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Ocean Policy Activities and Ocean Observatories. Dr. Robert Gagosian President and CEO MACOORA November 17, 2009. National Ocean Policy. “ We will restore science to its rightful place” – President Barack Obama, January 20, 2009

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Ocean Policy Activities


Ocean Observatories

Dr. Robert Gagosian

President and CEO


November 17, 2009

national ocean policy
National Ocean Policy

“We will restore science to its rightful place” – President Barack Obama, January 20, 2009

On June 12, 2009, President Obama issued a memorandum to establish an Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force with the charge to establish a National Ocean Policy and recommend a framework for effective coastal and marine spatial planning.

A national policy “established, guided and continuously validated by science” that ensures protection, maintenance, and restoration of oceans, our coasts and the Great Lakes.

june 12 th memorandum

June 12th Memorandum

90 Days

National Ocean Policy

Governance Framework

Priority Areas

180 Day

Marine Spatial Planning Framework


PolicyEmphasis on Stewardship1. Healthy and Resilient Ocean, Coasts, and Great Lakes2. Safe and Productive Ocean, Coasts, and Great Lakes3. Understood and Treasured Ocean, Coasts, and Great Lakes

  • Ecosystem-Based Management
  • Protect, Maintain and Restore
  • Minimize adverse environmental impacts
  • Best Available Science
  • Precautionary Approach
report focus how we do business
Report Focus: How We Do Business
  • Ecosystem-Based Management
  • Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning
  • Inform Decisions and Improve Understanding
  • Coordinate and Support
report focus areas of special emphasis
Report Focus: Areas of Special Emphasis
  • Resiliency and Adaptation to Climate Change and Ocean Acidification
  • Regional Ecosystem Protection and Restoration
  • Water Quality and Sustainable Practices on Land
  • Changing Conditions in the Arctic
  • Ocean, Coastal, and Great Lakes Observations and Infrastructure
ocean leadership s participation
Ocean Leadership’s Participation
  • Invited to present 2 formal lectures to the OPTF:
    • Role of Science in Ocean Policy
    • Science Requirements for Marine Spatial Planning
  • Participant in 4 Stakeholder Discussions including Ocean and Human Health roundtable
  • Developed 2 policy documents:
    • Deciphering the Ocean Climate System
    • Science Requirements for Marine Spatial Planning
  • Submitted comments and recommendations to the OPTF on the above topics
science priorities for a national ocean policy
Science Priorities for a National Ocean Policy
  • Changes in Ocean Productivity
  • Opening of the Arctic System
  • Forecasting and Adapting to

Sea Level Rise

  • Observing System Requirements
    • Research Priorities
    • Remote Sensing Priorities
    • In Situ Sensing Priorities
major science issues for msp
Major Science Issues for MSP
  • Marine environment much more dynamic than terrestrial systems (three dimensional, biology-driven, fluid environment).
  • Impacted by climate change, so future conditions increasingly difficult to predict just using historical data.
  • Significant gaps of information exist in basic science which need to be addressed in order to evaluate outcomes.
  • Multiple Agencies with varying missions, regulations and monitoring exist without a comprehensive plan for managing, integrating, and delivering products and services for MSP.
ocean leadership msp science requirements
Ocean Leadership MSP Science Requirements

Implementation and prioritization of MSP science requirements will be regional and goal-specific.

  • Conduct Regional Ecosystem Assessments
  • Support Continuity of Funding for Observations
  • Data Integration and Cyber Infrastructure
msp science requirements continued
MSP Science Requirements (continued)
  • Implementation and prioritization of MSP science requirements will be regional and goal-specific.
  • However, there are some basic observation requirements
    • Physical – temperature, salinity, bathymetry, currents
    • Geochemical – pH, oxygen, nutrients, water quality, dissolved carbon
    • Biological – chlorophyll, pathogens, population and diversity information
msp science requirements continued1
MSP Science Requirements (continued)
  • There are other use-specific high priority informational needs (e.g. avian migration, wind fields for siting wind farms)
  • Observations must be coupled with process studies for ecosystem assessments to be accurate.
  • Data from various observing systems must be integrated into models, forecasts and other products for planners and resource managers.
examples of existing federal observing modeling programs
Examples of Existing Federal Observing & Modeling Programs
  • Integrated Ocean Observing System – Multiple Agencies
  • Ocean Observatories Initiative - NSF
  • National Data Buoy Center - NOAA
  • Ocean Biological Information System – USGS
  • NMFS Surveys - NOAA
  • Oil Platform Data – MMS
  • Stream Flow – USGS
  • Stormwater - EPA
  • Remote Sensing Data – NOAA/NASA
examples of existing federal observing modeling programs1
Examples of Existing Federal Observing & Modeling Programs
  • Issues which need to be addressed:
    • The compatibility and sustainability of these systems
    • Data integration and dissemination
    • Management and integration of their budgets

An interactive ocean laboratory integrated by a leading-edge, multi-scalar cyberinfrastructure.

