The National Federation of
Regional Associations (NFRA)
Providing Regional Teamwork to Develop the
Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS)
GCOOS Stakeholders Meeting
University of South Alabama
David L. Martin, Ph.D.
Associate Director, Applied Physics Laboratory, University of Washington
Co-Chair, NFRA Governing Committee
January 10, 2006
Components of the IOOS
• Global Component (nearly entirely a Federal
responsibility – for both operations & research
• Coastal Component
– National System (‘backbone’) – Mostly Federal
• Networks regional components into a national federation and
links environmental changes that propagate across regions
– Federation of Regional Observing Systems
• Regional federal, state & local government entities partner with
academia, Tribes, private industry, NGOs, and other stakeholders
• Increase temporal/spatial resolution of backbone & increase
variables measured and products produced tailored to meet
regional user needs
Diverse Needs Require
a Regional Approach
Required Characteristics of
• A Solid Governance Structure
– Describing governing and executive bodies, roles and responsibilities of
members, how decisions are made/modified, user input, etc.
• Provision of an acceptable business plan that is endorsed by
– Articulate regional system goals in relation to 7 IOOS goals, specify
products and customers, conform to protocols, show capability of 24/7
ops & providing timely user-driven products, describe budget & sources
of funding, process for user input, education & outreach, data
management plan, etc. This should become the Regional Strategic Plan.
• Describe the process by which the governance structure and
business plan were developed/improved.
• Easy to list, rigorous to implement, and . . . how do we agree
and/or accomplish these? How do we formalize and empower
the “We” in the various U.S. Regions? The Answer – Regional
Regional Associations are
• Oversee & manage the design and sustained operation of
integrated Regional observing systems addressing societal needs
– Including regional programs for data integration and dissemination
• Agree and establish Regional geographic boundaries
• Incorporate sub-regional efforts within the integrated system
• Obtain and disperse funds to operate and improve Regional
• Ensure the timely provision of quality controlled data and
information to users and private sector data and product
• Ensure program is user-driven and meets defined user needs
• Support development of backbone measurements
• Enhance the national backbone through investment in the
Regional Associations Provide a
• For the Individual U.S. Regions:
– Provide a focal point for a regional consortium of stakeholders to whom
accountable (performance based) transfers of Federal resources can occur
– Enhance intra-regional connectivity and collaboration
• Priorities, technology transfer, science, etc., etc., etc.
• As Part of a National Federation of Regional Associations
– Share lessons learned from other RAs (best practices, etc.)
– Facilitates seamless interconnectivity (interoperability) between Regions
– Demonstrates maturity of program to national leadership
– Eases pressure for Congressional earmarks/plus-ups as RAs become vehicle
of choice for directed regional ocean observing resources
– Etc., etc.,
Regional Associations Also
Build IOOS Partnerships
(an informed constituency)
• Business and Industry (66)
• Shipping (18)
• Researchers and Universities (149)
• State agencies (59)
• NGOs (58)
• International Organizations (11)
• Local and Tribal governments (8)
• Federal Agencies (106)
~ 480 partners and growing
Governance System for RAs:
• A wide range of stakeholders needs to be approached, educated and
encouraged to participate
– Tribal leaders, private sector, academia,Regional Federal agencies, other state/local
governments, NGO’s, etc.
– Interactions in a number of Regions have accelerated during past year
• Need to identify the MANY others – a Region’s constituents must help.
• Regional participants must remain engaged with colleagues in other
Regional Associations, Ocean.US and others in D.C. and the nation
– e.g., Regional Observing System “Summit”: Regional Interoperability
Forum, attend RA meetings nearby, etc.
• e.g., Various RA Workshop attendees include national and international
representatives from adjoining regions
• Regions are developing mechanisms to address the “hard” issues.
Regional Governance Within Our
• What is the governance mechanism for the RA? How is the Regional
Association to be chartered for a multi-state role (with international
connectivity if applicable)?
– What roles will various entities agree to play? And what will they not do?
• What is the role of Regional Federal agencies (or Tribal, state, local, etc.) in the
Regional Association hierarchy and decisions? How do we ensure they are meaningful
partners at the table?
• What is the role of non-governmental entities (private sector, academia, NGO’s etc) ?
• How do we reconcile the existing NOPP RA construct with that of the Commission on
Ocean Policy Regional governance structure recommendations? Who should do this?
– How are differences between stakeholders arbitrated?
