1. Objective of the Monitoring Program
The objective of WAVCIS (wave-current information system) is to provide wave information (sea state) including wave height, period, direction of propagation, water level, surge, near surface current speed and direction and meteorological conditions on a real time basis around the entire Louisiana coast.

2. Need for the Monitoring Program
Prior to the inception of WAVCIS, ongoing accurate reports on sea state off the Louisiana coast were not available with the exception of a National Data Buoy Center buoy (NDBC 42040) located approximately 100 km (62 miles) east of the mouth of the Mississippi River (see Figure 1 for location). The entire stretch of coastline from Breton Sound to the Louisiana-Texas border was completely devoid of instrumentation capable of supplying accurate sea state conditions on a regular basis. As shown in Figure 1, these data were, however, available for every other state in the Gulf of Mexico through the NDBC network of buoys. Only water level information was obtained from two CMAN stations at Grand Isle and the mouth of the Mississippi River. Thus, at best reports on offshore conditions were generally inadequate because they rely on spatially constrained observations from oil platforms, ships, or hindcasts from wind information. The closest source of sea state information for south central Louisiana was 480 km (300 miles) south of the coastline (NDBC 42001 on Figure 1).

3. Monitoring Program Overview
WAVCIS involves offshore deployment of instrumentation around the entire state in order to provide real time information on a frequent basis (3 hours or less) describing sea state, surface current and meteorological conditions. The instrumentation provide information from deep to shallow water off the Louisiana coast in addition to the major bays. As summarized schematically in Figure 2, information from each station is transmitted by a solar powered cellular link to a base station at Louisiana State University where it undergoes quality control, post-processing and archiving in an online database. The information is then made available on the World Wide Web and is accessible to computers with an Internet connection and web browser. Various data displays are available for the real time information as well as a specified time history for archived data. A map showing the provisional location of each of the stations is presented in Figure 3.

4. Benefits of the Monitoring Program
WAVCIS is a state-of-the-art monitoring program, which by virtue provides a highly unique online information database for multiple uses. A few examples are as follows:

· Information necessary to provide an emergency response decision tool for agencies faced with decision making during storm threats in the Gulf of Mexico involving evacuation or early warning enhancement.
· Because the information is archived, it forms a critical database for use in monitoring studies of barrier island and wetland restoration projects (e.g., CWPPRA) around the entire state.
· Information necessary to assist in decision making during oil spill response coordination.
· Information useful for assisting operations support for offshore industries, commerce and trade.

5. Design, Fabrication, Deployment and Maintenance of the Monitoring System
The monitoring program is designed, implemented and maintained by scientists and highly skilled technical support staff in the Coastal Studies Institute at Louisiana State University.

6. Implementation and Maintenance Costs
Implementation of the monitoring program initially cost approximately one million dollars. For subsequent years, maintenance costs will approximate $500,000 per year for an initial 5 year period.

Founding Program Director
Late Dr. Gregory W. Stone

James P. Morgan Distinguished Professor
Coastal Studies Institute
and Department of Oceanography and coastal Sciences

Program Director
Dr. Chunyan Li
208C Howe-Russell Geoscience Complex
Coastal Studies Institute
and Department of Oceanography and coastal Sciences
School of the Coast and Environment
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, LA 70803
Voice: (225) 578-3619
Fax: (225) 578-2520

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