Environmental Monitoring

Federal Funding to Support Northeast Ocean Studies

November 30, 2011

The maritime and ocean research community in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut will receive $1.77 million to conduct ocean-observing projects.

RYE, NH /PRNewswire/ -- The maritime and ocean research community will benefit greatly from federal funding of more than $1.7 million recently awarded to NERACOOS, the Northeastern Regional Association of Coastal Ocean Observing Systems.

NERACOOS, a component of the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS), spans coastal waters from the Canadian Maritime Provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick to Long Island Sound. Their mission is to provide those who use these waters with information, including providing weather and ocean data to fishers and commercial shippers so that they may determine if conditions are safe for passage and to emergency managers issuing storm warnings. NERACOOS is also advancing efforts to use this data for water quality monitoring, harmful algal bloom predictions and warnings, and coastal flooding and erosion forecasting systems.

NERACOOS has received $1,770,000 from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The majority of the funding will be distributed among its operational (or research) partners to sustain the data collection and forecasting efforts of the program.

Recipients are:

"This funding, with its allocations to these important ocean-observing projects, will enable us to collect vital data that will be used to benefit those whose livelihoods depend on the ocean, as well as all those who care about the future of the health of the environment," says J. Ru Morrison, PhD., Executive Director of NERACOOS.

Zdenka Willis, Director of the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System, agrees. "We are delighted that this funding to NERACOOS will allow us to expand upon our mission of increasing the understanding of our coastal waters so that decision-makers can take action to improve safety, enhance the economy, and protect the environment," Willis says.

As Portsmouth Harbor Pilot PJ Johnson notes, "having access to the latest ocean data is critical to the safety of our operations and has improved the safety of maritime commerce in this region."

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