The Coastal Ocean Processes (CoOP) Program works to improve the understanding of continental shelf dynamics and the physical, biological, chemical, and geological processes mediating material transport across shelf systems [Brink et al., 990, 1992; Roman, 1998]. Since the pilot project in 1992 (Table l), CoOP has grown steadily and currently supports 90 principal investigators. While the overall CoOP research strategy has categorized the different research programs by the physical processes influencing transport, CoOP is a fully integrated, interdisciplinary program (Figure 1).
The CoOP Program is based on the central hypothesis that there exists a small set of fundamental processes that control transport on continental shelves, and that shelf systems are thereby distinguished by the relative importance of these processes. The overall strategy of CoOP has been to focus multidisciplinary process-oriented research efforts at locations where individual factors such as tides, windforcing, freshwater inflow, and boundary currents impact transport processes and the biogeochemical and ecological characteristics of the study regions to different extents.