While Gulf coast residents may not always realize it, GCOOS data impact their lives in large and small ways almost every day. The data our partners collect and that we disseminate are crucial for things such as predicting storm intensification, supporting a safe offshore energy industry and even keeping people safe from toxic algal blooms.
In 2023, ocean temperatures around the world soared to unprecedented levels. As our climate continues to change, ecosystems and coastal communities will continue to be impacted by sea level rise and more severe weather patterns. These changes mean that the GCOOS mission is even more important today than when ocean observation systems were first envisioned decades ago.
Since 2005, GCOOS has been working to build a robust, sustained, operational system that integrates physical, meteorological, biogeochemical, biological, bathymetric and other types of data critical to understanding our changing climate, as well as the short- and long-term impacts of changing weather patterns.
Because we are a data provider certified by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), coastal communities can rest assured that GCOOS meets the gold standard for data gathering and management practices and operates inclusively, transparently and with stakeholder guidance to help us determine system priorities.
Developing such a robust system of on-demand data from across the Gulf of Mexico in U.S. and international waters would not be possible without strong partners in industry, academia and at governmental and nongovernmental organizations in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.
And, recognizing that oceans have no boundaries, we’re extending our partnerships beyond the U.S. Gulf states to include partners from Mexico and the wider Caribbean.
This report provides a brief summary of the work we undertook in 2023 to support a healthy Gulf and resilient coastal communities.
Jorge Brenner, Ph.D.