"The National Ocean Service (NOS) strives to ensure that Americaís oceans and coasts are safe, healthy, and productive. This year, NOS was hard at work protecting coastal communities, supporting safe and efficient marine transportation, increasing our understanding of changes in coastal and marine environments, reducing ocean and coastal health risks, and conserving the coastal and marine places that so many Americans value."
"The challenge for NOS is to understand, protect, and manage coastal areas to make coastal communities safer and more sustainable. In rising to this challenge, NOS is working to enhance coastal resiliency in the face of natural disasters and climate change, to minimize the environmental, social, and economic impacts from coastal hazards. NOS is also protecting and restoring coastal habitats, reducing impacts associated with coastal development and other uses, and protecting coastal water quality and quantity to prevent illness and sustain ecosystems."
"NOS is filling the gaps in information needed to better understand and forecast ocean and coastal changes and their impacts on commerce and transportation, weather and climate, and ecosystems. Central to these efforts is the establishment of an Integrated Ocean Observing System to coordinate and disseminate data and information to decision makers so that they can take action to improve safety, enhance our economy, and protect our environment."
"Now more than ever, the tools and information developed by the National Ocean Service are required to keep marine transportation safe, efficient, and environmentally sound. From producing and updating nautical charts to managing the Nationís geospatial reference system, providing accurate positioning information, delivering real-time oceanographic information, and surveying our shoreline, NOS is there to ensure smooth traveling along the Nationís marine highways."
"The National Ocean Service strives to predict, manage, and prevent ocean and coastal health risks. NOS provides early-warning systems and forecasts to reduce risks of exposure to contaminants and builds networks to monitor and evaluate illness in people and marine animals. Biological and chemical sensors help measure threats to public health, and NOS research is establishing links between land use and chemicals in the marine environment."
To balance environmental conservation, economic development, and recreational enjoyment of ocean and coastal resources, the National Ocean Service is protecting 13 national marine sanctuaries, one national marine monument, 27 national estuarine research reserves, and a network of marine protected areas. NOS is working to identify, reduce, and prevent marine debris and to increase our understanding of coral bleaching and disease while taking steps to conserve these 'rainforests of the sea.'"