Last updated: 26 August 2014

Priorities for GCOOS measurements and derived products are determined using several approaches.

  1. We hold workshops that target specific stakeholder communities (e.g., recreational boaters, emergency managers, or petroleum producers). The objectives of these workshops are to identify with priorities the measurements and products needed by the specific community, identify pilot projects that might further the development of the needed measurements or products, and obtain cost estimates as feasible.
  2. We use advice from the groups comprising the organizational structure of the GCOOS-RA: the Board of Directors, Councils, and Committees. These groups consist of people from many different stakeholder sectors of the private, governmental, and academic communities, so the advice given is a realistic representation of many different sectors and contributes to the determination of priorities.
  3. We encourage broad input in the preparation of our guiding documents such as the GCOOS Build-out Plan for a Gulf observing and monitoring system or the draft plan for a Gulf of Mexico Harmful Algal Bloom Integrated Observing System. In this manner the needs of many different stakeholder sectors are incorporated into our overall planning.
  4. When funding opportunities become available, calls for suggestions are made via the GCOOS listserv, which is open to anyone who wishes to be on it, and to the public via the GCOOS web site. One or more of the GCOOS committees and the Board of Directors review all suggestions received. A selection is made based on how the suggested projects will provide data or products of high priority. A number have resulted in working teams to prepare proposals.

The GCOOS Regional Association has held workshops designed to solicit the needs for prioritized measurements and products from specific stakeholder sectors. A listing of workshops and access to workshop reports can be found on the GCOOS web site.

The workshop report contains table of priority measurements and products.

The table below gives integrated stakeholder priorities as gleaned from these workshops.

Integrated GCOOS Stakeholder Priorities
Priority Product or Data Stakeholder Sectors
Obtain accurate bathymetry and topography with consistent vertical control between data sets in the coastal zone, including locations of shorelines. Emergency mangers, surge modelers, recreational boaters (bathymetry and shorelines), urban planners and developers, insurance industry (topography and shorelines), oil and gas, marine transportation (shorelines and navigationally significant waters, especially federally mandated channels, approaches, and anchorages)
Improve coverage of real-time currents in the coastal zone and navigable estuaries using HF radars as primary technique
Marine transportation, recreational boaters, oil and gas sector, Coast Guard SAR
Improve real-time, offshore meteorology measurements (V, P, T, H)
Oil and gas sector, Coast Guard SAR, surge modelers, HABs monitoring, recreational boaters
Improve forecasts and nowcast models of sea level, winds, and waves; this requires added real-time measurements
Recreational boaters, oil and gas sector, Coast Guard SAR, storm surge modelers, emergency managers
Improve hurricane severity forecasts
Emergency managers, oil and gas sector, recreational boaters
Improve forecasts and nowcasts of surface currents offshore
HABs tracking, oil and gas sector, Coast Guard SAR
Improve severe weather monitoring, forecasting, and dissemination
Oil and gas sector, recreational boaters, HABs tracking and fate
Enhance measurements of water quality parameters
Oil and gas sector, recreational boaters, HABs detection and fate
Implement a modern, real-time current and water level observing system in all major ports
Marine transportation, recreational boaters
Establish coastal storm surge/inundation maps for mitigation planning (not real time)
Oil and gas sector, insurance, real estate, planners, emergency manager
Improve information on and forecasts of visibility
Coast Guard SAR, recreational boaters
Produce upper ocean profiles of temperature, salinity, and currents
Oil and gas sector, recreational boaters (near artificial reefs and major diving locations)
Produce reliable forecast maps of three-dimensional currents offshore
Oil and gas sector
Improve real-time forecasts of coastal inundation
Emergency managers, general public
Increase number of stations monitoring HABs
Public and animal health officials, HABs monitoring network
Improve data and product dissemination techniques taking into account the sophistication of the user Requirement of all sectors