The Oregon Coastal Ocean Observing System (OrCOOS) is a recent partner in the Nations ongoing efforts to develop an Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS). OrCOOS, which is funded primarily through NOAA's National Ocean Service (NOS), is partnered with the Northwest Association of Networked Ocean Observing Systems (NANOOS), a NOAA recognized regional association for the Pacific Northwest. Other potential OrCOOS partners include, Oregon State University (OSU), Oregon Health and Sciences University (OHSU), University of Oregon (UO), Western Environmental Technology Laboratories (WET Labs) Inc., Oregon Sea Grant, and the state of Oregon Departments of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD), Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI), Environmental Quality (DEQ), and Fish and Wildlife (ODFW).
The overarching goal of OrCOOS is to establish and maintain an observing system to preserve and enhance the safe and sustained use of Oregons coastal ocean. OrCOOS expects to achieve this goal by facilitating the integration of a wide variety of near real-time ocean observing and modeling systems. Examples of such systems include moorings, undersea autonomous vehicles, a land-based surface current mapping and wave detection radar array, and nowcast and forecast fields of sea surface currents and temperature derived from an ocean circulation model. The output of these systems is available at orcoos.org.
The OrCOOS objectives for its first year of operation are:
deploy a mid-shelf oceanographic mooring off the central Oregon coast capable of telemetering data to shore in near real-time
develop a management plan and structure for OrCOOS
upgrade telecommunications and network infrastructure within the College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences, OSU, to facilitate the flow of data into OrCOOS and the subsequent output of user products
enhance the use of existing land-based coastal radar data into readily accessible formats
work to verify the skill of a preliminary ocean circulation model forecast
continue involvement and collaboration with NANOOS and IOOS
In keeping with the first year objectives, OrCOOS deployed, on June 20, 2006, the first of three proposed buoys. The buoy (NH-10) is moored 10 miles offshore of Newport, Oregon. Data on surface temperature and salinity, a full set of meteorological parameters, and near-bottom temperature, salinity and dissolved oxygen are reported to shore once per day. It is hoped that this data transfer rate will increase to four times per day with future deployments. OrCOOS NH-10 mooring turnarounds are scheduled for April and July 2007.
Working together with an Oregon Sea Grant Extension Agent located in Newport, Oregon, OrCOOS personnel are actively engaging stakeholders such as Oregon fishermen through the SAFE (Scientists and Fishermen Exchange) program, port liaisons through the Port Liaison Project (PLP) and other OrCOOS partners in an attempt to identify useful ocean products, improve existing observing systems and highlight the importance of an ocean observing system for both Oregon and the Nation.