October 2015

Climate Variability and Fisheries Workshop

This week, October 26-28, SECOORA is co-hosting the Climate Variability and Fisheries Workshop: Setting Science Priorities for the Gulf of Mexico, South Atlantic, and Caribbean Regions in St. Petersburg, Florida. The goal of the workshop is to advance our understanding of impacts of climate variability on fisheries resources and management in the large marine ecosystems of the Gulf of Mexico, South Atlantic and Caribbean Sea, and to promote multidisciplinary partnerships.


Click here the link to access the meeting page: http://secoora.org/fishclimateworkshop

SECOORA Responds to Cape Canaveral Buoy Removal

Update, January 21, 2016: National Weather Service (NWS) Office of Observations has directed National Buoy Data Center (NBDC) to maintain the Cape Canaveral Buoys 41009 and 41010 through the end of 2016.  Ship time permitting, NBDC is planning to service the buoys this spring. 
Watch for more updates. Below is the original story.
Due to funding constraints, a pair of buoys off Cape Canaveral are expected to be pulled from the water this spring.  The two NOAA NBDC buoys are primarily by funded NASA and U.S. Air Force (USAF). Station 41009 and 41010 are located 20 and 120 nautical miles east of Cape Canaveral, respectively.

These two buoys located in the SECOORA footprint have provided valuable data to the maritime community and private and government weather forecasters. Many users need the near-shore and offshore wind, wave and temperature conditions provided by the buoys. 

Examples of data 41009 and 41010 provide are: Air Temperature,  Significant Wave Height, Wind Direction, Water Temperature, Swell Wave Height, and more.

 "There's a lot of us that use that to check on local sea conditions and things of that nature. It's a good indicator to see what the offshore forecast is and the seas and so forth and to lose that, it would be the loss of another tool to keep tabs on the marine forecast here. People have relied on that for many, many years. We've all become accustomed to it here. It's a shame to lose it." - Mike Rigby, who fishes for red snapper and grouper and is also a boat driver with the Canaveral Pilots Association

Quoted in The Florida Today article.

In August, Conrad Lautenbacher, Jr., SECOORA Board Chairman, sent a formal letter to Kathy Sullivan, the NOAA Administrator, on behalf of the SECOORA Board regarding the removal of the two buoys. This is the first step in raising awareness of the degrading coastal ocean observing system. In September 2015, NOAA Administrator Kathy Sullivan sent a response back to Conrad Lautenbacher.  

More and more frequently we are seeing buoys being pulled from the water due to limited funds. In February, University of North Carolina Wilmington Coastal Ocean Research and Monitoring Program and SECOORA started the Buoy for a Cause campaign to raise the additional $16,000 needed to replace the decommissioned NDBC buoy, 41036 (Onslow Bay Outer, NC). In less than three months, Buoy for a Cause successfully crowdsourced the money.This campaign demonstrated crowdsourcing, combined with other resources, can be used to keep buoys that collect and deliver valuable data in the water.

SECOORA (and its predecessors) have been engaged in coastal ocean observing activities in the SE for over fifteen years in collaboration with U.S. IOOS, NOAA and others. SECOORA will continue to work with the maritime community, the private sector, the public and government interests to address coastal ocean observing gaps in the Southeast US.. If you are interested in working on a collaborative initiative, please contact Debra Hernandez, SECOORA Executive Director, at debra@secoora.org.


SECOORA Co-Hosted IOOS Association Annual Meeting

September 2015, IOOS Association (IA) held their Annual Meeting in St. Petersburg, FL at the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute. Directors from all eleven Regional Associations, staff from the US IOOS Program Office and IA Board Members discussed filling critical observing gaps and IOOS activities in the Gulf of Mexico.


SECOORA and GCOOS co-hosted the meeting and teamed together to do a tour of the surrounding facilities, including a presentation from Katherine Hubbard (Research Scientist at FWRI) on Harmful Algal Bloom observations and forecasting, a tour of the University of South Florida College of Marine Science's Coastal Ocean Monitoring and Prediction Systems buoy program and USF CMS glider lab. Click here to read the IOOS Association meeting story >


Image Credit: Abbey Wakely, IOOS Association

Five Year Proposal Submitted to US IOOS

SECOORA successfully submitted a proposal, titled “Southeast Coastal Ocean Observing Regional Association (SECOORA): Supporting Resilient Ecosystems, Communities and Economies in response to the US Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) FY 2016 Federal Funding opportunity, NOAA-NOS-IOOS-2016-2004378. The proposed work, if funded, will occur over the next five years and provide support for continuing and expanding SECOORA observing, modeling and related activities in the southeast. 

Priorities for SECOORA over the next five years are to sustain critical observing, data management and modeling activities, build upon successes with users, seek new leveraging opportunities and add new multidisciplinary Regional Coastal Ocean Observing System components. SECOORA’s proposal focused on a resiliency theme, addressing the need to have resilient ecosystems,  communities and  economies.

Below is a schematic  of the overall proposal. With oversight from Governance and Management, and in collaboration with PIs and Data Management and Communications, SECOORA will continue to manage and integrate observations and models for a suite of tools and applications. Each component is linked to priority stakeholder needs under four themes. 


SECOORA would like to thank everyone who participated and contributed in the proposal development process. SECOORA will continue to coordinate and champion coastal ocean observing science in the Southeast. Below is a graphic of the process SECOORA followed to develop comprehensive and competitive proposal. 

Water Quality Monitoring Units Successfully Installed in the St. Lucie Estuary, Florida

Over the summer, five Land/Ocean Biogeochemical Observatory (LOBO) units have been installed in the Indian River Lagoon and St. Lucie Estuary on the east coast of Florida. The  LOBO units provide real-time, high-accuracy and high-resolution water-quality data and archived data via a simple web-based interface. The deployments  of the LOBOs is part of the Indian River Lagoon Observatory (IRLO) Program established by FAU's Harbor Branch, a SECOORA member.

Water quality in the Indian River Lagoon has changed considerably over the last century due to urbanization. The IRLO water quality network is designed to address emerging issues of environmental health in the IRL system by achieving a better understanding of the biodiversity and ecological functions of the lagoon and how they are impacted by the surrounding human population.

The deployed LOBOs are measuring temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, turbidity, CDOM (colored dissolved organic matter, or more simply, water color), chlorophyll (indicative of algae in the water column), nutrients (phosphate, nitrate), and current speed and direction. LOBOs can collect data 24/7 and allow real-time observation of significant events, such as water discharge, algal blooms, and storm events so that researchers can determine how these events are related to ecosystem change. Data from the LOBO units in the Indian River Lagoon will be integrated into the nationwide Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) through SECOORA, allowing comparative studies both within Florida and in the nation (information found here).

A total of 9 LOBOs are expected to be installed along in the Indian River Lagoon. SECOORA is working with FAU to integrate the IRL data into SECOORA web site. The map to the right shows the proposed locations of the LOBOs. Click here to learn more.

Please contact IRL Principal Investigator - M. Dennis Hanisak,. at dhanisak@fau.edu for more information.


All images are credited to FAU