January 8, 2021

Congress Unanimously Passes the Coordinated Ocean Observations Systems and Research Act

On December 31, 2020, the President signed S. 914, the Coordinated Ocean Observations and Research Act of 2020, into law that reauthorizes the Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS).    

“We are delighted by the broad support for IOOS and our mission of providing ocean, coastal and Great Lakes data and information to the many people who depend on it for their lives and livelihoods.  IOOS will continue to meet the critical needs for data to aid forecasting extreme weather, safe navigation, healthy ecosystems and hazards.  ” – Josie Quintell, Director of IOOS Association

IOOS is a coordinated federal-regional program to integrate and share existing data, fill critical gaps in ocean, coastal and Great Lake observations, and produce information that is accessible to a range of users from mariners to fishermen to emergency managers and scientists.

The Coordinated Ocean Observations and Research Act of 2020 foresees an increase in IOOS appropriations levels throughout the years: $46M in FY21; $50M in FY22; $52M in FY23; $54M in FY24, and $56M in FY25. The bill also has language that provides statutory authority and authorizes appropriations for NOAA’s National Water Center.

Reauthorization further strengthens the program and ensures continuation of the innovative partnership between Federal and non-Federal regional partners to collect, manage and deliver critical information about our coastal oceans and Great Lakes.