U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS®)

The U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS®) is a partnership among federal, regional, academic, and private sector parties that works to provide new tools and forecasts to improve safety, enhance the economy, and protect our environment. Established in 2009 by the Integrated Coastal and Ocean Observation System (ICOOS) Act, it is comprised of eleven Regional Associations (RAs) spanning the U.S., Caribbean, and Pacific Islands and territories. At the global scale, it also interfaces with the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS), the Group on Earth Observations (GEO), and other observing efforts.

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IOOS supplies critical information about our Nation’s oceans, coasts, and Great Lakes. Scientists working to understand climate change, governments adapting to changes in the Arctic, municipalities monitoring local water quality, and industries affected by coastal and marine spatial planning all have the same need: reliable, timely, and sustained access to data and information that inform decision making.

Improving access to key marine data and information supports several purposes. IOOS data sustain national defense, marine commerce, and navigation safety. Scientists use these data to issue weather, climate, and marine forecasts. IOOS data are also used to make decisions for energy siting and production, economic development, and ecosystem-based resource management. Emergency managers and health officials need IOOS information to make decisions about public safety. Teachers and government officials rely on IOOS data for public outreach, training, and education.


Eleven regional associations are part of the national IOOS system. Click on each region to visit their website!

The IOOS Catalog is a master inventory of all IOOS datasets and data access services. Search across all regional associations at http://data.ioos.us or using their OGC® Catalog Service for the Web (CSW).

IOOS Association

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The IOOS Association is a non-profit organization formed by the regional associations in support of the U.S. IOOS. The IOOS Association works with the eleven regional associations, the U.S. IOOS Program Office within NOAA, and other partners to address the nation’s need for coastal and ocean observation information. The IOOS Association fosters frequent communication among the regional associations to highlight success stories and lessons learned, to identify common issues, and to strengthen the intra-regional relationships necessary for building a national network. While promoting the integration and coordination of the regional systems into an integrated national system, the IOOS Association also helps to develop regional programs through capacity building, exchange of technical information, and by raising awareness about ocean observing and its importance to the nation. PacIOOS is an active member of the IOOS Association.