National Ocean Service: Positioning America for the Future
More than half of us—163.8 million Americans as of the last Census— live in a coastal or Great Lakes watershed county. This number is expected to increase by nearly 10 percent—15 million more people—by 2020.
NOAA's National Ocean Service (NOS) is a leading federal provider of science-based, environmental services to people, communities, and industries working, living, and recreating along our coasts and Great Lakes. We position America's coastal communities, economies, and ecosystems for a healthy future of sustainable economic growth and adaptation to environmental change. The NOS budget supports NOAA's mission to build resilient coastal communities and foster healthy oceans by focusing on three interrelated areas:
Coastal Science and Assessment. NOS provides expert scientific support in response to oil and chemical spills and marine debris. Working with partners, NOS supported development of the Environmental Response Management Application (ERMA®), an online tool that integrates real-time data with mapping to aid and coordinate emergency response to coastal disasters. NOS is also a leader in ecological forecasting, providing long-term monitoring, impact assessments, and risk analysis from threats such as Harmful Algal Blooms and hypoxia.
Navigation, Observations and Positioning. NOS is the nation's provider and leading national authority on nautical charting and coastal mapping; water levels, tides and currents; and geographic positioning. Programs such as the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS®), National Water Level Observation Network (NWLON), National Spatial Reference System, National Current Observation Program and the Physical Oceanographic Real-time System (PORTS®) contribute to this suite of core Federal services.
Ocean and Coastal Management. NOS provides for effective management of our nation's coasts and special marine places such as coral reefs, marine protected areas, national marine sanctuaries, and estuarine research reserves. We provide coastal planners with the skills, tools, and data needed to manage the nation's coastal resources and communities. This includes Digital Coast, an interactive, online tool to aid and improve coastal decision making in both public and private sectors. NOS implements the Coastal Zone Management Act in partnership with the states to promote informed coastal management, as well as research, outreach, and education.
Fiscal Year 2017 Budget Request Highlights:
The FY 2017 President's Budget request for NOAA's National Ocean Service is $569,915,000. This request will allow NOAA to make investments to increase the resilience of the Nation's coastal communities to extreme weather events, coastal inundation, climate hazards, and changing ocean conditions. Highlights include:
- Regional Coastal Resilience Grants (+$15.0M). NOAA will expand the Regional Coastal Resilience Grant Program to more fully address resilience challenges facing all U.S. coastal regions—including extreme weather events, inundation, coastal hazards, changing conditions, and competing uses of resources—within a single competitive grants program. The grants will provide communities with resources to implement regionally-tailored actions that increase their ability to "better bounce back" from hazardous events.
- Ecosystem-Based Solutions for Coastal Resilience (+$5.0M). The NOS component of this integrated initiative with the National Marine Fisheries Service will help coastal planners integrate ecosystem-based solutions into hazard mitigation, resilient coastal development, and post-disaster rebuilding.
- Capacity to Respond to Extreme Events (+$4.0M). In response to increased frequency and intensity of coastal flooding and inundation, NOS will help coastal communities implement informed, risk-based approaches to preparing for, responding to, and recovering from these events.
- AmeriCorps Resilience Corps Training (+$2.0M). NOAA will develop and administer a training program for AmeriCorps members who will support communities and tribes on vulnerability assessments, resilience program implementation, and coordination with federal resilience efforts.
- Coastal Ecosystem Research and Development (+$4.0M). National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science will expand its competitive grant program to fund extramural research and applied science that address coastal ocean issues including harmful algal blooms, hypoxia, and coastal ecosystem assessment.
- Integrated Water Prediction: Driving Decisions for a Water-Prepared Nation (+$2.5M). The NOS component of this integrated initiative with the National Weather Service includes our capabilities in coastal modeling and service delivery. NOS's contribution is essential to ensuring accurate predictions in coastal areas and products and services that are targeted to users' needs from the earliest stages of product development.
- Oceans and Coastal Security Fund (+$10M). NOAA is requesting an appropriation of $10,000,000 to the National Oceans and Coastal Security Fund to help coastal states and other entities to better understand and utilize the oceans, coasts, and Great Lakes of the United States. NOAA will partner with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) to award grants that enhance ecological, economic, social, and recreational benefits of coastal resources.