Federal funds totaling $2.5 million have been awarded to the Alaska Ocean Observing System for the first year of an anticipated five-year cooperative agreement in support of ocean and coastal observing activities in Alaska.
AOOS said June 27 that those funds would be used for a broad range of projects.
From updating a historical sea ice atlas and year-round ecosystem observing in the Chukchi Sea to ocean acidification ship surveys in the Gulf of Alaska, buoys in the Gulf and Bering Sea, and a statewide outreach network for stakeholders.
Other projects include combined weather and ship tracking information systems managed by the Marine Exchange of Alaska and high frequency radar stations to measure surface currents in real time for oil spill response and improved search and rescue operations.
AOOS funds are part of over $31 million in federal grants awarded this year by the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System to maintain and expand ocean, coastal and Great Lakes observing efforts throughout the United States, Caribbean and Pacific.
“Ocean observing is a collaborative effort, and in order to build a strong, comprehensive national network, it’s essential that we work with dynamic regional associations who are integrated into the communities they serve,” said Zdenka Willis, director of the U.S. IOOS program.