Last updated: 26 August 2014

Bart Bibler (Florida Department of Health), Worth Nowlin (GCOOS-RA), and Steven Wolfe (Gulf of Mexico Alliance) agreed to oversee the development of this HABs Integrated Observing System Plan for the Gulf. This process began with several telephone discussions involving a broad segment (30+ individuals) of the interested community during July and August 2007.

As starting points they used the results of the 2004 GCOOS-HABs Workshop in St. Petersburg, FL, organized by the EPA Gulf of Mexico Program; a Gulf of Mexico HABs observing system draft proposal prepared by Thomas Malone for the November 2006 IOOS Regional Workshop; and requirements for a HABs forecasting system prepared by Richard Stumpf of NOAA. These documents were supplemented with background documents describing the HABs observing system components in place by the five U.S. Gulf States, prepared by:

  1. For Florida – Cindy Heil with input from Gary Kirkpatrick and Barbara Kirkpatrick
  2. For Alabama – Carol Dorsey and Hugh MacIntyre
  3. For Mississippi – Dan Holiday, Adrienne Russell and Jay Grimes
  4. For Louisiana – Tom Soniat
  5. For Texas – Meredith Byrd, Tracy Villareal and Lisa Campbell

Those papers together with other HABs-related documents and web links regarding the development of the plan and workshop were posted to a GCOOS web site. That web site has been incorporated into this web site and will continue to be maintained.

Initial discussions resulted in the decisions/commitments to

  1. Commission a small group to draft the Harmful Algal Bloom Integrated Observing System (HABIO) Plan for the Gulf of Mexico;
  2. Form a Steering Committee to guide the development of a workshop to comment on the plan and agree on further actions needed to complete and perhaps begin initiation of the plan; and
  3. Hire a professional facilitator, Janice Fleischer, to oversee detailed evaluation and ranking of each draft plan and to help plan and facilitate the workshop.

A small group consisting of Rick Stumpf, Geoff Scott, Rost Parsons, Tom Malone, and Worth Nowlin agreed to draft a Harmful Algal Bloom Integrated Observing System (HABIOS) Plan for the Gulf of Mexico. Four drafts of this plan were prepared with inputs from many sources. The first three versions were distributed by Janice Fleischer, workshop facilitator, to some forty workshop invitees plus an equal number of interested reviewers. They were asked to rank and comment on each section of the document and on the entire document. The evaluations and comments on each version were used in preparing the next draft. Version four was distributed to reviewers and workshop participants prior to the workshop.

The Steering Committee to guide the development of a workshop to vet the plan was composed of Steven Wolfe, Bart Bibler, Worth Nowlin, Mark Luther (Alliance for Coastal Technology (ACT), University of South Florida), and Jay Grimes (Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, University of Southern Mississippi). This committee prepared an agenda, selected and invited speakers, reviewed background materials, selected workshop chairs, selected break out group rapporteurs, and selected the  workshop facilitator.

The workshop was held November 14-16, 2007, in New Orleans, LA. Sponsorship was by the GOMA and the GCOOS-RA. Representatives of the Alliance for Coastal Technology and the GCOOS-RA assisted with logistics at the workshop.