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NEWS ARCHIVES - January - April 2005

27 APRIL 2005 - Recent National Federation of Regional Associations news:

  • The final NFRA Terms of Reference, which outlines a plan to realize NFRA's goal to "make major contributions to the attainment of a robust and sustained national presence for regional coastal and ocean observing systems and the Regional Associations (RAs)…a key component of the IOOS" is available here (download as a word doc)
  • NFRA has also recently provided comments on and suggested language for HR 1489, The Coastal Ocean Observing System Integration and Implementation Act of 2005 to Wayne T. Gilchrest, Chair of the Subcommittee on Fisheries and Oceans. The letter from David Martin, Chair of NFRA, can be accessed here (download as a word doc)
  • NFRA will hold a Governing Committee Meeting on 2 May 2005 at the CORE offices in Washington, DC. The above referenced Terms of Reference will be signed, the Work Plan will be discussed, and NFRA officers will be elected. The agenda and Work Plan are posted here: agenda (word doc), work plan (word doc)

27 APRIL 2005 - SCCOOS will be generating an “Existing practices and short term needs assessment for data management” white paper. If you are interested in participating, please send an email to

14 APRIL 2005 - Eric Terrill, Lisa Lelli, and Mark Otero of SIO visited NOAA's NDBC to discuss development of a national HF radar data management program for IOOS. The project is expected to build off successes from the NSF sponsored ROADNet program, and will build from an IT infrastructure that has been designed for the State of California sponsored Coastal Ocean Currents Monitoring Program. Meeting participants will include principals within both NOAA NOS and NOAA NDBC.

13 APRIL 2005 - SCCOOS recently submitted it’s mid-year report to NOAA’s Coastal Services Center and to Ocean.US. The report can be accessed here. (download as a pdf)

12 APRIL 2005 - Eric Terrill briefed the Orange County Coastal Coalition on SCCOOS at a meeting of 50-60 attendees from both the public and private sectors. The meeting was co-chaired by County Supervisors Tom Wilson (5th District and Vice Chairman of the Boad) and Jim Silva (2nd District). 

12 APRIL 2005 - At a stakeholder meeting held at the Orange County Sanitation District, Burt Jones and Bob Guza presented an overview of SCCOOS/COCMP, and discussed plans for a San Pedro Bay Nearshore Experiment. The attendees supported focusing the nearshore effort on the region immediately north of the Santa River mouth in the Huntington Beach region, and agreed to help obtain the required permits. Representatives from several agencies indicated interest in collaboration. A discussion of the nearshore study with additional stakeholders is planned for the (statewide) Beach Water Quality Working Group on May 18. (Download the April 12 meeting invititation as a word doc)

11 APRIL 2005 - The California Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Blue Ribbon Task Force selected an area stretching from Pigeon Pt. to Pt. Conception as a central coast study region for developing alternative proposals for networks of marine protected areas (MPAs). For more information, contact Melissa Miller-Henson (MLPA) 530.400.2545 or Mike Wintemute (DFG) 916.651.6443.

Optimism abounds at first meeting of new ocean council
10 April 2005, North County Times

The task before the governor's new Ocean Protection Council is a daunting one: to coordinate the myriad state agencies that manage California's 1,100 miles of coastline. More than ever, local communities set policies on fish and game, water quality, energy, pollution, coastal development, parks and land preservation. The result is a state ocean policy that most agree is fractured and badly in need of repair.
Click here to view the full story

5-6 APRIL 2005 - SCCOOS delegates attended the Coast and California's Watersheds: Sacramento Symposium. Organized by the Southern California Wetlands Recovery Project, the California Watershed Network and CalCoast, the program included talks by Mike Wellbourne, Leslie Mintz, and John Woodbusy, and brought attendees together with administration decision-makers and elected officials.

30-31 MARCH 2005 - Julie Thomas and Bill O'Reilly of the Coastal Data Information Program (CDIP) visited the National Data Buoy Center (NDBC) to provide input on structuring ocean wave observation systems for IOOS. Discussions also included the system enhancement of existing NDBC buoys for measuring directional waves. NDBC has received funds earmarked for additional directional wave measurements, and estimates that they can upgrade approximately 25 stations over the next few years with these funds. NDBC has clearly put a significant effort into reaching out to the COOS regions for input on their directional wave needs. Fruitful discussions took place concerning how to add directional sensors to existing NDBC stations in a way that both advances the creation of an offshore deep water directional wave backbone for the entire US, while also addressing each region's coastal wave information priorities.

