The Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System

The Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System



The Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System (GCOOS) is the heart of data collection for ocean and coastal waters in the Gulf of Mexico – collecting thousands of data points from sensors and ensuring that the information is reliable, timely and accurate before disseminating it to the ocean sectors that rely on it. The ission of GCOOS is to provide on-demand information about the Gulf’s coastal and open ocean waters that is accurate, reliable and benefits people, ecosystems and the economy. GCOOS) is the Gulf of Mexico regional component of the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS). GCOOS leverages a small budget — just $2 million — into big results by coordinating information gathered by federal, state and private partners running nearly 2,000 sensors in coastal waters to the deep ocean. We ensure that all data is timely, reliable, accurate and available to everyone — from weather forecasters to Coast Guard first responders — to ensure a healthy, productive ocean and resilient coastal communities for the Gulf’s 14 million residents and the $234 billion annual economic benefit it provides to the U.S. economy. Instead of operating our own in-water assets such as buoys, autonomous vehicles, radar systems and water-quality monitoring tools, we collaborate with and provide grant support to on-the-ground investigators who develop and implement data collection using their own systems. This allows us to leverage our limited dollars to increase partnerships with local and state organizations Gulf-wide that are using professional and citizen scientists to develop a comprehensive data system that benefits users and supports jobs and local economies. In addition to data collection and distribution, we conduct education and outreach activities to equip the public to use and make decisions about the economic and environmental health of our Gulf of Mexico.


Belem statement areas
Emerging Pollutants
Ocean Observation
Ocean Resources
Time frame
2009 - Ongoing