From the Desk of the Acting Assistant Administrator

The nation's ocean and coastal agency: Supporting coastal communities, promoting a robust economy, and protecting coastal and marine ecosystems.

12 November

Geography Awareness Week

Many NOAA products and services make use of and disseminate spatial data. Emergency managers rely on well-mapped evacuation routes to plan evacuation timelines and use post-event imagery to plan their response. For example, the 2020 California wildfires and accompanying heavy winds forced swift analysis and evacuation orders to escape new fires. This type of reliance on accurately aligned data and imagery will only increase as the world continues to build smart highways and smart cities.

2 October

NOAA Celebrates 50 Years

October 3 marks NOAA’s 50th anniversary. Although NOAA is turning 50, its roots go back over 200 years to 1807, when President Thomas Jefferson founded the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey. NOAA was established under the Department of Commerce in 1970 — continuing to make life better for U.S. citizens through scientific accuracy and precision.

21 September

Celebrate Estuaries

The third week of September is National Estuaries Week, a time set aside to commemorate the remarkably productive estuaries found throughout the U.S. This year the recreational and aesthetic benefits seem particularly important, as so many of us have a renewed need for the natural environment to help sharpen our minds and nourish our souls. Hiking, biking, kayaking, and bird-watching are great ways to alleviate stress and provide a much-needed breath of fresh air.

17 August

30th anniversary of the Oil Pollution Act; 15 years since Hurricane Katrina

This week marks two significant commemorative dates for two major historical events: the 30th anniversary of the 1990 Oil Pollution Act (OPA), and 15 years since Hurricane Katrina — one of the five deadliest hurricanes to strike the U.S.

23 July

Highlights from the 2019 State of U.S. High Tide Flooding

NOAA recently released the 2019 State of High Tide Flooding with a 2020 Outlook — the sixth in an annual series tracking changes in flood risk, providing an outlook for next year, and now giving multi-decadal projections using NOAA sea level rise scenarios developed for the Fourth National Climate Assessment.

5 June

National Ocean Month

June 8 is World Ocean Day — part of our annual recognition of National Ocean Month. This month is also our eighth year of NOS’s “30 Days of the Ocean” campaign. This online effort affords us the opportunity to share the importance of our world ocean, increase awareness of online NOS products and services, and promote ocean and environmental literacy to support informed stewardship decisions.

14 May

NOAA's Digital Coast Exemplifies How Collaborative Efforts Achieve Results

In all endeavors, we are stronger when we work together. NOAA's Digital Coast provides an exemplary example of this concept. By providing information on this shared platform, all of our products and services have the potential to be seen (and used!) by a much broader audience. This month, I take a look at how collaborative efforts across NOAA line offices, other federal agencies, and partner organizations can achieve impactful results.

30 March

Leadership and Empathy in Challenging Times

When I started thinking about this message weeks ago, I initially planned for it to tie together NOAA’s 50th anniversary, Women’s History Month, and lessons I’ve learned throughout my career. Now, as I settle into my home office for the foreseeable future, our world is being turned upside down by COVID-19. The coming weeks and months will be difficult if not scarring for our Nation. My educational background in biology not only compels me to take the new coronavirus seriously for myself and my family, but also to feel the weight of my responsibility to the entire workforce of the National Ocean Service (NOS), here and across the country.

19 March

The National Geodetic Survey's "GPS on Bench Marks" Campaign

I'm Brad Kearse, acting director of the National Geodetic Survey (NGS), the agency responsible for maintaining and modernizing the National Spatial Reference System (NSRS), a consistent coordinate system that defines latitude, longitude, height, scale, gravity, orientation, and shoreline throughout the United States. I'd like to invite you to take part in the NGS GPS on Bench Marks campaign.

06 February

Gulf Oil Spill Conference and Celebrating Estuaries

I'd like to share my thoughts on a recent conference I attended, where experts in the field of ecosystem science shared their knowledge about impacts of oil spills in the Gulf, and how this knowledge can inform regional management and policy decisions. I also want to highlight that we are celebrating #EstuaryLove throughout the month of February via NOAA's Office for Coastal Management. #EstuaryLove is an annual campaign to raise awareness about the importance of estuaries, while also celebrating the National Estuarine Research Reserve System.

16 January

Office of Response and Restoration Outlook

I took the helm of OR&R in November of 2019, and spent the first months connecting with staff and partners that spanned the breadth of our mission. In the new year, I’m looking forward to deepening those connections, continuing our strong mission accomplishments, and conducting more joint work across OR&R’s operating divisions as a step in ensuring we are nimble in how we leverage our expertise and resources across our mission set.

05 December

Coral Reef Conservation Program 2019 Update

Once again, NOAA’s Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP) is finishing up a busy year. We have been setting implementation plans into motion for the new NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program Strategic Plan, and working across NOAA with state and territorial partners to target our research and conservation efforts.

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