• Prioritization/scheduling of observing systems
• Allocations of resources
• These issues and others have been identified and discussed at various forums
– Arriving at equitable solutions will take time and discourse – ignoring such issues is not an
• Ocean.US (e.g., the entire federal structure in Washington, D.C.) will NOT solve all
Regional-specific governance issues.
– Regions must do this for themselves
Criteria for Certification as a
Regional Association (Governance)
• Proof of a Solid Governance Structure that can deliver a
– By incorporating/improving existing assets and engaging regional
expertise. It must serve as its own fiscal agent (accept funds, enter
enforceable contracts, etc.); it must be insurable unless indemnified
• Adoption of a membership policy
– That specifies one or more categories, qualifications, rights and
responsibilities; describes how members are added/removed; provides for
geographic balance; ensures diverse membership from regional user and
provider groups and stakeholders
• Creation of a Governing Board
– Formally created, public in all transactions (State/Fed laws); appoints a
Chief Administrative Officer or Executive body; bound by procedures;
develops metrics to improve system performance; exercises appropriate
powers to ensure its autonomy; is diverse in its makeup
Criteria for Certification as a
Regional Association (Governance)
• Formally involves users who will use the data and information
products generated by the RA as evidenced by:
– A panel advisory to the Governing Board that includes representatives of
a significant share of primary users and private sector data and product
providers together with a detailed description of how this panel will be
– An active, ongoing outreach and marketing program described in the
RA’s Business Plan having
• A person or entity assigned responsibility for education, outreach & public
• Documentation of how the RCOOS is responsive to needs of users and
private sector data and product providers
• Established processes by which the needs of users and private sector data and
product providers are gauged – feedback loop
Criteria for Certification as a
Regional Association (Bus. Plan)
Goals & Objectives
• Establish an RCOOS that addresses the 7 societal goals as determined by user groups
in the region
• Contribute to the development of the IOOS as a whole
Needs, Benefits, Product Development & Marketing
• Link to objectives
• Prepare a plan for product development & diversifying the user base
Linking Observations to Model and Products
• Observations & data transmission
• Data management & communications
• Data analysis & products
Research & Development
• Workforce of trained operators
• User community
• Prepare a plan for obtaining, increasing, sustaining & diversifying revenues for
design, implementation, operation and improvement of regional system
Regional Association Progress
Funding Funding Year 3 3 3 3 3 3 2 2 1 1 1
Organization Governing Body X X X X X X X X 8
Website X X X X X X X X X 8
Staff P P F P F P P F 8
Stakeholders X X X X X X X X X X X 11
Inventory X X X X X X6 X X X X X 11
Gap analysis X X X X X X X X X X X 11
Coordination X X X X X X 6
Coordination X X X X X X X 7
Infrastructure Subregional OS X X X X X X X X X X 10
Real-time X X X X X X X X X 9
Pilot Project Y3 Y4 Y5 X 4
DMAC X X X X8 X X X X 8
Education Implementation X X X X X X X X 8
Council X X 2
Governance Plan in Review X X X X 4
Stakeholders X X X 3
Business Plan In Review X X 2
Stakeholders X 1
TOTAL 14 15 11 13 12 12 8 13 14 3 7
From Page 12 of Pre-Conference Brief (Dated figures – info in flux)
The National Federation of Regional
Associations (NFRA) Will Assist
• Promote Regional observing systems nationwide
• Serve in an advocacy role
• Enhance communications between NOPP agencies
• Promote inter-RA collaboration
• Guide development of the backbone
• Influence development and enable implementation
of national standards and protocols
National Federation of Regional
• Founded in February, 2005
• Envisioned to become a non-profit trade
association dedicated to
– Representing the needs of the 11 Regional Association
to the federal government and others
– Articulating the benefits of a regional approach to the
– Education through communication of lessons learned,
success stories, etc
NFRA Governing Committee
Alaska (AOOS): Caribbean IOOS:
Molly McCammon - Co-Chair Jorge Corredor
Nancy Bird Roy Watlington
Pacific Northwest (NANOOS) Southeast (SECOORA)
David Martin – Co-Chair Rick Devoe
Jan Newton Evans Waddell
Pacific Islands IOOS: Mid-Atlantic (MACOORA)
