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Spring 2004 Summary Notes

Pre-Organizational Workshop, June 1-3, 2004, Jekyll Island, Georgia. Some working groups established.

You can download these summary notes as a Word Document, an Open Document, or an Adobe PDF. You can also view a list of attendees.

Certification/Governance Working Group


The primary objective of this working group is to identify relevant issues and provide recommendations for interim and long-term governance of the regional association. The group will utilize the regional association certification criteria to initiate discussion and provide initial recommendations. In addition, this group shall address issues associated with future funding and general administrative operations of the regional association. The framework for this working group response is provided in the Draft RA Governance Criterion Document.

  • Legal Structure
  • Membership Policy
  • Governing Board
  • User Representation

Workshop Representation

  • Madilyn Fletcher
  • Marvin Moss
  • Robert F. Van Dolah
  • William A. Venezia
  • Van Waddell
  • Otis Brown
  • Matthew R. Gilligan
  • Paul Scholz
  • Mac Rawson
  • Jim Sanders
  • Elizabeth Waters
  • Rick Devoe (Facilitator)

Discussion Summary

Governance Options

  • Formalized PI – Working Group
  • Limited Membership NFP
  • Open Membership NFP
  • State Chartered Organization
  • Intergovernmental Organization


Open membership NFP w/some membership requirements

  • Membership Driven
  • Involve Non-traditional Partners (diversity)
  • Political Support


  • Direct
  • Thru Advisory Mechanisms
  • Individuals vs. Entities
  • Relevance Criteria
  • Fee/Dues Based
  • Tiers (Full/Associate/Affiliates)
  • Sectors
    • Universities
    • Government Entities (State & Federal, Local representatives)
    • Private Sector (multiple)
    • NGOs
    • Existing COOS
    • Quasi-government


  • RA Support – Where is the $$?
  • Funding – “Earmarking” to “Allocation”
  • Need – Inventory of Existing Assets
  • RA – will force us to make fundamental changes in how we do business
  • Must ensure adequate representation geographically

Establish an RA “Working Group” (Organizing Committee)

  • Refine vision, mission, purpose of SECOORA
  • Develop draft membership & governing body “strawman” documents for broad dissemination prior to fall summit
  • Drafts
  • Circulate to all
  • Revision
  • Final draft out prior to summit
  • ID state w/in which to incorporate
  • Representative process
  • TRUST is a key issue in this process
  • 5 to 7 person organizing committee

Reporting to the Troops

  • SECOORA exists
  • SECOORA will do a, b, c,…
  • ID process/steps for making SECOORA “real”
  • Open, continuous communication
  • Here’s why you should care & participate!
  • Fall Summit

Governing Board

  • Membership
  • Board (“sector” representatives)
  • Executive Committee (Implementation)
  • Staff

Observing Systems Working Group


The primary objective of this working group is to identify regional observing system resources and contacts, identify and discuss recommendations for future national backbone and regional system enhancements, identify and discuss regional DMAC issues, and identify issues and recommendations concerning the evolution of existing systems into a regional operational system. The framework for this working group response is provided in the Regional Association Strategic Plan Outline.

  • Existing Regional Observing System Resources
  • Regional & Backbone Issues, Needs, & Priorities
  • Data & Information Management Issues
  • Long-Term Research & Operational System Issues

Workshop Representation

  • Jim Nelson
  • Lynn Leonard
  • Joe Ramus
  • Dwayne Porter
  • George A. Maul
  • Lee Dantzler
  • Sandra Vargo
  • Alex Soloviev
  • George Sedberry
  • Peter Sheng
  • Geno Olmi
  • Gary Zarillo
  • Rick Gleeson
  • Stan Boc
  • Peter Ortner
  • Pam Knox
  • Jack Thigpen (Facilitator)

Discussion Summary

Integrated Information Management

  • Need inventory of existing observational programs and their data management practices.
  • Take advantage of SURA SCOOP program
  • Look to nest finer scale estuarine models with coastal ocean models
  • Watersheds important to users need this as a focus (e.g., contaminants); other potential topical approaches – rip currents, erosion, sediment transport, safety at sea
  • Need interdisciplinary studies – fisheries, erosion, pollutants
  • Identification of users and their needs
  • Regional data aggregation – not central repository but centralized data access via distributed system
  • May be need to retain identity of contributors
  • Need to be wary of what we call real time, also plan for allowing users to access information on episodic events (episodic users)
  • RA should take active role in urging use of standards and should have a DMAC committee to address the issue

