The final SEACOOS workshop included discussion of several topics relevant to further development of the SE regional coastal ocean observing system (RCOOS). First, many of the Information Management (IM) tools developed in the SEACOOS program can be migrated to a future RCOOS. It is recognized that IM is evolving, and continued communication with national and regional IM efforts will be required. Of particular importance is the establishment of standards for data quality assurance/quality control. Second, serving various user needs will require development of specific products (applications). Mechanisms to better link research and development (R&D) conducted by the RCOOS to applications development are needed, and dedicated funding for both R&D and for migrating from pilot to operational applications is required. It was suggested that the regional association (RA) could play a key role in this process; interfacing with users, prioritizing potential applications in relation to RCOOS capabilities, and coordinating with federal agencies and private industry. Third, it is essential that roles and responsibilities are clearly defined for the RCOOS and for the federal agencies contributing to the "national backbone" of the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS). This requires agreement on a Concept of Operations (CONOPS). The CONOPS must be defined at several levels and over a time frame sufficient to accommodate the transition from research/pilot to operational stages. To help coordinate regional and federal agency efforts in coastal ocean observing in the near-term, an interim CONOPS should be defined and designs for the RCOOS should be documented and evaluated.
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