Eileen Shea Bill Boicourt
Chris Chung Carolyn Thoroughgood
Central and Northern California (CeNCOOS): Northeast (GoMOOS)
Heather Kettering Josie Quintrell
Southern California (SCCOOS): Great Lakes (GLOS)
John Orcutt Christine Manninen
Marco A. Gonzalez, Esq. Roger Gauthier
Gulf of Mexico (GCOOS): US GOOS Steering Committee - Affiliate
Ray Toll Worth Nowlin
Buzz Martin Mark Luther
NFRA Actions to date
• Drafted and Approved NFRA Mission Statement
• Drafted and Approved NFRA Terms of Reference
• Full Participants in Regional RA Summits including:
– Vetted Criteria for Certification as Regional Association
– Vetted Criteria for Acceptable Business Plan
– Assisted Congress with IOOS authorizing legislation & funding
• Primarily Senate S 1400 and S 361 version and House H 5001 and H
1489 – (NFRA letter to Rep. Gilchrist stressing Regional approach)
• Provided Regional priorities for Backbone and RCOOS’s
• Reviewed IOOS Implementation Plan
– Participants in First and Second IOOS Implementation Conferences
• Drafted Provisional NFRA Bylaws for future incorporation
• Collaborated with other coalitions to promote IOOS
(e.g.,NFRA/Marine Safety Joint IOOS Resolution)
• Provided near-term (FY 05 & 06) and long-term RA and
regional RCOOS resource needs – a Consensus document
NFRA Consensus on FY-05/06 Actions
• Fund RA’s and NFRA sufficiently (Priority 1)
– RA Estimated Cost: 11 * $0.5M = $5.5M in FY05 & FY06 Good progress from
NOAA, continuation needed
– NFRA estimated Cost: $0.5M in FY05 & FY06 Not done
• Fund necessary DMAC activities (Priority 2)
– National IOOS DMAC effort estimated cost: $0.8M in FY05 & $1M in FY06
– Regional DMAC effort estimated cost: 11* $0.3M = $3.3M ($1.1M in FY05 &
$2.2 FY06) Not individually awarded, some progress through Pilot Projects
• Fund Regional Pilot Projects (Priority 3)
– To generate success stories
– Using NOPP Socio-economic analysis of IOOS sector impacts
– To build regional constituencies
– To foster strong ties with business/private data & product providers
– Estimated cost: 11 * $0.5M = $5.5M ($2M in FY05 & $3.5M in FY06) 2 RA
Pilots competitively funded by NOAA in addition to Congressional directives
• Total Cost: $9.9M in FY05 & $12.7M in FY06
Some NFRA Near-Term
• NFRA Governance
– Continue work on NFRA bylaws and incorporation as 501 (c) (3).
– Further define responsibilities/job descriptions for main NFRA entities
(Chair, Vice Chair, Treasure, Secretary, etc.)
• Optimize NFRA Organization
– Organize & Staff an NFRA office within the NCR
– Develop budget and arrange for funding
– Develop visibility for and understanding of the NFRA.
– Work with Ocean.US and many others on industry coordination and
– Develop complimentary outreach/communications strategy in conjunction
with Ocean.US and others.
• Information Provision Role in Advocating the IOOS
– Coordinate NFRA positions on federal policy issues of concern.
– Work with Ocean.US and NORLC agencies on the above as appropriate.
– Coordinate NFRA positions on IOOS funding solutions
– Work with NFRA members on advancing the above.
• Secure OMB and
Three Principal • Pass authorizing
Advocacy Tasks legislation for
• Secure short and long-
term appropriations for
General IOOS Advocacy Themes
1. Present ocean observing as ONE OF THE BEST
ACHIEVABLE OPTIONS for implementing
recommendations from President’s Ocean Commission.
2. Answer the question of “Why Now?” by promoting
IOOS as the ESSENTIAL FIRST STEP to the more
sweeping ocean program and policy objectives that can’t
be achieved today.
3. Cast the IOOS as a FUNDAMENTAL COMPONENT
of most U.S. ocean objectives.
One of the Best Achievable Options
• Little new money in current budget climate for major
new ocean objectives.
• Policy makers will be looking for achievable
• IOOS is Achievable.
– It is affordable.
– IOOS is already partially in place.
– The IOOS has a high and quick cost benefit return.
– The IOOS can be implemented without whole scale
reorganization of federal agencies.
– IOOS and it’s mission to gather data for better decision making
is relatively non-controversial.
Essential First Step
• Need to address the question of “Why Now?”
• Good programs and policy result from good data. The
IOOS will enable better implementation of more
sweeping ocean program and policy objectives to be
implemented in the future.
• IOOS can leverage existing infrastructure investments
and have immediate utility.
• Creating and deploying IOOS brings together a broad
ocean constituency that will help support the more
sweeping ocean program and policy objectives.