Southeast regional priorities for observing platforms and sensors

  • Need to identify gaps in sensor deployment.
  • Need to develop a regional strategy for sensor deployment – not one currently – all done independently. Strategy needs to be consistent with IOOS implementation (e.g., national system of HF Radar.
  • Need investment strategy for obs in SE region.
  • Look for efficiencies in sensor deployment (ship schedule) and redundancies of equipment.
Desired investments
  • Gulf Stream edge (buoys) central Florida and up through NC
  • obs and models for freshwater input to coastal ocean and commercial shipping interests - Indian River, St. Johns River, ape Fear
  • Directional wave information – add to NDBC buoys
  • Optical properties – need reliable long term observations in more spatial density – PAR, chlorophyll,
  • Sustainability
  • HF Radar
  • Long term programs – timing for transmission, GPS, long term water level for climatic information
  • Sensors (passive and active acoustic sensors) for determining spawning aggregations
  • Near shore and inshore sensors for water quality
  • Need directory of available expertise in region

Southeast regional priorities for linking observations to modeling and information products

  • Need identification of users and real time and model products – who will pay?
  • Role of public vs. private sector in supplying data and information products.
  • Need additional sensors deployed to provide input to model and help paramatize and validate models (air sea heat flux)
  • Run sensitivity analyses to identify sensor deployment
  • Link in nested fashion various models (physical, biological, water level, etc)
  • Identify, inventory, improve and maintain core data sets needed in region.
  • Identify where models are not providing particularly good forecasts – run sensitivity analyses to identify placement of sensors – also shows weaknesses of models.

Research and Operations

Guidance: What user needs can not be met without further research?

Methodological/technical research:
  • Surface current radar – how radar output relates to surface and subsurface currents. How can we measure the near shore area with radar (e.g., for rip currents).
  • Need R&D for improvement of sensors for accurate long term reliability
  • Transmittal of real time – data compression and transmission
  • Water level for model verification (coastal flooding)
  • Satellite data – how to use in regional system?
  • Model integration, performance, sensitivity analyses, for instrument placement and model calibration and verification (system design)
  • Species specific information on biological components –
  • Fouling issue
Priority Research Areas
  • Gulf Stream Variation
  • Fisheries Recruitment
  • Harmful Algal Blooms
  • Estuarine-Shelf Interactions
  • Relationship between shallow water productivity and physical forcing (at different scales)
  • Directional surface waves spectra
  • Sediment resources and beach erosion
  • Coastal hazards impact on coastal communities
  • Estuarine shelf linkages (3D model)
  • Fish spawning and recruitment in relation to MPA
  • Human health and economic perspectives – modeling of fecal coli form contamination
  • Eros ional hot spots
  • Coastal climate and absolute sea level change
  • Monitoring and modeling coastal disposal sites
  • HAB automated detection and model prediction
  • Ecosystem effects of hurricanes
  • Atmospherically forced shear, temp and salinity gradients
  • Outer boundary conditions for outer shelf
  • ID essential fish habitat
  • Integrated models – processes, scale
  • Development of indicators of ecosystem health
  • Documenting and explaining unusual events
  • Regional sediment resource management
  • Socioeconomic scenario modeling
  • Forecasting for sustainable development
  • Interaction of land base sources with offshore for nutrient enrichment
  • Better integration of various technologies for sampling
  • Annual and inter-annual variation of coastal circulation
  • Biogeochemical and ecological significance of benthic processes
  • Identification of best practices for outreach to end users
  • Paradigm shift in competitive to collaborative methods (conducting research/operational (observations)
  • Ephemeral fish habitats, upwelling, patch reefs
  • Relationship between land use and coastal habitats (function)
  • Atmospheric contribution of pollutants to ocean
  • Sea level rise effects on communities from climate change
  • Atlantic tsunamis

Primary considerations for maintaining an operational system along with recommendations for transitioning research to operations

  • What are appropriate roles for feds, universities and private contractors.
  • Transition from research to operational – who, how?
  • Formal established relationships with specific stakeholders. Vested interest.
  • Public vs. Private for value added products.
  • Education process (K-16) – make information available to teachers.
  • Work force training.
  • Consistency of resources
  • Need variety of investment sources – state, fed, private. Problem that all are in different timing and priority (fiscal years).
  • Endowment to smooth out funding streams (emergencies).
System design
  • System bandwidth is a problem – will become more severe as platforms expand; especially further offshore.
  • How does RA management determine system design and protocols for design, deployment, and maintenance.
  • SURA infrastructure – virtual grid for sharing data and models. Extremely high speed internet.
  • Vessel availability and capacity.
  • System robustness and redundancy for quick repair and replacement.
  • Platform design standardization. RA may serve as bank for redundancy.