28 MARCH 2005 - A modeling group from SCCOOS composed of Yi Chao (JPL), Bruce Cornuelle (Scripps) and Jim McWilliams (UCLA), along with investigators from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute and the Naval Research Laboratory have submitted a proposal to a broad agency announcement from the National Ocean Partnership Program (NOPP) to examine and further develop regional modeling capacities. If funded, the program will significantly improves the regions's ability to predict oceanic conditions on the west coast, and will be a component of the Global Ocean Data Assimation Experiment (GODAE). Both SCCOOS and CENCOOS have submitted letters of support for this effort. (download as a pdf)

23 MARCH 2005 - Ocean.US, the IOOS national office, has announced publication of the 2005 IOOS Data Management and Communications (DMAC) Plan (replacing the May 2004 draft plan): Data Management and Communications Plan for Research and Operational Integrated Ocean Observing Systems. I. Interoperable Data Discovery, Access, and Archive. (March 2005: download as a pdf). This Plan incorporates revisions made in response to comments received during the public review period announced in the November 10, 2004 Federal Register.

Background: Congress has directed the U.S. marine science community to come together to plan, design, and implement a sustained Integrated Ocean Observing
System (IOOS). A coherent strategy for integrating marine data streams across disciplines, institutions, time scales, and geographic regions is central to the success of IOOS. In turn, the ability of IOOS to provide integrated data streams will be vitally important to emerging regional, national, and international ocean and coastal observing systems, and national research initiatives. The DMAC Plan provides a framework for developing interoperability among independent, heterogeneous data management programs and activities.

23 MARCH 2005 - Eric Terrill will provide a background briefing on SCCOOS to the Orange County Coastal Coalition meeting 12 April 2005. The Orange County Coastal Coalition is an association of local, regional, state and federal agencies, non-profit organizations, private industry and the public whose role is to advocate, educate and coordinate activities along the Orange County coast. The meeting is co-chaired by County Supervisors Tom Wilson (5th District and Vice Chairman of the Board) and Jim Silva (2nd District) and is usually attended by people from both the public and private sectors.

23 MARCH 2005 - The Pacific Coast Ocean Observing System (PaCOOS) held a Meeting of the Board of Governors 16-17 March in Seattle, Washington. SCCOOS Executive Steering Committee Chair, Russ Davis, attended the meeting and provided a review of SCCOOS-PaCOOS coordination. PaCOOS aims to provide the ocean information needed for the sustained use of fishery resources and protection of marine species and their ecosystem under a changing climate. For more information about PaCOOS, visit The Board of Governor's meeting agenda may be downloaded as a pdf from

15 MARCH 2005 - The NSF is soliciting proposals for Development of Technologies for Coastal Observing Systems and the Study of Benthic Boundary Layer Processes.  This program solicitation, the first to be released in conjunction with NSF OCE's Ocean Research Interactive Observatory Networks (ORION) Program, has as its primary goal the development of those technologies that will enable advances in the understanding of benthic boundary layer (BBL) processes. NSF estimates supporting 2 to 6 standard or continuing grants from this competition. A total of approximately $5.5 million is anticipated, pending the availability of funds, over three years beginning in FY 2005. Proposals are due 18 May 2005. For the complete solicitation, see

Seabird SBE 37 Microcats being secured by the IOE's Levanto Schachter and MBARI's Mike Kelley. photo by Nicolas Gruber
10 MARCH 2005 - SCCOOS received executive approval from the State Coastal Conservancy for the Year One work program for the Coastal Ocean Currents Monitoring Program (COCMP). The funding will establish the COCMP, a partnership of academic and government institutions working with industry and private organizations to design a real-time monitoring system for currents along the coastline. $10,200,000 is being allocated each to SCCOOS and to a similarly organized consortium in Central and Northern California (CENCOOS). The state's funding will be used to monitor and map currents along much of the 1,100-mile coast of California, and to relate that information to the movement of pollution and other safety hazards in the water and on the shore. Planning has been underway for this project since the summer of 2002; formal approval of the workplan (download pdf) will allow the observational groups to access funds to begin implementing the system immediately. The proposal and related documents are available in the documents section of this website.

