The major interface between humans and the ocean occurs in the coastal seas. Marine industries thrive in this area while European citizens make daily use of the coastal ocean for tourism, leisure and recreation. Operational oceanography assists both industry and the general public to make decisions about their use of and access to the coastal ocean. The EuroGOOS community has developed a wide range of products and services for such use cases.
The value chain for marine information comprises observations made at sea, satellite data and ocean forecasts and analysis providing specific products and services for end-users. The EU Copernicus programme supports the gathering of satellite data and a core service for marine users (Copernicus Marine Service) primarily based on ocean forecasts and analysis. The Commission emphasises that gathering in situ data is the responsibility of individual European countries. Challenges exist at national level to sustain ocean observations and there are gaps in data availability for many reasons.
The EuroGOOS Coastal Working Group will examine the entire value chain from coastal observations, satellite data, ocean forecasts and analysis, to products and services for coastal users. The working group will examine sustainability and fitness for purpose of the existing system and identify future steps that the EuroGOOS community can take to secure and improve all elements of the coastal value chain.
The EuroGOOS Coastal Working Group will build upon significant initiatives already completed or underway that have focused on coastal observing. These include, but are not limited to, the work of the JERICO and JERICO-NEXT EC projects, activities within EuroGOOS working groups, task teams, and the five regional operational oceanographic systems (ROOS). A key early priority for the Coastal Working Group will be to document the existing and planned activity and provide a status of the coastal observing system at the present time.