Development of regional coastal ocean observatories and the potential benefits to marine sanctuaries

TitleDevelopment of regional coastal ocean observatories and the potential benefits to marine sanctuaries
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2003
AuthorsSchofield O
Secondary AuthorsGlenn S, Bissett PW, Frazer TK, Iglesias-Rodriguez MD, Moline MA
JournalMarine Technology Society Journal
Start Page54
Date Published04/2003

A network of coastal observatories is being built around the United States. While the motivations for developing these systems do not originate from marine sanctuaries per se, the sanctuaries stand to gain an unprecedented opportunity to benefit from real-time data and nowcasting/forecasting models. The construction of the observatories is being fueled by the rapid development in three enabling observational technologies. These technologies include (1) data acquisition systems that track the international constellation of IR and ocean color satellites; (2) nested grids multi-static SeaSonde surface current radars; and (3) a growing fleet of autonomous underwater vehicles. These observational assets are coupled to nowcast/forecast data assimilative models. These systems will allow the mean behavior in marine ecosystems to be defined while also providing real-time data that will allow adaptive sampling. The ability to adaptively sample the environment will allow scientists to make shrewd decisions about when and where to sample. Given this, developing the new approaches to measure critical biological processes and the geographic boundaries of those processes should be a key focus for the marine biology community. This will alter how scientists approach scientific questions in coastal waters.