Federal Agencies

Currently, there are 17 federal organizations named as partners in U.S. IOOS.  These agencies were also members of the statutorily mandated National Ocean Research Leadership Council (NORLC), under 10 U.S.C. § 7902. These organizations provide active support, funding, guidance, or advice to the program. The first 11 federal partners listed here are also part of the Interagency Ocean Observation Committee (IOOC).  These 11 members play a direct oversight role in the development of U.S. IOOS.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) logo

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

National Science Foundation (NSF) logo

National Science Foundation (NSF)

National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA) logo

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) logo

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) logo

Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement  (BOEM and BSEE)

Marine Mammal Commission (MMC)

Marine Mammal Commission (MMC)

Office of Naval Research (ONR) logo

Office of Naval Research (ONR)

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) logo

Oceanographer of the Navy, representing the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS)

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) logo

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)

U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) logo

U.S. Coast Guard (USCG)

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) logo

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) logo

Department of Agriculture, Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES)

Department of Energy (DOE) logo

Department of Energy (DOE)

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) logo

Department of State (DOS)

Department of Transportation (DOT) logo

Department of Transportation (DOT)

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) logo

Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

U.S. Arctic Research Commission (USARC) logo U.S. Arctic Research Commission (USARC)



Industry Connections

Network of platforms and sensors providing the data and information needed to improve safety, enhance our economy, and protect our environment.

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Industry is an integral component of U.S. IOOS and its influence crosses the Observing, Data Management and Communication (DMAC), and Modeling and Analysis subsystems of U.S. IOOS.  Industry also partners with U.S. IOOS to increase and improve data exchange.  For example, Shell Oil has a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with NOAA/U.S. IOOS to enhance meteorological and oceanographic observations in the Gulf of Mexico.  Shell is also negotiating with U.S. IOOS Alaska partners to establish a Memorandum of Understanding, MOU.  There are also a number of value-added companies teaming with U.S. IOOS, including Surfline, Weatherflow, and Roffer's Ocean Fishing Forecasting Service, Inc. ,ROFFS.


Industry and U.S. IOOS Observing Subsystem

High Frequency Radar

Forty-three non-Federal entities presently use high frequency radar. One example follows:

CODAR Ocean SensorsCODAR Ocean Sensors, located in Mountain View, California, conducts research, design, manufacturing and support of high frequency (HF) radar systems primarily for ocean current and wave monitoring.  CODAR founders began working in the field of HF radar as early as the 1960's and have continued to develop improvements.  Today the SeaSonde® is the only commercially available HF radar system with a proven track record and stands at the forefront of precision current measurement and ease of utility.  Designed and built by CODAR Ocean Sensors, the SeaSondes have a small antenna footprint, low power output and 360 degree possible viewing angle which minimize siting constraints and maximize coverage area. They can be remotely controlled from a central computer in an office and set for scheduled automatic data transfers. The SeaSonde is ideal for fine scale monitoring in ports and small bays, as well as open ocean observation over larger distances up to 70 km. For extended coverage, the Long-Range SeaSonde can observe currents as far as 200 km offshore.

CODAR Ocean Sensors has produced approximately 80% of all HF radars ever built worldwide, with a total operating time of over 2,000,000 hours.  Continual improvement to hardware and software design over the last 30 years allows the SeaSonde high quality data output, with robust field performance and user-friendly software making it both convenient and affordable for a wide variety of users and applications.

Further details on high frequency radars


Profiling Gliders

Network of platforms and sensors providing the data and information needed to improve safety, enhance our economy, and protect our environment.

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Profiling gliders developed by industry have quickly become an indispensable platform for data collection for US IOOS.  Theses gliders allow safe data collection in locations and weather conditions that could endanger humans and at lower financial cost.  In 2009, US IOOS Partner MACOORA successfully flew a glider across the Atlantic from Rutgers University in New Jersey to Baiona, Spain.  This was the first journey of this kind.  In 2010 during the Deepwater Horizon disaster, five US IOOS partners provided gliders to monitor hydrocarbons in the water column.

iRobot:  iRobot headquartered in Bedford, Massachusetts, manufactures several types of robots including a line of Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUVs), which perform a variety of missions for maritime researchers and military planners.

