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.
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: