCOOS DMACC – Current Members and Composition
    • Bosch, Julie – NCDDC, NOAA
    • Burnett, Bill – NDBC,NOAA
    • Davis, James – TAMU, Corpus-Christi
    • Raye, Robert – Shell
    • Hu, Lei – Dauphin Island Sea lab
    • Babin, Brenda – LSU, LA
    • Howard, Matthew – TAMU (GCOOS DMAC Coordinator)
    • Ratcliff, Jay – USACE
    • Darrell Duncan – SAIC
    • Subramanian, Vembu – USF, FL (GCOOS DMACC Chair)
    • Colee, Jennifer – USACE
    • O’keife, Kathleen – FWRI, FL
    • Conover, Helen – UAH, AL
    • Porter, Dwayne – NERRS, CDMO Office, USC, SC
    • Stabenau, Erik – NPS
    • Virgil Zetterlind – EarthNC, Inc.
    • Peter Brickley – Horizon Marine

    Total 17 members; Government (Federal/State) – 6; Academic – 7; Private: 4

  2. GCOOS DMACC Liaisons to other GCOOS Committees and Council
    • Bill Burnett – Observing Systems Committee
    • Lei Hu – Education & Outreach Council
    • Jay Ratcliff – Products and Services Committee
    • Virgil Zetterlind – Stakeholders Council
  3. Liaisons from other committees and council to GCOOS DMACC
    • Simoniello, Chris – Education and Outreach Council
    • Awaiting appointments from other committees to DMACC
  4. GCOOS BOD Liaisons to GCOOS DMACC
    • Alferdo, Prelat – Terralliance
    • Jan Van Smirren – Fugro GEOS
  5. GCOOS DMACC Membership Review and Recommendations
    • Need a Satellite Expert
    • Need to recruit two more representatives from private sector (Example: Picking a member from Energy Sector)
    • Do not want more than 20 members in the committee.
    • Discussions were held to have DMACC member liaisons for neighboring RAs DMAC

    Committee proposes that Vembu Subramanian continue as Chair, DMACC for the foreseeable future

Item 2: GCOOS DMACC Meeting and Action Items

  • First Joint GCOOS DMACC (Fourth DMACC meeting) and PSC Meeting, Austin, TX, April 28-29, 2010
  • Total 22 members attended the meeting and 4 attended remotely. Melanie Morris, GOMA DMAC Chair, Seneca Holland, GOMA DMAC member and Dharhas Pothina from Texas Water Development Board were notables present at the meeting to look at GCOOS DMACC and PSC activities and explore potential collaborations on Data Management issues. Sam Walker, IOOS attended the meeting via telecon and presented talks on ICOOS Act of 2009 as well as provided an update on IOOS DMAC activities.
  • Meeting Notes and Action items from the meeting were prepared and submitted GCOOS-RA office to make it available on the GCOOS DMACC web site.

Action Items taken from the Meeting Notes

4.2 Prioritization of Activities (GCOOS DMACC)

4.2.1 Data Archive:
Strategy as to the archival of GCOOS Regional Data was tables and discussed. NDBC was identified as an organization which can help with near real-time data archive for 45 days. One of the data providers (CORMP program) within SECOORA RA is sending their near real-time monitoring stations data to NOAA National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC) for archival. Also archived are the USF/IMaRS data at the SECOORA purchased data servers located at USC. Delayed Mode data archival (Data and Metadata) are important aspect for an RA to support product development and provide and deliver to stake holders such as GOMA etc. Matt Howard, GCOOS DMAC Coordinator agreed to contact the local data nodes and interview them as to their archival strategy. It will be a good idea to create a survey form sent to the data nodes as to what their data volume is etc. to create a strategy as to the archiving process.

The committee ranked this ARCHIVE as Medium (M) priority for the region

4.2.2 Vocabularies and Metadata
Providing or access to vocabularies and metadata (data level and sensor level) for data served from GCOOS Data Portal was identified by the committee as High Priority. Ocean Observing Community as a whole has talked about Vocabularies (standards and conventions used for variable names) and also creation of metadata for the data they serve. If the metadata is already created and available with the data providers, provisions to expose them as well as recommending a strategy to create the metadata records using NCDDC help (MerMAID). Matt Howard under the NSF project working with Sara Haines to update the SECOORA Vocabularies and get them registered at MMI that can be used by the ocean observing community. Julie Bosch NCDDC can be contacted anytime for help with the creation of metadata as the MerMAID, a tool is in the final stages of getting completed and will be made available.

The Committee recommended that Metadata and Vocabularies as High Priority (H) for the region.

4.2.3 Browse
Lei Hu, Dauphin Island Lab and member of GCOOS DMACC, recommended that there is a need as to on-browsing capability available on the GCOOS web site for the data being integrated and served via the portal that will let the users know the spatial and temporal coverage. Matt Howard, GCOOS DMAC Coordinator mentioned as this task as possible based on the GCOOS Data Portal system architecture, and the committee identified this topic a Medium Priority (M) for the region.

4.2.4 GCOOS Data Portal System Documentation and “How To & Why” documentation
The GCOOS DMACC identified the creation of system documentation and how to documents for the data providers to participate in providing data to the portal as Medium Priority (M). The system documentation as to the data portal infrastructure (hardware and software) is essential as well as creating guidance document for data providers to contribute data to the GCOOS data portal.

4.2.5 Data Management Plan (DMP)
GCOOS-RA Board of Directors charged the DMACC to come up with a plan to assist them in creating Data Management Strategic Plan (short and long-term) to incorporate into the GCOOS-RA business plan. Worth Nowlin, Chair of the Board of Directors sent out a draft as to the same that was submitted to the GCOOS DMACC. In this meeting the committee discussed the strategy to help GCOOS-RA for the creation of DMP. Most of the members are voluntary, and keeping in that mind, we have come with a plan to execute this task. Most of the current status as to the GCOOS data portal could be harvested and put together with the help of Matthew Howard and his developers, and recommendations as to the long-term plans need some careful thinking. Some of the committee members mentioned that they could help on completing some specific sections where they have the knowledge, and this was identified as the Highest Priority (HH). Vembu Subramanian, GCOOS Chair will circulate the draft by June II week to the committee members and seeking their input as to who can help on what sections and ask them to commit some time so that it can get done within the time period required by GCOOS-RA. Committee came up with end of summer as completion date for the DMP plan.

Item 3: GCOOS DMACC Members Engagement in GCOOS-RA and other DMACC relevant meetings since March 2010

  • GCOOS Education and Outreach Council meeting, June 24-25, 2010 – Lei Hu as liaison to GCOOS E&O – Comments from Chris Simoniello: EOC – GCOOS is fortunate to have incredible participation by council and committee members. Lei submitted a report to GCOOS DMACC – Thank You Lei Hu for your service
  • IOOS RA Product Developers Meeting, May 17-19, 2010. Matthew Howard and Vembu Subramanian represented GCOOS-RA – Matthew Howard made a presentation on the GCOOS RA Data Portal and Products web site and outlined GCOOS DMACC capabilities and also assumed responsibility to moderate the IOOS Tech Google listserv.
  • GOMA DMAC Meetings and Conference calls – Matthew Howard, Julie Bosch and Vembu Subramanian are members. Matthew Howard and Julie Bosch attended the recently concluded GOMA DMAC meeting held on August 4, 2010 at Biloxi, MS.
  • QARTOD-to-OGC (Q2O) meeting on CTD/DO QA/QC – Defining requirements for Sensor Web Enablement workshop held during April 20-22, 2010 at St. Petersburg, Florida. Julie Bosch, Lei Hu, Brenda Babin and Vembu Subramanian represented GCOOS-RA
  • SECOORA DMCC Meeting held at Columbia South Carolina, August 3-4, 2010. Vembu Subramanian and Dwayne Porter GCOOS DMACC members represented GCOOS RA at the meeting.

Item 4: GCOOS DMACC Members Engagement in DWH Oil Spill

  • Deep Water Horizon incident was a week old when the GCOOS DMACC and PSC committee met at Austin for their first Joint meeting. Matthew Howard, GCOOS DMACC did an incredible work to make the GCOOS Data Portal and GCOOS Products web site active and available for user communities that were engaged in DWH Oil Spill Response.
  • GCOOS DMACC Members (Academic, Government and Private) within the Gulf of Mexico Region made their data and services available for the response and here are some of the inputs received from the members.

