C-MAN funding

Coral Health and Monitoring Program coral at coral.AOML.ERL.GOV
Sat Aug 5 18:25:40 EDT 1995

The following message from Dr. John Ogden (jogden at seas.marine.usf.edu) of 
the Florida Institute of Oceanography is herewith forwarded to  
the coral-list group: 



     Two weeks ago we met with Doug Scally of the NOAA National Data Buoy 
Center (NDBC) to discuss the dismantling in October of the network of 
oceanographically enhanced C-MAN stations which we installed and operated 
in the Florida Keys from 1989-1995.  While the utility of the system and 
the importance of the data have been amply documented by many users and 
relevant NOAA agencies, the FIO has not been successful in turning this 
interest into funding.  

     When we began in 1989, there were two National Weather Service (NWS) 
C- MAN stations at Molasses and Sombrero Reefs.  We enhanced these with 
oceanographic (temperature, salinity, and light) sensors and added 4 more 
enhanced C-MAN stations (Fowey Rocks, Long Key (Florida Bay), Sand Key, 
and Dry Tortugas) to form a network encompassing the geographic scale of 
the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.  We operated these stations 
with the cooperation of NDBC for 4 years, generating unique data on 
storms, annual temperature cycles, and floods and gaining a great amount 
of experience in coastal monitoring.  We also learned a great deal about 
the deployment of sensors in biofouling coastal environments and the 
application of this infrastructure to ground-truth satellite observations.  
Most of the annual budget supported two persons and a computer facility 
for on-site data reduction at our Keys Marine Laboratory, and a boat, 
trailer and truck for weekly maintenance of the stations.  Our staff also 
worked with a variety investigators on related physical and chemical 
studies and made data available in demand to many users.  

     With the help of NDBC, the NWS has taken over the funding of the 
C-MAN portions (not the oceanographic sensors) of the stations at Fowey 
and Dry Tortugas.  Thus, we will be left with 4 meteorological stations 
(Fowey, Molasses, Sombrero, and Dry Torugas).  However, loss of the 
Keys-wide oceanographic observations and our staff at KML will cripple the 
baseline data requirements for the major management actions planned in 
south Florida and will damage the development of oceanographic 
observational capabilities basic to adaptive management.  As our staff was 
a key element in system maintenance, their loss will compromise even the 
meteorological observations.  

     We need a minimum of support to carry us next year.  We will use the 
time to continue to seek funding partners and to assess the data users to 
define minimum data needs.  With a little time, we feel that we can 
"strategically downsize" the system while serving the future needs of 
scientists and managers in the region.  An abrupt dismantling of the 
system will essentially waste 5 years of cooperative effort and nearly $1 
million in private, state, and federal funds.  

     You can help by making your voice heard.  

John C. Ogden        Director        Phone:  813/893-9100 
Florida Institute of Oceanography    Fax:    813/893-9109 
830 First Street South               St. Petersburg, Florida 33701 

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