MARACOOS Certification

Zdenka Willis Gerhard Kuska and Nicole La Boeuf at the MARACOOS Certification Signing Ceremony

From left IOOS Director Zdenka Willis, MARACOOS Executive Director Gerhard Kuska and new Deputy Assistant Administrator of the National Ocean Service (NOS) Nicole LaBoeuf

High quality data is the foundation for sound decision making—whether it is in the private sector, government, academia, the non-profit sector, or by an individual.  High quality data from our oceans, coasts and nearshore waters form the backbone for understanding what is happening under, over, on, and across our coastal waters and along our coasts.  Whether you care about marine safety, fishing, storms and flooding, or clean water for recreating, quality data are critical to every activity in and around our marine and coastal areas.
The regional associations that comprise the non-federal piece of the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System provide high quality ocean and coastal observing data and are becoming certified by the federal government as Regional Information Coordination Entities, or RICEs.
Certification as a RICE ensures that the data collected and distributed are managed according to the best practices, as identified by NOAA.  
On December 20, 2016, MARACOOS was officially certified as a RICE, signing a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for the next 5 years.  MARACOOS is covered by federal tort liability, demonstrating the federal government’s confidence in the quality of MARACOOS data.  In basic terms, the data served through MARACOOS are treated by the federal government as being of equal quality as the data generated by the federal government itself.
“This is a great day in the history of MARACOOS and for the communities and individuals who rely on our ocean and coasts,” remarked Dr. Gerhard Kuska, Executive Director, at the MOA signing with NOAA in Silver Spring, MD, adding, “We are proud and humbled to receive this recognition for our Mid-Atlantic IOOS partnership and recognize the awesome responsibility it carries for us to ensure sustained delivery of high-quality data over the coming years.”
The future is in high quality data—and the future is here for Mid-Atlantic users and communities in the maritime sector, fishing, aquaculture, public health, coastal management, offshore wind energy, marine recreation, weather, and storm and flooding predictions who use MARACOOS data!
To ensure sustained, high-quality data over the next 5 years, MARACOOS will continually monitor the application of its quality control and quality assurance procedures.  Information about MARACOOS certification, including MARACOOS’ strategic operating plan and data management plan (along with other information) are available on MARACOOS’ website at:  Data can be accessed through MARACOOS’ OceansMAP, or through standard format Real-Time-Data downloads.