Advocacy Goals for
OMB and Agencies
• Line up support for IOOS with key agencies:
– NOAA, Army Corps, EPA, NSF, USCG, DoD, DHS
• Secure baseline budget request for IOOS from at
least one agency. What is achievable?
– NOAA = $50 million in FY ’07 or FY ’08??
• Build support for IOOS at OMB so that agency
budget requests for IOOS will be approved.
• Press OMB for implementation of Ocean Action
plan in FY ’07 and FY ’08 budgets.
Key Themes for Promoting the IOOS
with OMB and Agencies
• Cost Benefit and Return on Investment (ROI) for OMB.
• IOOS is the U.S. coastal component of Global Earth
Observing System of Systems.
• IOOS maximizes utility of existing ocean observing
resources already in place.
• IOOS will provide better data to improve existing agency
mission operations and functions.
• IOOS is politically attractive due to its nationally
• IOOS is an affordable component of Ocean Action Plan.
Issues/Challenges to be Addressed
for OMB and Agency Meetings
• Budget Caps.
• Governance questions - NOAA is supposed
to be the lead but that is contentious.
• Competition for resources with existing
IOOS Authorization Bills
• S. 316; ‘The Ocean and Coastal • H.R. 1489; `The Coastal Ocean
Observation System Act of 2005‘ Observation System Integration
and Implementation Act of 2005‘
- 2/10/05, Introduced by Senator - 4/6/05, Introduce by Chairman
- 4/19/05, Reported out of the • H.R. 1584; ‘The Ocean and Coastal
Senate Committee on Commerce,
Science, and Transportation Observation System Act of 2005'
- 7/1/05, Passed the full Senate by - 4/12/05, Introduced by
Unanimous Consent Representatives Weldon and Allen
IOOS FY06 Appropriations
• The Senate CJS Appropriations bill • The House SSJC Appropriations
included $109 million for IOOS bill included $15 million for IOOS
related activities related activities
• An increase of $35 million over FY05 • The increase in IOOS funds is
noteworthy considering that
overall the House funded NOAA
at $496 million below the FY05
FY06 Conference Report
IOOS Funding Versus Ideal
Ocean Commission Budget
IOOS Funding Profile
FY '04 FY '05 FY '06 FY '07 FY '08 FY '09 FY '10
Regional Resource Challenges
Assumes ~11 will be established and that all 11 will be fully operational by Yr 5
YR 1 YR2 YR3 YR4 YR5
Start-up ($0.5M each) 2.5 2.5 1 0.5 0
formation of Regional Assoc.
Initial Systems [$5M-$15M/ea] 44.5 41.5 68 55.5 23
(Integration of networks in
region, data integration cntrs.,
data access & sharing sys.)
Mature Systems [$20m-$30M/ea] 0 60 120 180 270
NFRA 0.5 0.5 1 1.5 1.5
(Estab. And operation of NFRA)
Education & Outreach 2.5 5.5 10 12.5 15.5
(Public education, outreach to
potential users and private
sector data/product providers
TOTAL 50 110 200 250 310
Additional Regional Input
• Regions appreciated recent NDBC solicitation of Regional
priorities for enhancement of buoy component of Backbone, but
improved coordination on Backbone prioritization from all NOPP
agencies is needed.
– Recommendation: Federal agencies recognize RAs as primary structure for
RCOOS’s and conduit from which to gather information on ocean
– Recommendation: Develop enhanced pathway for RA input to IOOS DMAC
• There is a need for better definition of the National Backbone,
especially as it evolves through time (What is it? Who is
– Recommendation: A standing working group involving NFRA, Ocean.US
and NOPP agencies could define
• The IOOS has (1) global and (2) coastal modules
– Coastal efforts consist of both national “backbone” (mostly Federal – e.g.,
NDBC, CMAN, NWLON, USACE Wave & RSM, USGS stream gauges,
etc.) and non-federal Regional efforts
• To address regional concerns and build regional constituencies WITHIN the
construct of an integrated system
• The goal is Regional relevancy with National oversight.
• Regional Associations, and a National Federation of these Associations will
provide the governance structure to enable this portion of the IOOS
• Resource requirements are substantial for RCOOS initial and
full operation; they are relatively modest for RA Certification;
recent (ongoing) NOAA CSC grant process could provide
sufficient funds for this effort. Other federal agencies???
• Fundamental challenge remains the level of resource support of
these non-agency Regional COOS efforts. Substantial hurdles
(Legislative & other) must be overcome to fully fund all IOOS
– Success in IOOS requires full support of the (3) pillars of the effort