Today, the Interagency Ocean Observation Committee (IOOC) and the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS®) released the U.S. IOOS Summit Report, a culmination of the work leading up to – and a synthesis of the outcomes from – the IOOS Summit, held from November 13-16, 2012 in Herndon, Virginia, to assess ocean observing progress over the past decade, and to develop plans for the next decade of ocean observations.
U.S. IOOS is a $3 billion United States enterprise comprised of 18 agencies creating observations, data management, products, and services. Regional Associations implement localized observing systems in 11 sections of the United States with oversight from the U.S. IOOS Program Office situated in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Ocean Service. All of these efforts also serve as a regional node to the Global Ocean Observing System, an effort to coordinate observations across the planet.
To better protect life and property, sustain a growing economic vitality, safeguard ecosystems, and advance quality of life for all people, according to over 200 regional, national, and global ocean observing experts, now – now more than ever – the United States needs a sustained and integrated ocean observing system. This is highlighted in the U.S. IOOS Summit Report, which shows how improved ocean observing can become an increasingly valuable commodity worldwide with the rising role of maritime commerce and new ocean-related investments, vulnerability to ocean-related natural disasters, the need to provide security for coastal populations, and the challenges of providing food and water for more people.
The U.S. IOOS Summit Report allows the United States to move forward with the vision and insight of these over 200 ocean observing community leaders who convened in November 2012. A significant level of the consensus that transpired at the U.S. IOOS Summit was around a set of major themes and challenges that will be the ocean observing focus over the next 10 years.
The U.S. IOOS Summit resulted in 25 comprehensive recommendations that emerged from summited and vetted white papers by industry experts, the Summit itself, and the report themes, which focused on:
- System Integration
- Observations and Technology
- Data Management and Communication
- Modeling and Analysis
U.S. IOOS Summit Report recommendation highlights include:
- “A Vision for the Future,” which gives readers a literary illustration of the benefits resulting from a national observing system at full capability in 2022;
- “IOOS Summit Declaration,” which is a statement adopted by 144 representatives of the ocean observing community as a commitment to delivering real value and contributions to the American public in regards to deep-ocean and coastal ocean observing; and
- A plan for creating clear, user-friendly access to coordinated national, regional, and local products before, during, and after disasters so people have the critical information needed when life-saving decisions have to be made.
A team assembled under the IOOC, a federal oversight body of IOOS, is currently assessing the U.S. IOOS Summit Report recommendations and determining an implementation strategy for the next 10 years.
To view the entire U.S. IOOS Summit Report, click here.