The nation's ocean and coastal agency: Supporting coastal communities, promoting a robust economy, and protecting coastal and marine ecosystems
a canoe Charleston, SC, flood exposure map image Earth Day image
whale fluke in Alaska
What is a Marine Protected Area?

Marine protected areas span a range of habitats, including the open ocean, coastal areas, inter-tidal zones, estuaries, and the Great Lakes.

More Browse All Facts

bench mark
GPS on Bench Marks

We need your help! In this episode, we explore a unique volunteer opportunity with Christine Gallagher from NOAA's National Geodetic Survey.

Listen Browse Podcasts

Discover NOAA's Sanctuaries and Reserves

Interested in visiting a NOAA national marine sanctuary or national estuarine research reserve? Find a spot to visit with our map.

View Map

Come Visit Us logo
MAY 4-8, 2015

Next week, we are celebrating NOAA-managed coastal and marine places around the world. Join us on our website and social media and ... come visit us!

Learn More

About NOS

We translate science, tools, and services into action to address threats to coastal areas such as climate change, population growth, port congestion, and contaminants in the environment—all working towards healthy coasts and healthy economies.

Explore what we do

a glacier

Glacially Slow

One of the larger causes of ground movement in the U.S. today is due to glaciers from the last ice age! It's called glacial isostatic adjustment—the ongoing movement of land once burdened by ice-age glaciers.

Continue reading →

people volunteering on beach by planting seagrass


Public participation in scientific research is a growing trend in our increasingly "crowdsourced" world. See how you can help scientists answer real-world questions.

Continue reading →