Growing energy demands are pushing oil & gas exploration efforts further offshore, increasing the need for regional-scale baseline environmental data. These data are also needed for effective coastal and marine spatial planning and the development of ecosystem models to manage fisheries and aquaculture.
To enhance and wisely manage the state’s economically important fishing and tourism industries in a sustainable manner, increased oceanographic and other regional-scale environmental data are needed. SECOORA and the GCOOS-RA have demonstrated the value of ocean observing systems to Floridians:
Forecasts of weather and ocean conditions are important deciding factors for citizens and visitors planning their recreational activities. Information from observing system data providers enables Floridians and visitors to make informed decisions. For example, the University of South Florida’s Fred Howard Park meteorological and tidal station in Tarpon Springs provides water level, tide and wind conditions and is frequently used by kite surfers and kayakers. Mote Marine Lab’s Beach Conditions Report provides twice-daily updates on red tide, oil and other water quality parameters along 33 of Florida’s west coast beaches (see See Mote's Beach Conditions Report).
Improved ocean forecasts and predictions of extreme coastal storms and long-term water level changes require increased ocean observations to drive the forecast models. SECOORA and the GCOOS-RA contribute to minimizing the risk of damage and loss of livesand property by:
Florida ports contribute significantly to the nation’s economy. With the expected increase in worldwide waterborne trade, there is a growing need to ensure Florida ports can be responsive to expansion opportunities while minimizing terrorist threats.
The infrastructure and information from coastal ocean observing systems aid the development of alternative energy sources (e.g., offshore wind farms and energy derived from ocean currents, tides and waves) by helping to identify sites that maximize return on the investment and minimize environmental impacts, andby promoting efficiency and safety during operations.
The GCOOS-RA and SECOORA have overlapping geographies on the west coast of Florida and share planning and coordination responsibilities. Working with the Florida Coastal Ocean Observing System Consortium (FLCOOS), a group of Florida-based universities, non-profit organizations and private companies, that collaborate on numerous monitoring, mapping and modeling efforts (e.g., harmful algal blooms and current monitoring), including coordination of data management systems to make information seamless, easily accessible and more useful. To reach the full potential of the system and maximize efficiencies, the RAs and FLCOOS work together and coordinate activities for the benefit of our common stakeholders—the citizens and visitors of Florida—as part of our nation’s IOOS.
Florida Ocean Observing Partners
View NOAA's Coastal County Snapshots to:
More About How Coastal and Ocean Observing Supports Florida
Users can explore and query buoy and other data through the SECOORA Interactive Map
Florida’s oceans and coasts annually provide over $562 billion in cash flow and hundreds of thousands of jobs. Their protection is of critical importance to the state. Photo credit: Chip Cotton.
Port Everglades total financial impact amounts to approximately $18 billion in business activity, 185,000 jobs statewide, and $623.5 million in state and local tax revenue. (http://www.floridaports.org)
Station at Fred Howard Park, FL. Photo Credit: Cliff Merz
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