Matthew Howard (Texas A&M)

  • Extended wind forecasts from 48 to 84 hours which enabled ROMS model forecasts to better serve NOAA OAR.
  • Helped Eoin Howett (ASA) get MMS ADCP data into response team’s hands.
  • Stood up oil spill pages on GCOOS website.

Felimon Gayanilo (RSMAS)

  • Posting of NOAA/NESDIS spills forecast on GCOOS Data Portal
  • Monitoring of the data flow and making sure the GCOOS Data Portal is available.

Kathleen O’Keife (FWRI/FWC)

  • We provided on-scene scientific support to the Coast Guard Incident Commands in Houma, Mobile, St Petersburg, and Miami
  • We provided on-scene GIS support to the Coast Guard Incident Commands in Houma, Mobile, St Petersburg, and Miami
  • We created mapping products daily for NOAA and the Coast Guard to use in planning operations
  • We worked with Chuanmin Hu of the USF Optical Remote Sensing Lab to create MODIS derived products that depicted spill extent and sea surface conditions that were used daily by the Incident Commands
  • We flew daily over the Florida Panhandle using mobile mapping technology to map spill impacts to Fl waters and beaches
  • We created 2 web applications to assist responders with needed geospatial information on species locations and resources at risk

Lei Hu (Dauphin Island Sea Lab)

Jennifer Colee (USACE)

  • The Mobile District Corps of Engineers, Spatial Data Branch, has been involved in just a few areas in the DWH response. Our office developed a Map Viewer for the Division Commander. And our JALBTCX group flew over the oil spill area and collected some LIDAR and hyperspectral imagery of the area.

Erik Stabenau (NPS)

  • Shortly after the explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon I acted as the DOI Technical Lead at the Florida Peninsula Command Post, providing multiple daily environmental briefs to the unified command staff so they would have a common operating picture and understand the likelihood of oil impacts in Florida, when it may occur, and what state the oil would be in once it reached our area of responsibility.
  • During this same time period, I worked with the Joint Information Center at the Florida Peninsula Command Post to provide briefings to local and state level politicians and their staff, including Governor Crist and Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen. Our goal was to address concerns and alleviate anxiety associated with the spill and also to correct misinformation that my have reached the public through the press.
  • GCOOS related – I made extensive use of the page and associated links throughout the process and often referred outside scientists to this location as the "one stop shop" for getting information on the Gulf Oil Spill. The only suggestion that I have with respect to that page is the addition of a very concise "what’s new" section where the public users, when looking for information on the Oil Spill or other significant events, will get hints as to where to look first and/or what has been added to the page in the last week.

Helen Conover

  • My group at UAH did participate in a small way in DWH response. In collaboration with NASA, we are helping to develop a software system called Real Time Mission Monitor (RTMM), a situational awareness tool that integrates satellite, airborne and surface data sets; weather information; model and forecast outputs; and vehicle state data (e.g., aircraft navigation, satellite tracks and instrument field-of-views) for field experiment management. In short, the tool allows users to monitor an aircraft mission by overlaying the aircraft tracks and satellite data in real time on Google Earth. NASA flew several aircraft missions over the DWH to monitor the state of the Gulf and collect imagery, and mission managers and others used RTMM to track the aircraft in flight.

GCOOS Membership Committee Report to the GCOOS Board of Directors

Landry Bernard, Chair

August 17-18, 2010

  1. Members of the Membership Committee:
    Jerry Boatman   QinetiQ
    Dawn Lavoie   USGS
    Landry Bernard   USM/NDBC
  2. Activities of the Membership Committee since last Board Meeting:
    • Members maintain a list of potential members contacted. (List was provided)
    • During this period we sent out Invitee Letters to 10 companies.
    • Contacted Marine Technology Society (MTS) Regional societies in Houston and Gulf Coast to schedule a Membership “Drive” in that area.
  3. Action items for next six months:
    • Brief MTS Houston Society on benefits of GCOOS Membership and invite members to join.
    • Brief MTS Gulf Coast Society on benefits of GCOOS Membership and invite members to join.
    • Identify and brief Hydrographic Society in GOM area on benefits of GCOOS Membership and invite members to join.
  4. Request Board Guidance on:
    • Would there be a benefit to a GCOOS booth at OTC 2011 Houston or MTS Oceans 2010 Seattle?
    • Always welcome names of individuals or companies to invite to be members.
    • Feedback on whether our invitees are joining as members.
    • Examples of specific benefits from GCOOS membership. Using these benefits we could better target (and tailor the value proposition accordingly) groups such as exhibitors in conferences like OCEANS, OTC, AGU, etc.

Observing Systems Committee
Stephan Howden, Chair

The committee plans to update the Observing System Plan.

Products and Services Committee
Joe Stinus, Chair

Joe Stinus has retired from NOAA and is stepping down from his GCOOS role. He recommends that an election be held for a new PSC Chair. The PSC has been fairly quiet since the oil spill but the resulting products posted on the GCOOS Products page have greatly improved after input provided by PSC members.

PSC Action Plan:

  • Joint committee meeting held in Austin, TX. Reviewed past efforts and planned future initiatives. P&S needs to identify reps to attend DMAC and Ed & Outreach meetings. Introduced 2 new P&S members; Perry Wischow (SAIC) and Jim Gibeaut (HRI).Held Joint meeting with DMAC committee and Reps from Education & Outreach (28-29 April).
  • Identified 4 new Product & Service informational 1-Pagers for Portal Posting; Seafood Quality & Safety, Coastal Hazards, Loop Current & Eddies, Sea Level Rise. New pages were assigned to committee members. First draft review was postponed due to oil spill involvement.
  • Develop Draft P&S Strategic Plan using DMAC’s plan as guidance. Forward draft to DMAC for review. Need to have P&S committee review DMAC’s Strategic Plan and start P&S draft.
  • Identify & develop collaborative project with SECOORA. SECOORA project on hold.


  • Develop easy search tool for locating data used in models (reconstitute runs). Modelers would like to re-run the models using the same data sets; locating the input data is challenging.
  • HYCOM time series, 5-7 day forecast. As an enhancement to coastal forecast create a timely 5-7 day HYCOM product.
  • Display forecasted ocean currents (Google Map).
  • Evaluate social media as potential marketing tool.
  • Construct mobile marine apps for fishermen, boaters, field personnel (iPhone Buoy Report).
  • Develop Portal metrics.
  • Implement auto-update of displayed products.
  • Add YouTube clips; Catch of the Day, Safety at Sea.

NOTE: many of the recommendations have been implemented due to the increased operational tempo in support of the Oil Spill programs.

Public Health Task Team
Andy Reich, Chair

As was discussed during the March 2010 GCOOS meeting in New Orleans, it has been a challenge to engage the public health community in activities related to GCOOS. In 2010, public health professionals along the gulf coast were identified and contacted by either telephone call (preferred method) and/or email (if phone calls were not successful) to solicit preliminary participation in the public health task team. The list of contacts is noted in Attachment 1. During the conversations with these contacts, a consistent skepticism and reluctance to participate was encountered. Many did not see a benefit and advantage for participating in another working group; and without a clear and obvious benefit to their organization, it would be hard to justify staff time and effort to GCOOS.

Soon after the New Orleans meeting, the disaster/tragedy of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig fire and well failure occurred on April 20, 2010. With the sinking of the platform and subsequent failure of containment systems for stopping the flow of oil from the well, environmental contamination became the priority for both environmental and public health organizations. Health impacts from human exposures from inhalation, dermal contact, and inadvertent ingestion via contaminated food such as seafood like fish, shellfish, etc. were foremost in disaster response efforts.

Because of the uncertainty of public health impacts from the oil spill and its high priority with both the public and government, it was thought that the umbrella of GCOOS would be beneficial to help coordinate dissemination of information related to Gulf of Mexico existing data. On June 4, 2010 the identified contacts (see Attachment 1) were invited to participate in a GCOOS-sponsored teleconference to discuss the role of GCOOS in providing information to the public health community along the Gulf of Mexico related to the ongoing Deepwater Horizon incident. "Newcomers" to this group were directed to the GCOOS web site.