Teledyne Webb Research:  Teledyne Webb Research located in Falmouth, Massachusetts, manufacturers two types of gliders for oceanographic research and monitoring.

Wave Gliders

Wave gliders are an emerging technology of real interest to U.S. IOOS.   These gliders continuously “harvest” energy from waves allowing them to travel long distances, hold station, and monitor vast areas without the need to refuel and without the need for ship support.
Liquid Robotics:  Liquid Robotics began as a joint venture between Jupiter Research Foundation and Roger Hine to develop an unmoored, station-keeping data buoy for monitoring humpback whales.  Liquid Robotics was incorporated in January of 2007 to continue development of the technology.  The Wave Glider is a configurable platform designed to support a wide variety of sensor payloads. It can keep station or travel from point to point. Data is transmitted to shore via satellite, and the continuous surface presence means that data can be delivered as it is collected. Payloads can be installed by customers or integrated by Liquid Robotics
US IOOS partner National Data Buoy Center (NDBC) is undergoing testing of a Wave Glider in June and July 2011.  U.S. IOOS looks forward to the continued maturation of this technology and for opportunities to put these platforms to work collecting data for US IOOS.


Value-Added Companies

Surfline:  Surfline is the leading provider of surf report, forecast and editorial content to consumers, businesses and government agencies worldwide.  Headquartered in Huntington Beach, California, Surfline delivers timely, accurate and comprehensive data on a daily basis via wireless web and the Internet. The company's website, Surfline.com, is visited by over 90,000 unique people per day and over 1,000,000 per month -- the largest and most loyal audience of surf and beach enthusiasts in the world.  Since 1985, Surfline has merged premier surf report, forecast and editorial talent with industry-leading technology to produce content of unparalleled quality aimed at active participants in the sports of surfing, windsurfing, bodysurfing, bodyboarding and kitesurfing.
In 2003, Surfline acquired Buoyweather, a popular website for boaters, sailors, fishermen and divers.  What makes Buoyweather unique is its network of "Virtual Buoys" that provide focused marine data for every coastal and offshore area in the world.  From each virtual buoy point, users are able to gauge current wind speeds and swell heights, as well as garner a seven-day marine forecast for that precise location.

WeatherFlow, Inc.:  WeatherFlow is a leader in accurately monitoring, modeling, and forecasting wind and weather conditions for specific applications. Using one or more custom-designed observing networks, its professionals integrate additional weather and oceanographic data from official sources, including US IOOS, incorporate that data in a high resolution weather model, and apply decades of forecasting experience. The result is a high quality suite of weather products and services that is unmatched in the industry today.
By using the WeatherFlow product suite, customers can make the best possible decisions about how to operate safely and effectively in the challenging environments they face. Whether it’s operating a vessel, placing emergency personnel after an incident, integrating variable wind energy into an energy portfolio, or simply deciding if it’s a good day to get out on the water, WeatherFlow’s products and services empower its customers to make informed decisions.

Roffer's Ocean Fishing Forecasting Service, Inc. (ROFFS™) is a scientific consulting company based in Miami and West Melbourne, Florida, that is involved with fisheries oceanography, environmental science, and satellite remote sensing.  It is best known for its tactical and strategic fisheries forecasts that are the result of the integration of satellite and other fisheries oceanographic data.  ROFFS is intensively involved in a broad range of projects such as ship routing, oil and gas drilling operations, seismic and fish surveys, fisheries development, aquaculture, environmental monitoring, and applied scientific research.


The National System of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs)

IOOS data are important for the design, monitoring and assessment of MPAs and MPAs can serve as reference sites for operation of monitoring equipment.  Coordination between NOAA, the Department of the Interior, other Federal and State agencies, non-governmental organizations and universities offers the National System of MPAs and IOOS mutual benefit from increased data standards and improved dissemination of information to the public and decision makers. Our Nation will benefit from enhanced ecosystem-based approach to manage marine resources and improve marine ecosystems. http://www.ioos.gov/library/mpa_final.pdf

The National Water Quality Monitoring Network for U.S. Coastal Waters and Tributaries

