The nation's ocean and coastal agency: Supporting coastal communities, promoting a robust economy, and protecting coastal and marine ecosystems
Illustrations from Moby-Dick, published in 1851 and authored by Herman Melville. Large taro leaf  credit: Avenue at Wikimedia Commons Annapolis, Maryland, pictured here in 2012, saw the greatest increase in nuisance flooding in a recent NOAA study. (Credit: With permission from Amy McGovern.) The sign washed up in Oahu, Hawaii last September. Credit: DLNR

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a dolphin
Dolphin or porpoise. What's the difference?

Dolphins, porpoises, and whales are terms used to describe marine mammals belonging to the order Cetacea.

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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.