Regional Coastal Ocean Observing System - Strategic Operational Plan

The Regional Coastal Ocean Observing System (RCOOS) Plan provides a roadmap for future investments in expanding data and products in the Southeast. All recommendations are user-influenced and stakeholder-driven, ensuring informed decisions. The Board adopted the plan in December 2019.


The plan covers the 5-year period – from July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2025. This plan will be reviewed and updated annually by the SECOORA Science Committee. A comprehensive review and revision, with input from the Board of Directors, Members, and stakeholders will occur every 5 years.


Explore the plan’s structure and purpose of each section.

Opportunity Matrix

An Investment Opportunity Matrix provides a high-level overview of the document and is broken down by RCOOS subcomponent and cross referenced against the focus areas in which SECOORA has already invested or could invest in the future. The matrix is meant to be a quick reference guide to the RCOOS Plan.

Focus Areas

Focus Areas describe the focus areas that guide our work:

  • Ecosystems, including Water Quality and Living Marine Resources
  • Marine Operations
  • Coastal Hazards and Climate Variability




For each sub-topic listed within the focus area, the following information is provided:

  • Challenges
  • Priority Geographic Area(s)
  • Partner Activities
  • Core Variables Required
  • Current & Additional SECOORA Investments


RCOOS Subcomponents identifies current investments and previously identified stakeholder needs for observing platforms, modeling, data management and communications, products, and outreach and education efforts.


Overview provides regional and national context for SECOORA’s work.

Expanding on Topics

Additional plans are available to provide in-depth insights into specific focus areas and RCOOS subcomponents.

Modeling Framework

The purpose of this document is to establish a modeling framework for SECOORA, read more in PDF.
Access PDF

Harmful Algal Bloom Plan

This document will serve as a guide for future investments in regional harmful algal bloom (HAB) observing and monitoring in the SECOORA region.
Access PDF

High Frequency Radar Plan

This document presents a gap analysis for High Frequency Radar (HFR) observations in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. It will serve as a guide for future HFR investments in the SECOORA region.
Access PDF


SECOORA Staff, Board, and Members

To articulate priorities and establish guideposts for future funding decisions and expansion.

IOOS Program Office

To inform and meet certification requirements.

Regional Stakeholders

To demonstrate capabilities and describe connections to regional needs and priorities.

Our members influence and guide all our endeavors to help make us a trusted source for coastal ocean information in the Southeast US.