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IOOS® Contributions to the Decision-Making Process for Mariners and Coastal Managers

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In 2009, the National Operational Wave Observation Plan, prepared for the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS®) and led by the National Data Buoy Center and the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), outlined a comprehensive plan that will serve as a basis for a nationwide, high-quality surface-wave monitoring network. One of the projects that the USACE and the California Department of Boating and Waterways cooperatively funds is the Coastal Data Information Program (CDIP). The CDIP is based at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography with its main focus on high-resolution directional wave measurements. The CDIP serves as one of the USACE’s contributions toward IOOS, thus promoting sustained and quality wave measurements throughout the United States.

This article describes examples of how reliable, accurate wave data serve the maritime community and coastal managers. Several of the CDIP buoys are moored at the entrances to ports and harbors or close to the nearshore where waves impact the coastal zone. As evident, each port or harbor has unique conditions and therefore its own set of challenges. Specific examples are demonstrated as to how CDIP and IOOS have played a key role in the decision-making process, by contributing to the safety or economics of marine operations and coastal management. The real-time data are available on the Southern California Coastal Observing System ( and the corresponding Regional Association’s Websites. The data are also transmitted hourly to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Data Buoy Center and the National Weather Service.

Keywords: Coastal; Decision making; Marine operations; Observations

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2010-11-01

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  • The Marine Technology Society Journal is the flagship publication of the Marine Technology Society. It publishes the highest caliber, peer-reviewed papers on subjects of interest to the society: marine technology, ocean science, marine policy and education. The Journal is dedicated to publishing timely special issues on emerging ocean community concerns while also showcasing general interest and student-authored works.
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