Funding for the GCOOS-Regional Association, which governs the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System, comes from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) via multi-year grants, cooperative agreements, or contracts. This funding is used to support: the activities of the groups comprising the Regional Association; communications regarding GCOOS (including its web site); meetings with current and potential stakeholders; travel to regional meetings of fishermen, industry associations, scientific and technical societies, among others; meetings to promote collaboration between GCOOS and other regional associations, entities in Mexico, and the Gulf of Mexico Alliance; and meetings with federal and state agency representatives, including the Ocean.US Office and NOAA Integrated Ocean Observing System Program Office.

At the present time most observations and products from the U.S. portion of the Gulf of Mexico and its estuaries are supported by government agencies (federal, state and local) or the private sector to meet their requirements. The GCOOS-Regional Association has initiated a proposal development process that is being used to solicit ideas for, prepare, and endorse proposals for submission in response to calls for proposals (mainly from federal agencies) or submission to other potential supporters. In 2007, NOAA made its first call for competitive proposals for further development of regional coastal ocean observing systems; that was followed by a second call for proposals to be supported with Fiscal Year 2008 funds. The total amount of new support available through these first two calls was quite small in comparison to the funding needed to move forward in a manner consistent with the current state of requirements and plans. It is anticipated that NOAA will be able to increase the amount of funds available for this purpose in the future.

For most recent GCOOS-RA proposal to the IOOS program, please see NOAA-NOS-IOOS-2016-2004378.pdf.