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Committee Programs

The Integrated Coastal and Ocean Observation System Act of 2009 (ICOOS Act) creates the Interagency Ocean Observation Committee. This committee, the IOOC, will oversee efforts to develop the National Integrated Coastal & Ocean Observing System. IWGOO member agencies are nominating officials to serve  on the Committee. The IWGOO will phase out and transition to the IOOC, addressing provisions contained in the Act and operating under a new charter.


Public-Private Use Policy – In accordance with Section 12308 of the ICOOS Act, the National Science Foundation, on behalf of the National Ocean Research Leadership Council, published the proposed process to develop a Public-Private Use Policy in the Federal Register. For more information please view the Public-Private Use Policy webpage.

Certification Standards – The IOOC will soon issue a Federal Register notice through NOAA to receive public comment on the proposed certification design process mandated by the Integrated Coastal and Ocean Observation System Act of 2009 (ICOOS Act).  The proposed process intends to develop certification standards for non-federal assets, including regional information coordination entities (RICEs), to establish eligibility for integration into the Integrated Ocean Observing System (System). The process will occur in five phases:

  1. Scoping – Publish the Federal Register notice.
  2. Drafting – Design and implement the standards adoption process.
  3. Standards Review – Community review of submitted draft standards.
  4. Adjudication – Analyze all comments received.
  5. Final Determination – IOOC issues the final data standards.

For more information please contact us.

National Ocean Policy

President Obama signed an Executive Order establishing a National Policy for the Stewardship of the Ocean, Coasts, and Great Lakes on July 19, 2010. That Executive Order adopts the Final Recommendations of the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force and directs Federal agencies to take the appropriate steps to implement them.

The Executive Order intends to strengthen ocean governance and coordination, establishes guiding principles for ocean management, and adopts a flexible framework for effective coastal and marine spatial planning to address conservation, economic activity, user conflict, and sustainable use of the ocean, our coasts and the Great Lakes. It also creates a National Ocean Council (NOC) to strengthen ocean governance and coordination. The Final Recommendations prioritize actions for the NOC to pursue, and call for a flexible framework for coastal and marine spatial planning to address conservation, economic activity, user conflict, and sustainable use of the ocean, our coasts and the Great Lakes.

The Final Recommendations listed Priority Objective #9 as developing ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes observations, mapping, and infrastructure. Specifically it calls for drafting a Strategic Action Plan that would “Strengthen and integrate Federal and non-Federal ocean observing systems, sensors, data collection platforms, data management, and mapping capabilities into a national system, and integrate that system into international observation efforts.”

Deepwater Horizon

IOOC agencies are developing a repository of online resources to Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico. All of the resources can be found here.

Stakeholder Outreach

The IOOC is planning the next regional workshop to be held in the Great Lakes region. Please visit the Great Lakes workshop page for more information.

Small Sea Changes – Big California Impacts was held on May25 and explored how monitoring and understanding the ocean delivers economic and environmental benefits to industries, government, and citizens of California, at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego. Video footage and presentations from the event will be made available online at California Workshop page. Please check the website for updates and more information.

The event drew in around 100 decision-makers from a wide variety of sectors ranging from energy, water supply and treatment, aquaculture, commercial fishing, tourism and recreation, transportation, and environmental and urban planning. The event included 16 speakers across four panels, from research centers, agencies, and companies throughout California. The IWGOO program office is currently developing a workshop series report that will synthesize the outcomes of each workshop.

Data Management & Communications

The IWGOO organized an evaluation for the appropriate future role for the Data Management and Communications (DMAC) Steering Team, which considered several alternative functions from the current structure. This process included a survey of IOOS community experts, a workshop to discuss options, and the development of input for IWGOO consideration.  For more information please contact the support office (202) 787-1645.