  • Open data policy
  • Near real time
  • Interactive
  • Scalable
  • Data provenance

Design Elements

  • 4 Global scale sites
  • 3 Regional cabled sites in the NE Pacific
  • Coastal scale arrays: Mid-Atlantic Pioneer Array, PNW Endurance Array
  • Each scale incorporates mobile assets
  • Cyberinfrastructure: enable adaptive sampling, custom observatory view, collaborative analysis
  • Interfaces for education users

Regional Scale Nodes

Power and Bandwidth from seafloor cable

Instrumented nodes on Juan de Fuca plate


Global Arrays

  • Fixed and mobile assets
  • Extended duration
  • Surface to near bottom water column coverage
  • Mesoscale footprint
  • Irminger Sea
  • Argentine Basin
  • Southern Ocean
  • Station PAPA*
ooi project team
OOI Project Team
  • Coordination/Integration: Ocean Leadership
  • Cyberinfrastructure: UC San Diego
  • Coastal and Global-Scale: WHOI with OSU and SIO
  • Regional Scale: University of Washington
  • Education and Public Engagement: TBD
ooi science themes
OOI Science Themes
  • Ocean-Atmosphere Exchange
  • Climate Variability, Ocean Circulation, and Ecosystems
  • Turbulent Mixing and Biophysical Interactions
  • Coastal Ocean Dynamics and Ecosystems
  • Fluid-Rock Interactions and the Sub-seafloor Biosphere
  • Plate-scale, Ocean Geodynamics

Additional Science Foci

  • Ocean ecosystem health
  • Climate change
  • Carbon cycling
  • Ocean acidification
getting involved
Getting Involved...
  • Open data access
  • Proposal process:
    • NSF standard merit review
    • Changes and/or additions to OOI Network will require additional technical guidance and information (feasibility assessments, facility usage, budgeting/scheduling, technical & cyberinfrastucture requirements, education, environmental, and security requirements).
    • NSF, OOI, UNOLS, U.S. Navy all involved in scheduling experiments and cruises
community participation in ooi
Community Participation in OOI
  • OOI Advisory Committees
    • Program Advisory Committee
    • TBD subcommittees and/or working groups
  • NSF Scientific Oversight Committee
  • Annual Project reviews
  • Community Science Workshops (Nov. 11-12, 2009 and spring 2010)
  • Future competitions for:
    • Pioneer Array location (3-5 year intervals)
    • Infrastructure Operations
ocean research priorities plan refresh
Ocean Research Priorities Plan Refresh
  • Initial ORPP release Jan 2007
  • “Refresh” initiated Spring 2009
  • Public comment period closed mid-July
  • ORPP helped inform the content of priorities identified in the Task Force Interim Report
  • Draft Refresh ORPP to be discussed at Town Halls
    • MTS/IEEE (October)
    • AGU (December)
    • Ocean Sciences Meeting (February 2010)
national ocean council dual level council
National Ocean CouncilDual Level Council


  • Periodically Update and Set Priorities
  • Provide Annual Direction on Implementation
  • Dispute Resolution

Deputy Level (NORLC)

  • Oversight of Execution of Implementation
  • Transmit Administration Priorities to Subcommittees
  • Coordinate with other EOP Offices
  • Guide and Receive Info from Advisory Bodies
  • Dispute Resolution
noc steering committee 4 members
NOC Steering Committee(4 Members)
  • Chair CEQ
  • Director OSTP

One chair “each”

  • Chair of Ocean Resource Management IPC
  • Chair of Ocean Science and Technology IPC


  • Key Forum for Integration and Coordination on Priorities Areas within the NOC
  • Ensure ORM & OST IPC Activities Fully Aligned
  • Extended Continental Shelf Task Force reports to Steering Committee
ocean science and technology interagency policy committee
Ocean Science and TechnologyInteragency Policy Committee


  • NSTC-JSOST serves as the OST-IPC
  • Reports to NSTC/CENR
  • Chairs appointed thru NSTC, in consultation with NOC
  • DAS-Level Participation


  • Ensure Interagency Implementation of National Policy
  • Develop (update) ORPPIS
  • Develop Charter, Strategic Plan –Approval by NSTC
  • May Establish Sub-IPCs
governance advisory committee 13 members
Governance Advisory Committee(13 Members)

(6) One From Each Region

  • Chosen by NOC in consultation with regional councils

(2) At-Large From Inland States

  • chosen by NOC in consultation with NGA

(3) Alaska, Pacific Islands, Caribbean

  • chosen by NOC in consultation with regional groups

(2) At-Large Tribal Representatives

  • Chosen by NOC in consultation with Indian organization
ocean research and resources advisory panel
Ocean Research and Resources Advisory Panel
  • Existing Body (ORRAP)
  • FACA Advisory Body to NORLC (Dep-Level NOC)
  • Membership: To Be Reviewed
  • Provide Independent Advice & Guidance to NOC
  • Receive Guidance and Direction from NOC
current status
Current Status
  • Successful Preliminary Design Review, Dec 2007
  • Successful Final Design Review, Nov 2008
  • Design modification review, March 2009
  • National Science Board approval in May 2009
  • Funding identified FY09, ARRA; in FY10 request
  • Construction phase started in Sept 2009