Work Package 2

Strengthening Regional and Trans-regional Actives

The European seas and coastal regions are different in many ways. To meet the differences and also the different needs, EuroGOOS has since 1996 followed a bottom-up approach in the development of European Operational Oceanography supported by pan-European activities for cross-cutting subjects such as technology, science, and data exchange. Regional task teams were established for the development of observations and services, these have developed into regional operational observing/oceanographic systems (ROOSs); today known as Arctic ROOS, BOOS, IBI-ROOS, MOON, and NOOS, representing the European Arctic, the Baltic, the Irish-Biscay-Iberian area, the Mediterranean and the European Northwest Shelf. A ROOS has yet to be established in the Black Sea area but there have been a number of cooperative activities and EU-funded operational oceanography projects around the Black Sea. The efforts undertaken within the ROOSs are today agreed under international interagency MoUs.

Improving our coastal monitoring and mapping capability is a major task in order to meet present challenges such as the implementation of the EU water framework directive, the management of conflict areas, or more generally the detection of reliable trends related to environmental changes.

The key issue for the establishment of a sustained operational coastal observing system in the ROOS areas is integration and further development of the existing observational systems and data sets. The data collected within the ROOSs should fulfil operational needs as well as temporary and long-term demands, i.e. scientific research needs and national policies on sustainable use of coastal regions.

Because of the scale of the phenomena such as waves, currents, storms, living resources and pollutants it is obvious that these activities and demands cannot be restricted to a national area on the different continental shelves. The monitoring of Coastal water systems with their strong dynamic variability requires a very dense sampling in time and space. The high resolution is necessary to assess the patchy nature of plankton blooms and high temporal variability caused e.g. by short term events like exceptionally strong phytoplankton blooms or upwelling events that may cause Harmful Algae Blooms.

Current efforts are mostly focused on physical parameters and programs on in situ monitoring of ecosystem relevant parameters are only scarcely in operational mode. These efforts are mainly carried out by manual sampling and subsequent analysis along with regularly (semi-annual or quarterly) monitoring cruises with Research Vessels or by stationary measuring systems like buoys. The upcoming regional coastal observatories are trying to fill that gap, but an overall assessment of their abilities has not yet been undertaken.

The strategy of the work6package will follow therefore the approach that each of the named regions will continue to analyze the conditions on which existing observations can be made available and identifying the gaps within the observational systems. By doing so, an overall picture will be generated displaying the actual status of the coastal observing systems in Europe. It will be crucial to establish: – More cooperation between the surrounding countries designing the observing system needed for each ROOS area and on Pan-European level. – A better geographical coverage of the sampling programmes in particular at regional scale. – Enhanced acquisition and access to observations from the observational systems in an operational sense. The overall objectives of the Workpackage are: – Make an inventory of existing coastal observing systems, terms of data accessibility (update SEPRISE, EDIOS, etc with focus on bio chemical parameters) and display them.