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The Carolinas Coastal Ocean Observing and Prediction System (Caro-COOPS) is a partnership between the University of South Carolina's Belle W. Baruch Institute, North Carolina State University, and the University of North Carolina at Wilmington to establish the capacity to monitor and model estuarine and coastal ocean conditions in the Carolinas. The goal of Caro-COOPS is prediction. Caro-COOPS represents a wholly integrated system that provides three major advances in coastal ocean observing system capacities and capabilities in the region. First, it establishes an extensive array of instrumented moorings in the South Atlantic Bight. Second, it includes a comprehensive data management system, essential for access to, and integration of, high quality, real-time data. Third, it incorporates an advanced suite of integrated models that will markedly improve the predictive capacities of real-time physical data from coastal ocean instrumentation A number of steps are being taken to achieve the linkages among the various national and state organizations and institutions that will be necessary to provide marine scientific information to decision-makers. First, the Caro-COOPS architecture spans the atmosphere, oceans, and land interfaces and interactions. It includes the spatial density and temporal requirements of addressing high-frequency variability, the "weather", and the fine-scale resolution required to detect variations in low-frequency variability, the "climate". Second, the system is flexible in order to address a broad base of users and a wide spectrum of coastal issues. Third, attention is paid to the continuity of data and integrity of the observations, and data access is free and open. Long-term stewardship of the data and access to data archives has equal priority to that of making new measurements. Finally, the system builds on existing regional operational elements and will link to other state and federal observing systems nationally. Caro-COOPS predictive products and services will be able to address a number of integrative and cross-cutting issues, such as natural hazards mitigation, sustainable fisheries, water quality and transport of pollutants, human health, and national security. Early priority has been given to those measurements that are esse- ntial for real-time prediction and analyses of storm surge and flooding before and during landfall of coastal storms.