To provide science-based solutions through collaborative partnerships to address evolving economic, environmental, and social pressures on our oceans and coasts.
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The National Ocean Service is the nation’s ocean agency. Our program and staff offices support resilient coastal communities, promote sustainable coastal economies, and protect the productivity and diversity of coastal and marine places.
Through our diverse activities, NOS is positioning America for the future. For example, NOS supports strong economies, commerce, and transportation. Ships move more than a trillion dollars worth of products in and out of U.S. ports every year. Every ship relies on navigation charts that NOS alone produces. Coastal emergency planners rely on global positioning accuracy at the centimeter level. NOS is the national authority on global positioning. All mapping, charting, and transportation activities are founded in a reliable, accurate national coordinate system. NOS is solely responsible for providing that system.
The National Ocean Service also supports safe, resilient, and sustainable communities. Coastal communities need to recover quickly after hurricanes, oil spills, and other emergencies. Immediately after an incident, NOS surveys the ocean floor for dangers to navigation so that ports may be reopened, conducts aerial surveys to rapidly assess damage, provides trajectory forecasts for oil/chemical spills and debris fields, and provides the positioning framework needed for rescue, recovery, and rebuilding activities.
NOS also promotes vital and productive environments. Every day, commercial and recreational fishers, divers, and tourists take advantage of America's "underwater national parks.” NOS is the nation's authority for identifying and managing marine areas that need protection. Oil and chemical spills damage environments and disrupt economies. NOS is the authoritative resource for science related to oil and chemical spills and marine debris. NOS also develops and implements science-based strategies to protect, maintain, and restore the health and resiliency of ecosystems.
In addition to the information you will find about the National Ocean Service on this website, you can also follow us on social media to learn about the latest services and products we provide.