Given the complexity and wide geographical range of ocean observing systems, the IOOC focuses on coordinating federal efforts to make ocean information more readily available and easy to use. This is achieved through carrying out the committee’s legislative mandates, supporting other relevant initiatives, and engaging new stakeholders.
The IOOC’s legislative priorities include:
- Prepare annual and long term plans;
- Prepare an annual coordinated, comprehensive budget;
- Establish required observation data variables;
- Establish protocols for Data Management and Communications;
- Develop contract certification standards and compliance procedures for all non-Federal assets;
- Identify gaps in observation coverage;
- Establish competitive matching grant or other programs;
- Recommend revisions to the System Plan;
- Ensure collaboration among federal agencies;
- Program guidelines for certifying and integrating non-federal assets;
- Formulate annual process for identifying observation gaps;
- Receive annual reports from the IOOS Program Office;
- Develop a policy that defines the process for making decisions about roles; and
- Develop an independent cost estimate.
In addition, the IOOC is working with the executive office’s Ocean Policy Task Force and the Council on Environmental Quality to implement provisions of the National Ocean Policy.