8 MARCH 2005 - A meeting to develop the SCCOOS web components for an eight-week Weather and Ocean Monitoring Program under development by the Ocean Institute was held at SIO on Monday, 7 March 2005. The eight-week program is being designed to meet 5th grade Earth Science standards on the water cycle and weather; it will include new classroom activities, science kits, CD-ROMs, web-based materials, field trips, teacher professional development and will incorporate SCCOOS science and scientists as a link to research being done in the field. Curriculum development for this program will occur over a three-year period, and will include teacher focus groups and training sessions in order to develop a program that effectively helps prepare students for California science standards and rigorous new assessments. The program will be piloted with approximately 500 students in three school districts. Present at the meeting were Harry Helling, Sue Magdziarz and Jennifer Long of the Ocean Institute, Lauren Vu-Tran, Science Coordinator for the Beckman @ Science Program and the Fountain Valley School District, Sandee Wilbur of Chaparral Elementary School in Ladera Ranch, and SIO E&O personnel, curriculum developers and staff.

1 MARCH 2005 - Niki Gruber's UCLA team has deployed the second of three SCCOOS moorings in Santa Monica Bay.

25 FEBRUARY 2005 - John Orcutt will present "Global Ocean Seismology Observatory" before the Luso-American foundation on 16 March 2005 in Lisbon, Portugal.

22 FEBRUARY 2005 - SCCOOS Participant Uwe Send conducted the first of the three SCCOOS mooring deployments.This deployment marks the initiation of a sustained realtime monitoring system for the physical and biogeochemical variability at selected locations in the southern California coastal ocean. Located in 100m water depth off La Jolla, this southernmost mooring of the array, is a prototype of a multidisciplinary long-term mooring for shallow water with a surface buoy and a suite of sensors in the water column below.

SCCOOS Mooring deployment off the coast of La Jolla. Photo provided by Uwe Send.

Sensors mounted directly to the buoy measure meteorological variables, near surface temperature, salinity, oxygen and chlorophyll concentrations, and the current throughout the water column. Further down the mooring wire—10m above the bottom—another sensor package records temperature, salinity, oxygen, and chlorophyll. All data are telemetered to shore every hour, communication with the deep instruments happens inductively through the mooring wire.

16 FEBRUARY 2005 - The Resources Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers launched a new Web site that will assist federal, state, and local governments in protecting California's watersheds and beaches. The Coastal Sediment Management Workgroup (CSMW) web site consolidates information essential to people who are involved professionally or personally in sediment management. The goal is for the new CSMW Web site to serve as a communication tool to help coastal management professionals throughout the state share information.

9 FEBRUARY 2005: SCCOOS provided a briefing to the Southern California Beach Water Quality Working Group to begin the dialogue on user input for products within the region. The Beach Water Quality Workgroup (BWQW) is a coalition of Federal, State, and local governmental agencies, environmental advocacy groups, environmental consultants, and scientific researchers. The mission of the BWQW is to achieve continuous and immediate improvement in the water quality at beaches throughout California.

8 FEBRUARY 2005: The 2005 Joint Assembly, organized by SEG, NABS, AAS and AGU, will be held 23-27 May 2005 in New Orleans. A session particularly relevant to SCCOOS is "Regional and Coastal Ocean Observing Systems Along the USA Southern Border."  Abstracts are due Thursday, 11 February at 10:59 pm PST.

Session description: the regional and coastal ocean observing (and modeling) systems developing along the southern border of the USA (California, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands) offer opportunities to collaborate on scientific and technological issues of common concern. The opportunities extend to working with neighboring countries within the Caribbean Basin especially Mexico and the Bahamas. The disciplinary scope of this session is broad and includes coastal physical oceanography and meteorology, coastal ocean ecosystem analysis, and coastal ocean biogeochemical transport rate and pathway analysis. It is timely to review the progress, impact, scientific and technological issues, and plans of the various systems and seek a common, overarching scientific and technological agenda.
John Orcutt testifies to the House Committee on Science (26 Jan 05)

More information on the session can be found here.

Abstracts can be submitted at

1 FEBRUARY 2005: The webcast from John Orcutt's testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives' Committee on Science's "Tsunamis: Is the U.S. Prepared?" hearing is now available (6.1 quicktime movie).

Sewage contamination closes beaches for 24 of past 29 days
26 January 2005, San Diego Union Tribune

IMPERIAL BEACH – Beaches from the north end of town to the border remained closed yesterday due to sewage-contaminated waters, making this rainy season one of the worst in recent memory for beach closures.

26 JANUARY 2005: John Orcutt's testimony for the U.S. House of Representatives' Committee on Science's "Tsunamis: Is the U.S. Prepared?" hearing is now available (pdf). The webcast will be posted as soon as it is available.

25 JANUARY 2005: The U.S. House of Representatives' Committee on Science will hold a hearing entitled "Tsunamis: Is the U.S. Prepared?" on January 26, 2005 at 10:00 a.m. Eastern time, at which John Orcutt has been asked to testify. His testimony will be posted here after the hearing takes place.

