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PO Box 1045 ::: Johns Island, SC 29457 ::: Debra Hernandez, Executive Director, 843.906.8686 ::: Susannah Sheldon, Program Coordinator, 843.696.6837

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About SECOORA :: Why Do We Need More? :: Who Are The Users? :: SECOORA Components :: From The U.S. Ocean Action Plan :: IOOS Defined :: Ocean Information Cooperative :: Data Providers


SECOORA is to be designed and operated to provide data, information and products on marine and estuarine systems. Information will be provided to users in a common manner and according to sound scientific practice. SECOORA will include the infrastructure and expertise required for this system.

The purpose of SECOORA is to:

  • represent the interests of those that use, depend on, study and manage coastal environments and their resources in the southeast region;
  • be a legal entity that provides a fiscal agent with final responsibility for acceptance and expenditure of funds according to the rules of grantors of the funds, insurability, and the ability to enter into enforceable contracts;
  • represent a partnership or consortium of data providers and users from state and federal agencies, private industry, non-governmental institutions and academia;
  • provide a means by which the Regional Association and the public at large benefit from and contribute to the development and sustained operation of an integrated ocean observing system for the open ocean (to the EEZ boundary) and the regional estuaries;
  • ensure continued and routine flow of data and information and the evolution of SECOORA to adapt to the needs of the user groups and the timely incorporation of new technologies and understanding based on these needs.



When viewed as representative dots on a regional map, the existing coverage of ocean observations looks far more dense and expansive than it actually is. There are differences in the variables measured, sampling frequencies, accessibility and duration of records at the various locations. In addition, many of the observing stations are associated with ongoing research and development efforts and are not yet reliable enough for operational use. There is a need to establish a sustainable operational system that can provide consistent, reliable data for the numerous regional coastal ocean users.


  • Weather Forecasting
  • Search and Rescue
  • Recreational Boating
  • Shipping
  • Maritime Industries
  • Surfing and Swimming
  • Commercial Fishing
  • Diving
  • Energy and Utilities
  • Cruise Industry
  • Fisheries Management
  • Erosion Management
  • Recreational Fishing
  • Marine Science Research
  • Science Education
  • Emergency Preparedness
  • Public Health
  • Habitat Restoration
  • Oil Spill Response
  • Homeland Security
  • Marine Protected Areas
  • Aquaculture



  • Buoy Systems
  • Coastal and Riverine Sensors
  • Satellite Observations
  • Field Measurements
  • Ship Observations
  • Airborne Observations
  • Computer Models
  • Ecological Forecasts
  • Education
  • Atmospheric Measurements
  • Information Integration



"Advancing Our Understanding of the Oceans, Coasts, and Great Lakes. "

  • Develop an Ocean Research Priorities Plan and Implementation Strategy
  • Build a Global Earth Observation Network, Including Integrated Ocean Observations
  • Develop and Deploy New State of the Art Research and Survey Vessels
  • Create a National Water Quality Monitoring Network.
  • Coordinate Ocean and Coastal Mapping Activities
  • Implement New Legislation on Oceans and Human Health, Harmful Algal Blooms, and Hypoxia
  • Increase Ocean Education Coordination




Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) is an interagency, cooperative effort based on a sustained network of buoys, ships, satellites, underwater vehicles and other platforms that routinely collect real-time data and manage historical information. These data are needed for rapid detection and timely prediction of changes in our nation’s coastal waters. IOOS will process and disseminate the data under one umbrella for broad public access. For further information see

SECOORA is one of 11 Regional Associations (RAs) being established through IOOS. The RAs will be guided by the priorities of user groups within each region. The RAs will help steer programs of the U.S. federal agencies, ensuring that the national information "backbone" maintained under IOOS meets the needs of the regional Observing System nodes and their users.



A cooperative is an organization that is controlled by those who use its products or services. Although cooperatives vary in types and membership size, they are all formed to meet the needs of members and can adapt to the changing needs of users.

The concept for ocean observing regional associations is similar. As coastal populations increase, along with recreational, resource, and transportation uses for the coastal ocean, there is more demand than ever for real-time and historical ocean information. Issues ranging from weather forecasting to marine safety to public health all require long-term consistent measurement of ocean conditions.

The goal of SECOORA is to establish a sustainable ocean information cooperative that can meet the specific needs of southeast ocean users.



The Regional Coastal Ocean Observing System (RCOOS) component of SECOORA aggregates ocean observations from a variety of data providers throughout the Southeast.

Federal Observations Providers

Subregional and Local Observations Providers


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