About NOAA

NOAA is a federal agency focused on the condition of the oceans and the atmosphere. It plays several distinct roles within the Department of Commerce:

A Supplier of Environmental Information Products. One of the most important resources in our society is information. NOAA supplies information to its customers that pertains to the state of the oceans and the atmosphere. This is clearly manifest in the production of weather warnings and forecasts through the National Weather Service, but NOAA’s information products extend to climate, ecosystems and commerce as well.

A Provider of Environmental Stewardship Services. NOAA also is the steward of national coastal and marine environments. In coordination with federal, state, local, tribal and international authorities, NOAA manages the use of these environments, regulating fisheries and marine sanctuaries as well as protecting threatened and endangered marine species.

A Leader in Applied Scientific Research. NOAA is a trusted source of accurate and objective scientific information in four particular areas of national and global importance:

  • Ecosystems: Ensure the sustainable use of resources and balance competing uses of coastal and marine ecosystems, recognizing both their human and natural components.
  • Climate: Understand changes in climate, including the El Niño phenomenon, to ensure that we can plan and respond properly.
  • Weather & Water: Provide data and forecasts for weather and water cycle events, including storms, droughts and floods.
  • Commerce & Transportation: Provide weather, climate, and ecosystem information to make sure individual and commercial transportation is safe, efficient and environmentally sound.

NOAA’s Vision
“An informed society that uses a comprehensive understanding of the role of the oceans, coasts and atmosphere in the global ecosystem to make the best social and economic decisions”

NOAA’s Mission
“To understand and predict changes in the Earth’s environment and conserve and manage coastal and marine resources to meet our nation’s economic, social and environmental needs”

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