Serving Real People, Coastal Communities and Our Ocean’s Resources.
Our ocean is an integral part of the American fabric, lining thousands of miles of coastline and touching millions of people and businesses every day. From the rugged shores of Maine, the sandy beaches in the Gulf of Mexico and the far frozen reaches of Alaska, our ocean is home to vast natural wealth and beauty, providing food, recreational opportunities and economic prosperity to communities everywhere.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) plays an integral role in conserving and managing these coastal and marine resources. America relies on the team of world-class professionals and scientists at NOAA to do essential work to conserve our oceans resources for sustainable use and expand our understanding of the ocean through important scientific research.
Local Benefits, National Significance
Inspirational Stories from people and communities across the Country
The services that NOAA provides aren’t theoretical. They are very real. You don’t see a NOAA logo pop up each time NOAA touches your life, but NOAA is there—whether you’re aware of it or not.
To help bring to life the importance of NOAA, we’ve pulled together stories from across the country, directly from the people and communities that NOAA serves. We hope you will be inspired by these stories to help increase the chorus of support for NOAA’s irreplaceable services to each of us.
Learning from (dead) Whales: In the U.S., large whales are the management responsibility of NOAA. NOAA scientists from the National Marine Fisheries Service study their habitats, and the threats they face. NOAA personnel also coordinate research networks, outreach efforts, and collaborative exercises to develop rules and procedures that make sense for the whales and for industries such as shipping that will be affected.
“No vessel captain or owner wants to hit a whale. But avoiding whales takes the commitment of many and the resources and expertise that NOAA provides through its personnel and through funding for research nationwide”Veterinary Pathologist
America, An Ocean Nation: NOAA is a critical part of ensuring safety at sea. NOAA’s science gives us better weather forecasting. Mapping the oceans floors provides updated nautical charts for safe navigation within our waters. Ice forecasts in the Arctic allow mariners safe transit, minimizing our footprint and mitigating any disruptions to marine life in this pristine ecosystem. NOAA’s missions support a safe marine transportation system for import and export, which in turn sustains our economy and a cherished way of life.
“Let’s not forget that America is an ocean nation. Investing in our oceans is an investment in America”President and Chief Executive Officer of the Alaska Maritime Prevention and Response Network
Florida’s Sponge Business: For the past half a century, Sea Grant has helped to build and sustain the needs of coastal economies that may have otherwise faced dire times. Natural sponges found off the west coast of Florida and the Florida Keys are in high global demand because of naturally occurring antibacterial properties. Harmful algae blooms were causing sponge die-offs, threatening the marine ecosystem and risking many small businesses. Researchers at Florida Sea Grant were able to develop a harvesting method that helps speed up the recovery timelines of certain sponge species.
“Without Florida Sea Grant, there would be no sponge fishery in Florida”President of Acme Sponge and Chamois
What Happened to Billions of Baby Oysters: Life working in an oyster hatchery is, at its core, just like any other type of farming. We’re largely at the mercy of our environment, and each season is full of peaks and valleys. In the fall of 2007, we saw persistent problems that were unlike any Whiskey Creek had seen in its thirty-year history. Whole crops of young oysters, the “larvae” we raise and sell to shellfish farmers up and down the West Coast, were wiped out. This massive mortality event coincided with a huge upwelling event along the Oregon Coast, which brought seawater with a very low pH into Netarts Bay, where we’re located. Since then, our hatchery and regional growers have collaborated closely with researchers funded by both NOAA and the Oregon and Washington state legislatures to develop and test ways to protect our shellfish crops.
“We have continued to support healthy funding levels for the program because it’s a clear example of how good science and monitoring can be used to protect the livelihoods of hard-working Americans. No one wants to find that their livelihoods have disappeared overnight”Production Manager, Whiskey Creek Shellfish Hatchery
Getting Sea Turtles and Dolphins Back in the Water: Research funded by NOAA’s prestigious John G. Prescott Grant Program continues to support marine mammal research nationwide and makes essential stranding resources available to stranding network partners such as equipment, services, professional training and information. NOAA’s Marine Mammal Unusual Mortality Event funding supports efforts to examine carcasses and live animals to better understand the causes and factors that may be involved with unusually high mortality rates. This funding is critical for tackling these especially challenging situations, along with coordination provided by NOAA when we are orchestrating responses to large-scale events like dolphin disentanglements and mass strandings with other aquariums and partners.
“Any loss in resources for NOAA would create a sweeping negative impact, both internally within the aquarium and for our partners.”Stranding Coordinator at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium