About Us

Image of Los Angeles coast that shows intense coastal development

Our Priorities

What does the future hold?  Higher intensity coastal storms. Increased demands on our marine transportation system. Changing sea levels and coastal flooding. More offshore and coastal development.

How do we help the country thrive in the face of these challenges?  We've identified three priorities that reflect our primary statutory and mission drivers and reflect our commitment to navigation services, coastal research and observations, emergency response, and place-based conservation programs:

Coastal preparedness, response, recovery, and resiliency. From oil spills and vessel groundings to hurricanes and marine debris, NOS provides world-class science and services in support of resilient and healthy coastal communities, economies, and ecosystems. In light of increasing threats to our coasts, coastal resiliency has become a national priority. NOS supports and informs improved decision making and end-to-end coastal preparedness, response, recovery, and resiliency.

Coastal Intelligence

Coastal intelligence. Whether it is the nation's nautical charts, environmental monitoring and assessment, or socioeconomic tools, NOS and our partners are committed to integrating science and services to provide actionable information. The goal is to increase ocean and coastal 'intelligence' and thereby improve the ability of public and private decision makers to make informed choices. Good decisions today protect lives and property tomorrow.

Place-based conservation. Conserving coastal places provides economic benefits to local communities. These communities rely on dollars spent on activities such as recreation and tourism. NOS works to conserve marine areas — and preserve the economic benefits of these special places to local communities — through its coastal management and place-based conservation programs. These include Coastal Zone Management, the Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program, the National Estuarine Research Reserve System, National Marine Sanctuaries, and the Coral Reef Conservation Program. NOS will continue to express the inherent value and national interest in conserving these special places for the American public.

Our Mission

Our mission is to provide science-based solutions through collaborative partnerships to address evolving economic, environmental, and social pressures on our oceans and coasts.