The NERACOOS mission is:
·To lead the development, implementation, operation, and evaluation of a sustained, regional coastal ocean observing system for the northeast United States and Canadian Maritime provinces, as part of the United States Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS®).
·To promote the development, assessment, and dissemination of data and data products that meet the needs of end users.
·To advocate through education and outreach for the regional, national, and global ocean observing system and the application of scientific assessments using environmental data to meet societal needs.
NERACOOS was incorporated as a non-profit organization in November, 2008. The formation of NERACOOS was the result of a 3-year effort to that included input and participation from an advisory committee and executive committee, made up from members of academia, industry, federal state and local governments, and NGOs in the Northeast region. During this time, NERACOOS developed the governance model and company bylaws assigning decisions on membership of the initial Board of Directors to three regionally important stakeholder organizations; the Northeast Regional Ocean Council (NROC), the Northeast Academic Consortium (NEAC), and the directors of the region’s Sea Grant Programs. The inaugural meeting of the NERACOOS Strategic Planning and Implementation (SPI) Team was at the second board meeting in February 2009.This team brings together practitioners of all aspects of ocean observing and those using this information to manage and use coastal waters.
NERACOOS benefited from several sub-regional ocean observing activities that helped pave the way for and still contribute to the regional observing system. These include the Gulf of Maine Ocean Observing System (GoMOOS), the UNH Coastal Ocean Observing Center, and the Long Island Sound Integrated Coastal Observing System (LISICOS).NERACOOS also built upon and contributes to national and international ocean observing efforts and is part of the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS®).IOOS is a partnership of seventeen federal agencies and eleven regional associations and has a program office in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).The IOOS program was authorized by the Integrated Coastal and Ocean Observing System Act in 2009 after more than a decade of planning and development. IOOS is one contributes to global observing activities including the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS, www.oic-goos.org) and the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS, www.earthobservations.org).
The northeast United States and Canadian Maritimes have a wealth of organizations concerned with the health and management of the regions coastal waters. These include the Northeast Regional Ocean Council (NROC, collaborate.csc.noaa.gov/nroc/) and the Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment (GOMC, www.gulfofmaine.org). NERACOOS is working with these and other organizations to most effectively harness and coordinate the region’s many ocean management and observing strengths.