NOAA 2007-R427
Contact: Ben Sherman
NOAA News Releases 2007
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The University of Hawaii School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology has been awarded $1.7 million from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Integrated Ocean Observing Program for first-year activities as part of a three-year grant to develop the Hawaii-Pacific Ocean Observing and Information System. The inaugural announcement is the first in a series of 26 competitively awarded funding grants totaling $17.2 million that NOAA will make as the lead federal agency of the IOOS program in FY07.

"The awarding of these competitive grants is another significant milestone in establishing 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.

"It is important that NOAA work with our other federal partners to select projects that represent the best regional ideas and capabilities needed to fully develop the U.S.IOOS," continued Lautenbacher. "I believe we have a sound process in place that will serve us well as we continue to build this national program.”

The Hawaii project will develop operational products to assist agencies charged with the responsibility for the safe, clean and productive capacity of Hawaii's coastal ocean and shoreline. A series of operational products will be developed. An early example of such a product is found at: where Hawaiians can go to find out the latest weather, current and other beach-related safety warnings and conditioning based on consolidated observations from a variety of coastal resources.

This is the first year of competitive funding for regional IOOS projects, and there was a large response to the announcement. NOAA received 40 proposals seeking more than $32 million in single year funding. A peer review panel comprised of professionals with expertise in ocean observation, applications and data evaluated and ranked the proposals. Seven federal agencies, a state agency representative and Ocean.US participated in the peer review.

The projects span the coastal United States including Alaska and Hawaii, and represent a strong mix of regionally relevant product development and data network and delivery applications. The U.S. IOOS depends on the regional integration of observing system assets, and this focus area was a top priority for NOAA in its leadership charged with developing the operational system.

“Integrated regional coastal ocean observing system development is a critical element of the fully envisioned U.S. IOOS program,” said Zdenka Willis, NOAA IOOS program director. “This year’s competitive grants are a positive first step in demonstrating NOAA’s commitment to work in partnership with regional, state and local agencies and institutions."

Activities under the awards will support NOAA’s efforts to develop IOOS which will expand and improve the ability to collect, deliver, and use information from coastal waters, Great Lakes, and the ocean by providing information in the right format at the right time to scientists, managers, businesses, governments, and the public.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, is celebrating 200 years of science and service to the nation. From the establishment of the Survey of the Coast in 1807 by Thomas Jefferson to the formation of the Weather Bureau and the Commission of Fish and Fisheries in the 1870s, much of America's scientific heritage is rooted in NOAA.

NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and information service delivery for transportation, and by providing environmental stewardship of our nation's coastal and marine resources. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with its federal partners, more than 60 countries and the European Commission to develop a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it observes, predicts and protects.

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