NOAA is working with the Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Geological Survey, and other national and regional partners to develop integrated approaches to manage, protect, and monitor our nation’s water resources. The Network integrates biological, chemical, and physical features and links uplands tributaries to the coastal ocean. It represents an integrated, multidisciplinary, and multi-organizational approach that leverages diverse sources of data and information; augments existing monitoring programs; and links observational capabilities. These networks include IOOS, the IOOS Regional Associations, and other federal agencies and represent a broad community of users – including coastal and inland states, tribes, researchers, and non-governmental organizations. http://acwi.gov/monitoring/network/index.html


United States Group on Earth Observations (USGEO)

In 2005, USGEO was established under the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy’s Committee on Environment and Natural Resources to lead federal efforts to achieve a national Integrated Earth Observation System (IEOS). Through USGEO, the U.S. further supports cooperative, international efforts to build the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS). GEOSS is being developed through the intergovernmental Group on Earth Observations (GEO), a partnership of 80 countries, the European Commission, and nearly 60 international organizations.

USGEO includes representatives from 17 federal agencies and the Executive Office of the President. USGEO is co-chaired by representatives of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)


Sensor Validation and Verification
Alliance for Coastal Technologies (ACT)

ACT is a partnership of research institutions, resource managers, and private sector companies dedicated to fostering development and adoption of effective and reliable sensors and sensor platforms for environmental monitoring and long-term stewardship of coastal ocean resources. ACT addresses the need for rapid technology integration into operational ocean observing systems and monitoring programs. The program is designed to facilitate creation and application of knowledge of current and emerging ocean observing technologies to improve the capabilities of existing observations and deliver new technological solutions to address specific global environmental issues and operational ocean observing challenges. The overall objectives of ACT are to:

  • Rapidly and effectively transition emerging technologies to operational use;
  • Maintain a dialogue among technology users, developers, and providers;
  • Identify technology needs and novel tools and approaches to meet those needs;
  • Document the performance and potential of each technology; and;
  • Provide the Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS®) with information required for the deployment of reliable and cost-effective networks.

ACT has made advancements in support of NOAA’s efforts to validate and exploit new ocean observing approaches by serving as:

  • A third-party testbed for quantitatively evaluating the performance of new and existing coastal technologies, both in the laboratory and under diverse environmental conditions;
  • A forum for capacity-building through technology-specific workshops that review the current state of instrumentation, build consensus on identification of future trends, and enhance communications between users and developers; and;
  • An information clearinghouse, provided through a searchable, online database of environmental technologies and community discussion boards.



U.S. IOOS Super-Regional Modeling Testbed
Southeastern Universities Research Association (SURA)

In FY2010, IOOS provided funding to the Southeastern Universities Research Association (SURA) to create a multi-disciplinary, community-modeling testbed that would facilitate improved operational coastal ocean prediction. The testbed allowed scientists to share models, observations, and tools needed to elucidate, prioritize, and resolve issues associated with interoperable coupling of models. Pilot testbed projects addressed three chronic issues of high relevance within the super-region: (1) coastal inundation; (2) estuarine hypoxia, and; (3) shelf hypoxia. An overarching theme was design and implementation of cyberinfrastructure (CI) to support the three issue-motivated science themes.






A National Operational Wave Observation Plan

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Data Buoy Center (NDBC) have long led the nation with wave observation programs, but the observation locations were based on local project or user requirements; resulting in a useful, but ad hoc network with limited integration. The National Operational Wave Observation Plan addresses this situation by defining a comprehensive wave observing network for the United States. The initial version of the plan was completed in 2009. Periodic updates are anticipated.

Download: The National Operational Wave Observation Plan (pdf)

A National Operational Wave Observation Plan


U.S. IOOS® National Surface Current Mapping Plan

This plan presents the uses of high frequency radar, the requirements that drive the measurement of ocean surface currents, and the implementation design for a five-year, national build out effort.

Download: U.S. IOOS National Surface Current Mapping Plan (pdf)

U.S. IOOS National Surface Current Mapping Plan

U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System: A Blueprint for Full Capability

The Blueprint defines the specific activities and systems that will make up the fully operational U.S. IOOS and guides the efforts of partners and the U.S. IOOS Program
A Blueprint for Full Capability Ver 1.0 (pdf, Nov 2010)

U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System: A Blueprint for Full Capability