The nation's ocean and coastal agency: Supporting coastal communities, promoting a robust economy, and protecting coastal and marine ecosystems
image of kayaks in a row on the water microalgae collection devices Aug. 2014 satellite image of a Lake Erie Harmful Algal Bloom Jacksonville port with the words 'PORTS' in foreground
a waterspout
What is a waterspout?

A waterspout is a whirling column of air and water mist. Waterspouts fall into two categories: fair weather waterspouts and tornadic waterspouts.

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Coast Guard Cutter Healy
Making Waves

This month, NOAA experts join the U.S. Coast Guard on a journey to the Arctic on the Coast Guard icebreaker Healy. Their mission: to simulate an oil spill. Listen to our interview.

Listen Arctic Shield 2014

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.