Resource Management/Agency Stakeholders Working Group


The primary objective of this working group (along with the future stakeholder working groups) is to identify the region’s relevant stakeholders, identify stakeholder issues and priorities related to observing system capabilities, identify data and information management issues, identify issues related to the state of knowledge/technology of the stakeholder group and its end users, and provide recommendations for engaging stakeholder participation in the regional association process. The framework for this working group response is provided in the Regional Association Strategic Plan Outline.

Regional Public Sector/Agency Stakeholders

  • Stakeholder Group Issues & Priorities (Related to IOOS)
  • Data & Information Management Issues
  • Engaging Regional Agency Stakeholders

Workshop Representation

  • David Stooksbury
  • Paula May
  • Katherine Andrews
  • Lisa Robbins
  • Brian Keller
  • Jena Carter
  • Mark Leadon
  • Bart Bibler
  • Roger Pugliese
  • Jim Sullivan
  • Don Jackson
  • Henry Ansley
  • Chris Simoniello (Facilitator)

Discussion Summary

Regional priorities for data & information from resource manager/stakeholder

  • Integrate existing data – Offshore to shoreline to estuary to watershed
  • Multi-level interface and data analysis and archives
  • Credibility Gap (need for QA/QC)
  • Agreement on what constitutes a good standard-particularly for biological measurements (e.g. EPA, Monterey Bay NMS)
  • Data use with existing GIS databases
  • CSC Survey on Resource Managers Data & Interface Preferences
  • Need more data - particularly nearshore coastal
  • Maintain and upgrade existing data sources such as stream gauge network
  • Bathymetry data/wave forcing in to coastline
  • Sediment transport (e.g. Charleston Bump, FL DEP (currently survey entire coastline once every 4 y)
  • Emergency managers-need for physical data-especially from offshore sensors.
  • National security/law enforcement

Regional priorities resource manager/stakeholder- observations and research applications

  • Acoustic monitoring (e.g. fish and vessels)
  • Aerial Deposition
  • Bathymetry
  • Buoy coverage (comprehensive relative to habitat)
  • Coastal Forcing/Sediment Budgets
  • Estuarine Circulation (including models)
  • Expanded baseline data (e.g. T, S, DO)
  • HABs (predictive modeling/use of satellites)
  • Near real-time circulation data (e.g. HF radar for surface currents)
  • Nutrient data
  • Overlap study sites with locations where endangered species present (e.g. right whales, turtles)
  • Pathogens/tracking sources
  • Remote Sensing-for fisheries habitat e.g. sargassum ID from space
  • Subsurface Profiling (ctd, adcp)
  • Water quality (e.g. impact on conch reproduction/endocrine disrupters)
  • Pilot Studies
    • NMS sites – Grays Reef or Florida Keys -already have series of sensors/existing data coast to offshore: use to demonstrate utility of integrative system (near-term results)
    • Savannah River – port site & two states
    • Take advantage of swath coverage off GA coast to test use of acoustic sensors for fish tracking, etc (more long term results)

Regional Needs in Training and Education

  • Basic information on “how to use” within our own organization
  • Provide visualizations for public-include explanations of phenomena
  • Public access that is “click-on easy” (May require explanations as well as data)
  • Managers need explanations of data-but question is “how much is needed”
  • SECOORA website can list upcoming meetings/conferences. Establish clearing house with links to other sites
  • Some materials should be produced by SECOORA-others by individual offices, but shared through link via clearinghouse
  • Look for education opportunities via weather channel and/or local TV. Have an “ocean report” on the news. Do same for other media as well.
  • Discussion on how to reach “inside” groups at some level beyond one-on-one (e.g. attend relevant conferences)
  • Need to engage minority groups
  • Need to accommodate groups without access to digital data
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