S.914 – 116th Congress (2019-2020): Coordinated Ocean Observations and Research Act of 2020
This bill reauthorizes through FY2025 and revises the Integrated Coastal and Ocean Observation System (IOOS), which is a network of federal and regional entities that provide information about the nation’s coasts, oceans, and Great Lakes, as well as new tools and forecasts to improve safety, enhance the economy, and protect the environment.
Passed Senate (07/30/2020)
Coordinated Ocean Observations and Research Act of 2020
The bill provides statutory authority for NOAA’s National Water Center. (The center currently exists at NOAA as the research and operational center of excellence for hydrologic analyses, forecasting, and related decision support services.)
The bill revises the authority of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to conduct scientific assessments related to storms, including to (1) direct NOAA to seek public input before the Named Storm Event Model (the official meteorological and oceanographic computerized model which utilizes data to replicate the magnitude, timing, and spatial variations of winds, rainfall, and storm surges associated with named storms for which post-storm assessments are conducted) takes effect, and (2) allow NOAA to deploy sensors to areas in coastal states that are at the highest risk of experiencing geophysical events that would cause indeterminate losses.
Additionally, the bill directs the National Weather Service (NWS) to make a policy directive for the National Water Center publicly available. The NWS must also (1) initiate and lead all research and development activities to develop operational water resource prediction and related decision support products, (2) collaborate with relevant state and federal agencies regarding total water prediction, and (3) collaboratively develop capabilities necessary for total water predictive capacity.