The nation's ocean and coastal agency: Supporting coastal communities, promoting a robust economy, and protecting coastal and marine ecosystems
Lake Erie harmful algal bloom illustrations of red tide illustrations from Moby Dick illustration of thermocline
A lightering barge being positioned next to the freighter M/V Montrose in 2007
What is lightering?

Lightering is the process of removing oil or other hazardous chemicals from a compromised vessel to another vessel to prevent oil from spilling into the surrounding waters.

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Ocean Economy

Dive into our ocean economy in our latest podcast. We talk with NOAA economist Jeff Adkins to understand how we all benefit from our ocean economy.

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Deep Sea Exploration

Scientists on the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer are exploring the deep waters of the Hawaiian Archipelago. Watch live video streams as they explore the seafloor!

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About NOS

We translate 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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coastal damage after Sandy, courtesy of U.S. Air Force

Beachgoers Beware

Our coasts are prone to many natural hazards. See how NOAA helps to keep communities safe and resilient.

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A Portuguese Man o' War

Meet the Man O' War

The Portuguese man o' war is often called a jellyfish, but is actually a group of animals closely related to jellyfish.

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