The teleconference was held on June 9, 2010 with the following participants: Chris Simoniello and Ann Jochens, GCOOS; Barb Kirkpatrick and Kate Nierenberg, Mote Marine Laboratory; Lora Fleming, University of Miami; Lorrie Backer, CDC; Kelly Goodwin: NOAA and Andy Reich and David Krause, Florida DOH. Though this core group represented highly motivated and important representation of the public health community, it did not include the additional public health entities from the Gulf of Mexico coastal governments. There was virtually no participation from the state public health entities (with the exception of Florida), possibly due to limitations of staff time, involvement in other Deepwater Horizon coordination activities, unclear benefit to working with GCOOS, etc.

Those who did participate discussed the following topics:

  • Signage used in Escambia County, Florida;
  • Opportunities to get consistent messaging across Gulf of Mexico;
  • Use of GCOOS Public Health Task to standardize messaging;
  • How are local issues identified and addressed;
  • Methods for outreach and education:
    • CDC working with Poison Information Centers;
    • NOAA with its Wiki site;
    • Mote links to CDC web site for health issues;
    • GCOOS capabilities to link with other health based information sources;
  • “Closure” of beaches, etc.:
    • FDOH toxicologist discussed local jurisdiction role in decision making;
  • Additional sources of environmental data:
    • autonomous vehicles w fluorometers along Florida shelf from Tampa to Key West:

Real-time IOOS Glider Fleet Positions

Real-time IOOS Glider Fleet Positions

  • Ship based testing:
    • Use of fluorometers;
  • USF chemical analyses of oil spill;

In response to an invitation by the GCOOS PI, a conference call was held on June 14, 2010 to develop specific plans for an observing system network for the Gulf of Mexico to measure and report beach quality. This initial brainstorming session was attended by Barb Kirkpatrick, Meredith Byrd, and Andy Reich. Some of the issues discussed included:

  • Who is the audience??
  • How can GCOOS support the mission of Gulf coast Department of Health agencies?
  • What products are needed?
  • Could near real time sensors related to bacteriological beach water quality be supported?
  • What is the status of modeling?
    • What would it take to develop?
    • What would be the components?
    • What is contributing to bacteria counts?
  • Standardized beach water quality presentation throughout Gulf of Mexico:
    • Acquire data for gulf wide presentation of over-all beach quality information
    • All states should provide uniform quality
    • Make presentation of data more uniform and more accessible
    • Next steps would be product enhancements
  • Other Beach water quality indicators:
    • Beach Rip Current information:
    • Gulf wide? Physical parameters? Occurrence information?
    • Biological components: Jellyfish; Sea lice
    • Physical components: Surf; Water clarity
  • Who will use the information?
    • Citizens; beach managers; scientists; needs to be noted in any solicitation
    • Include GOMA as a constituent group
    • What would users like to see in reporting system?
    • Beach public safety information center
      • Most beaches not staffed; no lifeguards
  • Use exiting GCOOS data sets
  • Also identify innovative data sets that are not necessarily represented in GCOOS
  • Economics:
    • Don’t have experience; would have to be addressed by others

In response to the discussions held previously, on June 30, 2010 Andy Reich met with Florida DOH staff overseeing the Department’s “Healthy Beaches” program for an overview of Florida’s implementation of EPA’s funded “Beaches Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health (BEACH)” Act and possible future projects through GCOOS.

Issues identified included:

  • Modeling:
    • Modeling is a good idea:
      • Would have to solicit data needs and identify data sources and availability;
    • FDA has model requirements for closures of shellfish beds;
    • FDACS studied extensively to develop closure methods:
      • use extensive rain gauges;
      • data from Doppler radar is not utilized;
    • SC performing modeling based on rainfall:
      • only in watershed drainage features like rivers and only for 10 miles of beaches;
    • Other areas more complicated like Florida’s open beaches to Gulf of Mexico;
    • Possibly be used in selected locations like Tampa Bay, Choctawhatchee; Pensacola;
  • Additional info needed in near shore, tidal affected, circulation patterns:
    • Where is the water coming from and where is it going;
    • Used drifters in Ochlocknee Bay via FSU contract;
  • Standardized presentation of beach bacteria water quality throughout Gulf of Mexico;
    • Data now going to EPA annually and some quarterly;
    • Would need to translate FDOH et al data in to GCOOS web site;
    • FL Monitoring Council worked on it in past;

Attachment 1.




APPENDIX F: Summary of a preliminary plan with cost estimates for a fully capable GCOOS

Nowlin provided a handout summarizing the preliminary elements.