The nation's ocean and coastal agency: Supporting coastal communities, promoting a robust economy, and protecting coastal and marine ecosystems
small boat harbor, Valdez, Alaska image of container ship Map of tectonic plates from National Park Service; source: (Modified by NPS from: R. J. Lillie. 2005. Parks and Plates.) image of North Carolina coast
a lionfish
What is an invasive species?

An invasive species is an organism, such as the lionfish shown here, that causes ecological or economic harm in a new environment where it is not native.

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Great Pacific Garbage Patch
Making Waves

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch. What do you know about it? Find out what it is and isn't, what we know and don't know, and what we can do about this ocean-sized problem.

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About NOS

The National Ocean Service (NOS) translates 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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Miami coastline


Supporting healthy, resilient coastal communities.


Midway Atoll


Protecting the health, productivity, and diversity of our ocean.


NOAA Coast Survey vessel


Navigation, tides, currents, and geodesy.