Safe and efficient Maritime operations are essential for maintaining the economic security of the
country and region. For example, the Port of Boston contributes more than $2 billion to local,
regional, and national economies. The U.S. Coast Guard is responsible for the Search and Rescue
of coastal waters to minimize the loss of life, injury, and property damage. The USCG uses
Search and Rescue Optimal Planning (SAROPS) to provide fast and simple search and rescue
predictions. Individual port authorities are responsible for the safety of their maritime
operations. The Physical Oceanographic Real-Time System (PORTS®) is a decision support tool
aimed at improving "the safety and efficiency of maritime commerce and coastal resource
management through the integration of real-time environmental observations, forecasts and
other geospatial information". In 2008 Narragansett Bay had the only PORTS® in the Northeast.
Examples of successes that NERACOOS has helped to enable include:
- Improving Search and Rescue – NERACOOS is working to improve the predictions of survivor
location by including surface current information observed with High Frequency Radar
(HFR) and modeled with NECOFS into the USGC SAROPS.
- Improving safety and efficiency of maritime commerce – The NERACOOS buoys continue to provide life-saving information to recreational boaters and commercial fishermen. This is most clearly stated in the words of Roy Atkinson, a fisherman. "I am a lobster fisherman from South West Nova Scotia. ...I would like you to know that information you are providing us not only aids us in our work, it almost certainly has saved lives."