SECOORA 2020 Annual Meeting

Thank you to the over 180 people who tuned in for SECOORA’s 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting. Participants from all over the Southeast and beyond learned more about SECOORA, the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS®), and coastal hazards and resilience. Below are highlights from the meeting and presentation.

Updates from SECOORA

In 2019, SECOORA completed its Regional Coastal Ocean Observing System (RCOOS) Plan. The Plan provides guidance for SECOORA’s future research and technology investments and informs the 2020 IOOS proposal development.

COVID-19 is impacting SECOORA operations. Each of SECOORA’s scientists and technicians are experiencing different setbacks. Most impacts to in situ operations are due to social distancing restrictions and fall into the categories of ship access, travel, site access, instrument calibrations, and permitting delays. Modeling, glider, and data management activities are less impacted. The IOOS Association is leading efforts to document infrastructure needs of the IOOS Regional Associations that could be supported through congressional stimulus funding.

Pictured left is an update on the Goal 2 of the SECOORA’s Strategic Plan. Over the next year, Board members will be tasked to update the Strategic Plan and SECOORA members will be asked to provide input. Pictured right is the funding trends for SECOORA. SECOORA is putting more sensors in the water and on the ground.

SECOORA is entering the final (and fifth) year of both our Strategic Plan and IOOS Cooperative Agreement. SECOORA has seen positive changes both as measured by the increase in funding and number of observing assets in the water.  The increasing IOOS funding is a direct result of success with the Closing the Gaps campaign. 

SECOORA Board and Committee Updates

SECOORA wants to extend a warm welcome to Gary Mitchum, University of South Florida, and returning Board member Michael Crosby, Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium, for being elected to the SECOORA Board. SECOORA is only successful because our Board members volunteer their time to elevate the organization.

SECOORA committees were very active over the past year. The Education and Outreach Committee coordinated $22,000 worth of student opportunities and released a curriculum Request for Proposals to respond for the increased demand for high quality online curriculum during this global pandemic. The Science Committee helped draft the RCOOS plan and is developing program performance metrics for the 2021-2026 NOAA IOOS award.

National Updates

The U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) Program , within NOAA’s National Ocean Service (NOS), shared updates on new personnel including a Surface Currents Program Manager, a Modeling Portfolio Manager, and a U.S. IOOS Regional Coordinator; information on the Notice of Funding Opportunity for the Fiscal Year 2021 Implementation of the U.S. IOOS, which has since published on Grants.gov (NOAA-NOS-IOOS-2021-2006475);  and a look to the future with respect to COVID 19 impacts and coastal resilience as a priority for the agency. In 2020 NOS is tasking each program, and their partners, to document resilience related to coastal inundation, sea level rise, and coastal hazards, NOS hopes to be an exemplar for the nation.

U.S. IOOS® is also supporting the Ocean Enterprise Study 2020. This second study will be used to understand the present scale and scope of U.S. business activity in this increasingly vital economic and environmental space.  It will also compare 2020 data with 2015 data to identify trends and changes.  If your business provides infrastructure or develops products that support or conduct ocean observation and measurement, the U.S. IOOS Office wants to hear from you for the Ocean Enterprise Study 2020 (survey).

Through the IOOS Association, all eleven IOOS Regional Associations are working together to close nationwide ocean observing gaps. The IOOS enterprise has seen an increase in funding over the last 4 years (see photo above) mainly due to the Closing the Gaps campaign, which advocates for more funding to expand high frequency radar coverage and increase glider missions. SECOORA is expected receive about $4 million for 2020 -2021, about $1.3 million of that is coming from other funding that is not IOOS.

Coastal Hazards and Resilience

SECOORA and the Southeast & Caribbean Disaster Resilience (SCDRP), partnered to host a panel to highlight climate related sea level changes, data needs related to climate resilience, and to share insights on mitigating the threats of rising seas. Gary Mitchum (University of South Florida) highlighted coastal flooding due to high tide and ocean atmosphere variability. Mitchum showcased the Flooding Days Projection tool that incorporates sea level rise, modulations of the tides and ocean atmosphere variability. Ben Kirtman (University of Miami) discussed how scientists can predict the acute flooding risk.  Jan Mackinnon (Georgia Department of Natural Resources) discussed how coastal managers assess resiliency and implement changes on the ground. Mackinnon highlighted the need for bathymetry – nearshore, offshore, lidar, and sand source data to support resilience efforts. Watch the video recording here.

Meeting Presentations

Meeting Materials