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Representatives Young and Bonamici Introduce Legislation to Improve Ocean Data Collection

February 15, 2019
Press Release

 

Washington, D.C. — Today, Congressman Don Young (AK-At Large) and Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01), Co-Chairs of the Bipartisan House Oceans Caucus, introduced the Integrated Coastal Ocean Observing System (ICOOS) Act — legislation to improve data collection and information sharing between the federal agencies and coastal observation partners dedicated to monitoring oceans, coasts, and the Great Lakes.

“Our integrated Ocean Observation System helps make maritime commerce possible,” said Congressman Don Young. “Equipping our fishermen and ship captains with the best possible data is essential to making our waters safer and more navigable. Accurate data collection is also critical to maritime search and rescue operations, the health of fisheries, and the mitigation of coastal hazards. I look forward to working with Congresswoman Bonamici on future Oceans Caucus priorities and urge my friends on both sides of the aisle to cosponsor this legislation.”

“Our coastal communities rely on accurate ocean data and monitoring for information on ocean acidification, harmful algal bloom and hypoxia forecasting, tsunami preparedness, navigation, and port security,” said Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici. “This bill will allow the Integrated Ocean Observing System to strengthen its work using satellites, buoys, underwater gliders, and tide gauges to deliver accurate and continuous data on our oceans and coasts. As Co-Chair of the House Oceans Caucus, I look forward to continuing to work with Rep. Young on bipartisan legislation that benefits coastal communities and our oceans.”

"Ocean observations provide the fundamental information we need to address issues such as safe transportation in our harbors and an ice-free Arctic, understand and mitigate the impact of ocean acidification, and to detect changes in sea levels, weather patterns and fisheries in response to a changing ocean,” said Molly McCammon, Director of the Alaska Ocean Observing System.Through federal and regional partnerships, the Integrated Ocean Observing Systems provides critical information for all regions of our country and make that data readily available to a variety of users. It is our eyes on the coast."

The bill would reauthorize the Integrated Coastal and Ocean Observation System Act through Fiscal Year 2024. The eleven regional association networks of the Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) work with regional partners to develop, operate, and maintain more than 300 observing assets that collect oceanographic and coastal data, including information about rising sea levels, coastal flooding, harmful algal blooms, and hypoxia.

The bipartisan House Oceans Caucus is committed to taking action to protect the health and future of our oceans. This Congress, the Caucus is focused on environmental stressors (including ocean acidification, harmful algal blooms, and hypoxia); marine debris; ocean data and monitoring; coastal resiliency; and illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing.

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