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NOAA Supports Ocean Observing in Southern California

US - NOAA is awarding $853,785 to support ocean observing efforts in Southern California. The 2008 funding is provided through NOAAs Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) program.

The grants will go to the Southern California Coastal Ocean Observing System, coordinated out of Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego.

John Orcutt, Ph.D. Professor of geophysics at Scripps is Chair of the SCCOOS Board of Governors, which oversees the efforts.

The aim is to maintain and enhance ocean and coastal observations in the region, make regional data easier to access and use, identify and prioritize future regional needs for ocean information and monitor environmental conditions so decision-makers can minimize the impact of severe weather, natural hazards and other emergencies.

The Southern California system also works closely with colleagues in Central and Northern California and California state agencies such as the State Coastal Conservancy so that ocean observing benefits are available state-wide.

"Regional partnerships are critical to the success of a national Integrated Ocean Observing System," said Zdenka Willis, NOAA IOOS program director.

"With increased understanding of our oceans and coasts comes an increased ability to keep our nation safe, our economy secure, and our environment healthy and productive."

The NOAA grant to SCCOOS is one recipient in an anticipated series of IOOS grants across the nation this year, totaling $20.4 million.

These grants will support the continuation of 17 multi-year projects awarded in 2007, as well as new efforts in 2008. SCCOOS will continue its efforts to support a broad range of regional management needs.

"This agreement represents another big step forward for the Integrated Coastal and Ocean Observing System, as called for in the President’s Ocean Action Plan," said retired Navy Vice Admiral Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Ph.D., Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA Administrator.

"This year’s award is a great example of NOAA’s dedication to our ocean and coastal observing capacity, as well as our commitment to work with our regional partners."

This money supports NOAA's efforts to develop a national IOOS, a vital tool for tracking, predicting, managing, and adapting to changes in our coastal and ocean environments.

This network of people and technology is pulling coastal and ocean data and information together, so it is easily accessible from one source and can be used by scientists and decision-makers to get a 'bigger picture' view of environmental change.

NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and conserves and manages our coastal and marine resources.