Pacific Northwest Region (NANOOS)
Mid-Atlantic Coastal Ocean Observing System (MARACOOS)

Pacific Northwest Region

Map of the Pacific Northwest Region

The Northwest Association of Networked Ocean Observing Systems (NANOOS) is the Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS®) Regional Association (RA) in the Pacific Northwest, primarily Washington and Oregon. NANOOS has strong ties with other west coast observing systems, particularly the Alaska Ocean Observing System (AOOS), the Central and Northern California Ocean Observing System (CeNCOOS) and observing programs in British Columbia (e.g., the Victoria Experimental Network Under the Sea, or VENUS) through common purpose and the occasional overlap of data and products.


NANOOS is a partnership of over 40 entities, including industry, state agencies, local governments, tribes, non-government organizations, and educational institutions. Established in 2003, NANOOS has used results of nearly three years of NOAA-funded planning efforts and ongoing regional contributions to build regional association partnerships in the Pacific Northwest (PNW) and to identify high priority user needs and requirements. 

To progress on the NANOOS regional priorities of maritime operations, fisheries, ecosystem impacts, climate, and coastal hazards, this project will continue to develop the essential subcomponents of the Pacific Northwest RCOOS: observing systems, modeling and products, data management and communications (DMAC), and education and outreach. The work will be applied in four observational domains: coastal ocean shelf, coastal ocean surface currents, estuaries, and shorelines.

NANOOS key activities are:

  1. Maintain NANOOS as the PNW IOOS Regional Association: Sustain our proven role for regional coordination, administrative infrastructure, and stakeholder engagement.

  2. Maintain surface current and wave mapping capability. Maintain existing HF-radar foundational capability, providing critical national capacity, and continue investment in wave mapping at a critical port.

  3. Sustain existing buoys and gliders in the PNW coastal ocean, in coordination with national programs. Maintain these essential assets providing regional observations, with focus on hypoxia, HABs, ocean acidification, climate change detection and modeling input.

  4. Maintain observation capabilities in PNW estuaries, in coordination with local and regional programs: Maintain these to aid sustainable resource management, water quality assessment and sub-regional climate change evaluation, with high priority new feeds.

  5. Maintain core elements of beach and shoreline observing programs: Contribute to hazard mitigation by providing essential observations and better decision support tools for coastal managers, planners and engineers.

  6. Maintain NANOOS’ Data Management and Communications (DMAC) system for routine operational distribution of data and information: Sustain, as feasible, the DMAC system NANOOS has built, including the NANOOS Visualization System (NVS), for dynamic and distributed data access and visualization for IOOS.

  7. Contribute to a community of complementary numerical regional models:  Contribute to the operation of regional models, and the tools and products they support, covering the head of tide of estuaries to the outer edges of the EEZ in both OR and WA.

  8. Deliver existing user-defined products and services for PNW stakeholders.

  9. Sustain NANOOS education and outreach efforts: Foster ocean literacy and facilitate use of NANOOS products for IOOS objectives, the core task for which the entire NANOOS RCOOS is constructed, via existing approaches for engaging users.

NANOOS places a priority on sustaining the leveraged coastal observations that its RCOOS has integrated and on developing the most informative and useful products for regional users, as advised by our Governing Council and our active Standing Committees (DMAC, User Products, Education & Outreach) that prioritize work efforts.

In late 2009, NANOOS launched its online system-wide data viewing and access tool, known as the NANOOS Visualization System (NVS). NVS, available at, allows easy access to ocean observing data in the Pacific Northwest. NVS gathers data across a wide range of sources (federal and non-federal) including buoys, shore and land-based stations throughout the NANOOS region (Canada to California). NVS is continually being improved and refined as new data streams are brought in and as the NVS development team receives feedback from users. Released in 2010, NVS 1.6 added access to surface currents from high frequency radars, temperature and ocean color from satellites, and improved filters, legends, and data plots. Users can also find data from research cruises and forecast information on water levels and waves for many locations.

NANOOS developed a wide variety of user products and educational materials centered on our regional priorities. Examples include on-line tsunami evacuation/inundation maps, forecast information products developed for commercial and recreational albacore tuna fishers, real-time water quality information optimized for shellfish growers, blended tide, current, weather conditions forecasts for mariners, and on-line “theme pages” for issues of regional interest, such as ocean acidification and hypoxia, with direct links to data, educational content, and regional activities. A variety of lesson plans, some using real-time data, and learning resources are available and being used and evaluated by teachers at various levels.


News from the Region

New Online Portal and App Provide Information on Tsunami Zones in the Northwest

A new smartphone app is providing information on tsunami zones in the U.S. Pacific Northwest. The Pacific Northwest Tsunami Evacuation Zones online portal and free app provide an at-a-glance view of tsunami hazard zones along the coasts of Oregon and Washington. The Northwest Association of Networked Ocean Observing Systems (NANOOS), a regional entity of the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS), developed the tool and launched it in partnership with the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries and Washington State Department of Natural Resources. Visit the online portal at The app, TsunamiEvac-NW, integrates the maps, allows users to see if they are in an evacuation zone, and plan evacuation routes. You can get the free app from the iTunes App Store and Android Market






Visit Northwest Region's Website:


Northwest Data Portal and Asset Viewer, NANOOS Visualization System (NVS):

The Northwest Association of Networked Ocean Observing Systems (NANOOS) provides links to a number of their products.  These products are searchable by user category such as, boaters, emergency responders, and shellfish growers.  Among the products and tools available are:


NANOOS Newsletter

The latest NANOOS Newsletter (Winter 2012) is available at:

Contact Information

Jan Newton, Executive Director



Fact Sheet, 2013 (pdf)

Fact Sheet, 2012 (pdf)

One-Pager, 2011:
IOOS in Action: The Pacific Northwest (pdf)