Consortium Spins off SECOORA as Nonprofit Corporation
SECOORA, one of 11 ocean observing regional associations established nationwide through the Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS®) network, coordinates coastal and ocean observing activities and facilitates dialogue among stakeholders in the southeastern United States.
In 2002, the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium was approached by a number of university and ocean observing leaders in the southeastern United States to lead the development of and initially manage the region’s ocean observations program. A diverse 10-member Steering Committee, consisting of representatives from state government, academia, industry, and business, was formed to oversee and direct the growth of the organization.
In October 2003, the SECOORA effort officially began through a grant award from the NOAA Coastal Services Center to the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium. Over the last eight years, the Consortium and SECOORA have successfully competed for more than $6 million in federal NOAA funding to support the organization’s growth and maturation, focusing on its ocean observing assets, data generation and integration, stakeholder engagement, and organizational and fiscal management.
SECOORA was incorporated in the state of South Carolina as a non-profit organization in September 2008, and has an annual operating budget of about $400,000. SECOORA consists of 41 dues-paying member organizations, and a host of partner-ing institutions. SECOORA’s executive director, Debra Hernandez, oversees five staff.