Special Projects

SECOORA has a number of special projects that are driven by stakeholder needs or have been funded through collaborative proposals.

Developing an Integrated Coastal Water Predictive Capability to Promote Resilience to Water Risks

The goal of this project is to develop an integrated coastal water predictive capability to deliver new water intelligence products and information vital for decision making both during high-impact events, such as hurricanes, nor’easters, and storm surge, and for routine water management, including marine ecosystem health, transportation, and agriculture.

Project Lead: SECOORA
Partners:  NC State University, Fathom Science, NOAA
Status: Ongoing

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Collaborating around Offshore Sand Resources in the South Atlantic

Congress appropriated $1.5M in both FY19 and FY20 for Regional Ocean Partnerships (ROPs) and IOOS Regional Associations (RAs) to enhance their capacity for sharing and integration of Federal and non-Federal data to support regional coastal, ocean, and Great Lakes management priorities, as outlined in Executive Order 13840. The Southeast is focused on a project designed to enhance collaboration across activities are underway to map and evaluate sand resource availability and better understand decision-maker needs to help prioritize data collection needs and inform future tool development for sand management in the southeast.

Project Lead: SECOORA
Partners: The Nature Conservancy, SE State CZM Programs, USACE, BOEM, and NOAA
Status: Ongoing


Research to Study Sound in the Marine Environment

Research to understand how sounds in the marine environment affect marine species. Soundscape ecology studies the biological, geophysical, and anthropogenic sounds that are produced in or affect the marine environment.  Dr. Montie’s project, Integrating Biological Sound and Noise Measurements into Regional Coastal Ocean Observing Systems (RCOOS) in Estuaries of South Carolina, will expand passive acoustic data collection in the May River, Charleston Harbor, and Winyah Bay, South Carolina.

Project Lead: SECOORA
Partners:  Dr. Eric Montie, University of South Carolina Beaufort
Status: Ongoing

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Harmful Algal Bloom Research in the Gulf of Mexico

A team of scientists, led by Katherine Hubbard from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (FWRI), will use a suite of ocean observing technology to improve our understanding of Harmful Algal Blooms (HAB) on the West Florida Shelf. This work is complimenting on-going research focused on the toxic dinoflagellate, Karenia brevis, that blooms almost annually off the coast of Florida.

The project team – comprised of members from FWRI, the University of South Florida, and Mote Marine Laboratory – will use a combination of ship-based sampling, glider deployments, and satellite remote sensing to increase bloom sampling efficiency and improve bloom forecasting for the Charlotte Harbor, FL area – as well as other locations as needed.

Project Lead: Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute
Status: Ongoing

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Developing Machine-Learning Methods to Quickly Classify Underwater Soundscapes

Underwater soundscape data analysis will soon be more efficient. Dr. James Locascio, Mote Marine Laboratory, was awarded funding from SECOORA to use previously collected marine acoustic data to develop machine-learning algorithms that identify biological, geophysical, and anthropogenic sounds.

The marine acoustic data being analyzed were recorded with hydrophones in marine protected areas and other marine habitats. A hydrophone is an underwater technology that detects and records ocean sounds from all directions. Underwater sounds are made by fish, marine mammals, hurricanes, and people (such as engines from small boats to transoceanic ships) all make noise. The soundscapes created by this diverse array of sources are rich in information about species presence and behavior, habitat quality and habitat use patterns, anthropogenic activity and environmental conditions.

Project Lead: Mote Marine Laboratory
Status: Ongoing

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Southeast Ecosystem Advisory Report

The overall goal of the Advisory is to increase stakeholder resiliency by deriving and publishing an innovative quarterly fisheries ecosystem advisory. This will aid the fishing community and the public sector resource management community in evaluating the effects of the changing environment on twelve economically and ecologically important fish species. This swift dissemination of near real-time data will allow the fishers and resource managers evaluate and respond appropriately to the apparent changes in distribution, catchability (availability and vulnerability), and catch of the fish.

Project Lead: Mitchell Roffer, ROFFS™
Status: Completed

Launch Report


Wave Heights and Currents in the Florida Straits (WHARF)

One of the major consumers of coastal ocean observations is the National Weather Service (NWS). NWS forecasters need real-time coastal and ocean data and information to make accurate marine weather forecasts. Waves and currents are key parameters of these forecasts, but in many areas in the Southeast region there is either none or very limited wave data available to support marine forecasting. To address this issue, SECOORA funded the Wave Heights and Currents in the Florida Straits (WHARF) project. WHARF is intended to provide a quality control index for the extraction of real-time significant wave height using high frequency radars (HF radars). Data is still being analyzed.

Project Lead: Nick Shay, University of Miami RSMAS
Status: Completed

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Incorporation of Passive Acoustics and Acoustic Telemetry on an Established Regional Coastal Ocean Observing System

The main objective of the project is to demonstrate that acoustic measurements of fish sounds and behavior (movement) can be can be integrated with other measurements of atmospheric and oceanographic conditions and coupled to a node of an established regional scale ocean observatory. The project is adding a temporary hydrophone for passive acoustic recording of fish sound production and an acoustic receiver for detection of acoustically tagged fishes to the SECOORA Big Carlos Pass’s sensor array in Florida.

Project Lead: James Locascio, Mote Marine Lab
Status: Completed