The Gulf Research Program of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has announced a new collaboration with Shell and others to provide $1 million in funding support for a pilot effort to convert an existing ocean mooring owned by Shell into the first long-term deep ocean observatory in the Gulf of Mexico. Known as the Stones Metocean Observatory Project, this collaboration will provide a new means to collect important marine data to support scientific research and improve understanding of the Gulf of Mexico.
The concept of utilizing existing oil and gas infrastructure to facilitate comprehensive ocean observation for broader scientific purposes has been discussed by researchers for many years. The Stones Metocean Observatory Project aims to pilot one of the first efforts to do so. The ultimate goal is for the project to serve as a model that other offshore oil and gas operators can follow to make their infrastructure available to help create a network of similar ocean observatories throughout the Gulf of Mexico and beyond.
GCOOS will play a key role in this project by managing the data produced and making it accessible to all.