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Ocean Observatories: A Presence in the Ocean 24/7

March 1, 2004

The growing number of ocean observatories in both coastal and deep waters around the country are providing scientists with a presence in the ocean 24 hours a day seven days a week. WHOI has built and deployed a number of the existing observatories, including the Long-term Ecosystems Observatory (LEO) off the New Jersey coast, the Martha’s Vineyard Coastal Observatory (MVCO), which combines meteorological and oceanographic measurements, and the deep water Hawaii-2 Observatory (H2O). Observatories come in many forms and complement the observations made by ships and satellites. Some, like the MVCO, share information about ocean and atmospheric conditions with the public via the internet. The Ocean Research Interactive Observatory Networks (ORION) program was recently established by the National Science Foundation to operate and manage existing and future ocean observing sites.