The nation's ocean and coastal agency: Supporting coastal communities, promoting a robust economy, and protecting coastal and marine ecosystems
illustrations from Moby Dick illustration of thermocline coastal damage after Sandy, courtesy of U.S. Air Force A Portuguese Man o' War
A lightering barge being positioned next to the freighter M/V Montrose in 2007
What is lightering?

Lightering is the process of removing oil or other hazardous chemicals from a compromised vessel to another vessel to prevent oil from spilling into the surrounding waters.

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Ocean Economy

Dive into our ocean economy in our latest podcast. We talk with NOAA economist Jeff Adkins to understand how we all benefit from our ocean economy.

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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.

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people at the beach

Beachgoers Beware

Heading to the coast? Here are five sea creatures to avoid at the shore.

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image montage of algal bloom, dead zone animation, coral bleaching

Eco Forecast Round-up

Check out our handy summary of key 2015 dead zone, harmful algal bloom, and coral bleaching forecasts.

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