The National Ocean Service (NOS) observes, measures, assesses, and manages coastal, ocean, and Great Lakes areas and provides science-based services to inform decision making, thereby positioning America's coastal communities, economies and ecosystems for the future.
Coastal watershed counties were home to 163.8 million people in 2010—approximately 52 percent of the United States population. This number is expected to increase by more than 15 million by 2020. Through NOS, NOAA is positioning America for the future as the lead Federal agency responsible for promoting the sustainable, safe, and efficient use of our Nation's valuable coastal resources and special coastal places.
Images (from left): (1) NOAA Navigation Response Team survey vessel in New York Harbor post-Sandy; (2) Harmful algal bloom, image courtesy of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department; (3) LIDAR image of Bixby Bridge in Big Sur, Calif.; (4) Arctic ERMA visualization tool.
The FY 2014 President's Budget Request for NOS is $529.2M. This request represents a critical step toward re-establishing balance across investments in NOAA's missions. By emphasizing science, technology and earth observations, the NOS request recognizes the important and expanding uses of coastal, oceanographic and geospatial data for navigation safety, emergency preparedness and response, and stewardship of ecological resources.
In response to challenges ranging from increased Arctic development to the ravages of extreme weather, the request acknowledges the increasing importance of NOS expertise, products and services in supporting preparedness, response, recovery, and resource management activities across all levels of government and coastal constituencies. The increases noted below are program changes from the FY 2014 budget request. Highlights of proposed new investments include:
In addition to these increases, the budget request largely maintains other NOS services and capabilities that employ partnerships, stakeholder-centric services, and place-based strategies to help coastal communities mitigate and adapt to environmental change. Within the requested funds, NOS's coastal management programs will continue to provide national leadership to state and territory coastal management programs and estuarine research reserves to keep America's coasts healthy, safe and resilient. In 2014 NOS will also continue to manage national marine sanctuaries, which is America's primary legal mandate for place-based conservation of special marine places in offshore areas.
Images (from top): (1) This graphic depicts NOS surveys conducted at the Port of N.Y./N.J. (2) This image shows Normandy Beach, N.J., before and after Sandy; (3) This image shows locations of NOAA navigation response teams on Oct. 31, 2012, positioned for response to Sandy to check for underwater debris and shoaling that may pose a risk to navigation; (4) The processed images from multibeam echosounders provide critical images of the seafloor. This image of a sunken container was acquired during the post-Sandy survey of the Port of N.Y./N.J., processed by a survey technician on the NOAA ship Thomas Jefferson.
Hurricane Sandy provided a tragic illustration of NOS's importance to addressing natural and manmade hazards which threaten America's coasts. Within hours after the storm, NOS was conducting emergency navigation surveys to restore maritime commerce, aerial surveys to assist on-the-ground responders from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and local authorities; and oil spill cleanup and damage assessments in the Arthur Kill and NY/NJ Harbor. During ongoing recovery efforts NOS continues to apply its unique expertise in protecting coastal and estuarine habitats, tracking and reducing marine debris, and collecting oceanographic data. In combination with our decision support, technical assistance, and training activities, NOS provides an unparalleled and powerful suite of resources and tools to help coastal communities and economies rebuild.
NOS brings a wealth of coastal science, management, and operational expertise to aid communities impacted by Sandy in their recovery. NOS is on the front lines to help America understand, predict, and respond to the challenges facing our oceans and coasts.
NOS leads coastal management efforts across the nation and is the primary conduit for data and services at NOAA to support informed coastal decision making.
NOS also has unique expertise in protecting coastal and estuarine habitat, tracking and reducing marine debris, and providing essential navigation, coastal mapping, observing, monitoring, and high-accuracy geospatial positioning services. In combination with our decision support, technical assistance, and training activities, NOS provides an unparalleled and powerful suite of resources and tools to aid recovery.