Data Privacy Policy

Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System (GCOOS) Data Privacy Policy

The Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System (GCOOS) Regional Coastal Observing System (RCOS) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization responsible for developing a network of business leaders, marine scientists, resource managers, governmental and non-governmental organizations, and other stakeholder groups that contributes data to provide timely information about the Gulf of Mexico. The GCOOS mission is to provide on-demand information about the Gulf’s coastal and open ocean waters that is accurate, reliable and benefits people, ecosystems and the economy. With members from Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida, GCOOS has established a sustained observing system for the Gulf of Mexico to provide observations and products needed by users in four key Focus Areas:

  • Marine Operations
  • Coastal Hazards
  • Healthy Ecosystems & Living Resources
  • Human Health & Safety

GCOOS is one of 11 RCOSs that partner with the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System, U.S. IOOS®, a federal, regional, private sector partnership committed to tracking, predicting, managing and adapting to changes in ocean, coastal and Great Lakes environments. GCOOS is led by a Board of Directors and supported by grants from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), other agencies and foundations, and donations. GCOOS members are institutions or individuals actively engaged in conducting observations of the Gulf of Mexico coastal environment or end users of data, products or services resulting from these observing programs. Non-U.S. entities can become non-voting associate members.

In service of its mission, GCOOS collects information about those who contribute data to the regional repository, subscribe to communication materials, and/or visit our websites and services (* This data and the information derived are used internally to improve and enhance security to maintain the integrity of the data system and websites, and to continually monitor the use of the facilities to ensure that resources allocated are sufficient and can sustain operations.

Our primary website address is:

Information Collected

Comments and Media

Our websites do not allow comments or allow users to upload media. Some media contributions and comments are emails sent to an organizational email box that, in turn, forwards the messages to individual email boxes. The messages are read and scrutinized but never archived. However, staff or meeting participants may gather screen captures or take photos during in-person events. During GCOOS meetings, participants are informed that photos may be taken and videos of the proceedings may be recorded for future use. Any recordings and/or photographs are made assist with the transcription and documentation of the discussions, and may also be used to support outreach opportunities related to GCOOS organizational activities and the fulfillment of its mission. No such media recorded for such purposes is ever sold or provided to third parties for any use other than to promote the GCOOS organizational mission.

Sign-Up Forms and Registrations

Newsletters and other forms of media subscription require the users to provide their names and emails. GCOOS employs a third-party digital marketing service, Constant Contact, to manage the delivery of enewsletters. Constant Contact is an online marketing company that collects information at the direction of, and as a service to, its customers, including GCOOS. Any emails you receive through Constant Contact include an easy, automated way to cease user subscription or change your expressed interests. Campaigns sent from Constant Contact may include a web beacon or other tracking technology, which allows us to determine whether you open an email, as well as what you click on, the email delivery status, and geographic location. Constant Contact shares the collected log data, including your IP address if public, browser type, and version with GCOOS. These data are used to optimize campaigns, customize offerings, and understand the level of engagement. Image Web Beacons can be refused when delivered via email by disabling HTML images or refusing HTML (select Text only) emails via your email software. Constant Contact is located in and stores and processes information in the United States. By opening emails sent to our members and audience by GCOOS via Constant Contact, you agree to the above and the applicable provisions of the Constant Contact Privacy Statement. Users may block or disable cookies or other trackers by changing the settings on personal browsers.

Campaigns and Awards

Campaigns, such as the Matthew Howard Scholarship Fund conducted by GCOOS, do not collect the details of the donor. GCOOS utilizes the facility to manage all donations. GCOOS signed a Data Processing Agreement with LLC. To the extent necessary to enable Customers to comply with its obligations under Applicable Data Protection Law, further agrees to comply with any required provisions of the GDPR Schedule (other than when acting in accordance with Section 1.2 (Authorization to Process) of this DPA) and/or CCPA Schedule, each, to the extent applicable.

Data Providers Registrations

Data providers register their details with GCOOS to allow GCOOS to create an account to facilitate data submission to the GCOOS data server. These details are never shared or used for purposes other than account creation. The database is accessible only by the system administrator and mirrored externally in a secured network requiring network authentication managed by the Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi IT Department.


GCOOS websites and data services use ‘cookies’ and ‘beacons’ to enhance the user experience. Users have the option to reject the cookies by reconfiguring their browsers. These cookies, contain no personal data and are discarded when the browser is closed. Cookies remain on the client’s computer and are never downloaded or shared.

Web Analytics

GCOOS gathers web traffic information through a third party service, Google Analytics, and AWStats. The data collected is used to analyze traffic. These data include: originating country or host, robots/spider visits, downloads, operating system and browser used, referring search engines and keywords, number of visitors, hit counts, and data bandwidth. The analytical results help GCOOS determine architectural strategies to sustain or improve services. All information is aggregated and individuals are not personally identifiable.

Embedded Content from other Websites

Articles on the GCOOS website may include embedded or third-party content (e.g., videos, images, articles, registration forms, etc.). Embedded content from other websites behaves exactly as if the visitor has visited the other website. These websites may collect data about you use cookies, embed additional third-party tracking, and monitor your interaction with that embedded content, including tracking your interaction with the embedded content if you have an account and are logged in to that website.

Changes to Policy

GCOOS reserves the right to change this Privacy Policy at any time and publish the changes promptly. GCOOS members, data providers and facility users should review the Policy regularly to learn about changes.

Additional Information

For questions concerning this Data Privacy Policy, please contact GCOOS Executive Director, Dr. Jorge Brenner (email: