Photo by GCOOS

The Gulf of Mexico Alliance (Alliance) and the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System (GCOOS) renewed their regional collaboration. On April 4, the two Gulf-wide organizations formalized a memorandum of understanding (MOU) outlining the continuance of this long-standing partnership.

GCOOS Executive Director Dr. Barbara Kirkpatrick (left) and Laura Bowie (right), Executive Director of the Gulf of Mexico Alliance (GOMA) signed the MOU. The collaborative focus areas outlined in the MOU include:

  • Developing and supporting Gulf of Mexico regional initiatives;
  • Facilitating educational opportunities that mutually benefit GOMA partners and GCOOS stakeholders;
  • Identifying observations and data products needed from the U.S. coastal estuaries, rivers and the Exclusive Economic Zone (a zone covering 200 miles from the U.S. shoreline;
  • Collaborating on efforts required for observing systems in the Gulf of Mexico;
  • Promoting Gulf-wide information integration and sharing of data and products.

GCOOS is the regional association for data collection; part of the U.S. International Ocean Observing System. In 2018, the organization received official certification to collect data, meeting federal standards. As a regional ocean partnership, the Alliance works to significantly increase regional collaboration to enhance the environmental and economic health of the Gulf of Mexico.

“GCOOS is one of our longest-term partners and a highly valued asset in the region,” Bowie said. “We are happy to renew this formal collaboration agreement with them.” Bowie said.