California investigators seek source of mystery oil spill
21 January 2005, Sacramento Bee

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Investigators are testing oil wiped from the coated bodies of birds to try to determine the origin of a mysterious oil spill somewhere along a 90-mile stretch of the Southern California coast. More than 1,100 birds have been brought to a bird care center in San Pedro, and a sea lion was taken to a nearby marine mammal center. (more)

SeaWorld treats ill birds coated by offshore oil slick
21 January 2005, San Diego Union Tribune

SeaWorld avian care experts yesterday treated 10 California brown pelicans sickened by a mysterious oil slick in the Santa Barbara Channel. The pelicans are among 1,400 sea birds that have come ashore since Jan. 12 between Santa Barbara and Huntington Beach. Of those, more than 600 have died.

Mysterious Oil Patches Take Big Toll on Seabirds
21 January 2005, Los Angeles Times

A mysterious weeklong oil leak off Southern California has damaged more wildlife than any spill in state coastal waters since 1990, officials said Thursday as they struggled to find its source. (more)

SeaWorld Treating Birds Caught In Mystery Oil Spill: Endangered Species Found Oiled Off Los Angeles County Coast
20 January 2005, - San Diego Channel 10

SAN DIEGO -- Investigators are trying to find the cause of an oil spill that coated hundreds of birds with crude oil and may threaten other sea life, 10News reported. Oil-slicked pelican have been rushed to SeaWorld for treatment while teams of experts assess the damage. (more)

Check goes to Fine Cause
20 January 2005, Los Angeles Times Daily Pilot

The Orange County Sanitation District
wants to contribute $60,000 of the $160,000 fine assessed for a 4 Sept 2004 sewage spill to SCCOOS to monitor ocean currents. (more)

13 JANUARY 2005: CDIP's sensor on the SIO Pier detected the signature of the Indian Ocean tsunami (26 Dec 2004) with an ~12 cm amplitude. CDIP has been working with NOAA/PMEL to represent this data on the web. Click here to access the website.

10 JANUARY 2005: The Farallones National Marine Sanctuary will host a "Forum on California's Ocean Future" 13 January 2005 at the San Francisco War Memorial Herbst Theatre. Click on the image for a larger jpg program or click here to access the forum's website.

10 JANUARY 2005: The Bush Administration has released its response to the U.S. Ocean Commission on Policy: the "U.S. Ocean Action Plan." The U.S. Ocean Action Plan highlights includes immediate and long-term plans to build a global earth observation network (which includes ocean observation) and develop an ocean research priorities plan and implementation strategy. The plan emphisizes the need to enhance ocean leadership and coordination by improving federal coordination and governance through the establishment of various committees, panels and working groups to decide on and, or oversee ocean science/resource management integration. The administration outlines the need advance the US understanding of oceans, coasts, and great lakes by way of integrated observation networks, research and survey efforts, ocean and coastal mapping, and the dissemination US ocean science expertise abroad. Click here to download the report as a pdf.

10 JANUARY 2005: The U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy has released its annual report. SCCOOS has posted chapter 26: Achieving a Sustained, Integrated Ocean Observing System on the web. Click here to download chapter 26 as a pdf.

10 JANUARY 2005: Call for Submissions: Spring AGU, 23-17 May 2005 Special Session: Regional & Coastal Ocean Observing Systems along the USA Southern Border
Conveners: Christopher N.K. Mooers; Douglas A. Wilson; John A. Orcutt; Worth D. Nowlin, Jr.
The regional & coastal ocean (EEZ) observing (and modeling) systems developing along the southern border of the USA (California, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands) offer opportunities to collaborate on scientific and technological issues of common concern. The opportunities extend to working with neighboring countries to the south, especially Mexico, and within the Caribbean Basin, plus the Bahamas to the east. The disciplinary scope is broad and includes coastal physical oceanography and meteorology, coastal ocean ecosystem analysis, and coastal ocean biogeochemical transport rate and pathway analysis. It is timely to review the progress, impact, scientific and technological issues, and plans of the various systems and seek a common, overarching scientific and technological agenda. Abstracts are due on 3 Feb my mail and 10 Feb by e-mail. 20 April is the deadline for pre-registration and housing reservations.

ChevronTexaco to Build Project in '06
7 January 2005, San Diego Union Tribune
ChevronTexaco yesterday announced it has received all the Mexican federal approval needed to build its $650 million liquefied natural gas project next to the Coronado Islands, off the Baja California and San Diego County coasts.

Click here to view the full story