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Logo of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Flag of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
|Formed||February 10, 1807
Reestablished: October 3, 1970
|Jurisdiction||United States federal government|
|Headquarters||Silver Spring, Maryland, U.S.|
|Annual budget||US$4.5 billion (2009)
US$4.9 billion (est. 2010)
US$5.6 billion (est. 2011)
|Parent agency||U.S. Department of Commerce|
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA; pronounced //, like "Noah") is an American scientific agency within the United States Department of Commerce focused on the conditions of the oceans and the atmosphere. NOAA warns of dangerous weather, charts seas, guides the use and protection of ocean and coastal resources, and conducts research to improve understanding and stewardship of the environment. In addition to its civilian employees, over 11,000 as of 2015, NOAA research and operations are supported by 379 uniformed service members who make up the NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps. The current Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere at the Department of Commerce and the agency's administrator is Kathryn D. Sullivan, who was nominated February 28, 2013, and confirmed March 6, 2014.
NOAA plays several specific roles in society, the benefits of which extend beyond the US economy and into the larger global community:
The five "fundamental activities" are:
NOAA was formed on October 3, 1970, after Richard Nixon proposed creating a new agency to serve a national need "… for better protection of life and property from natural hazards … for a better understanding of the total environment … [and] for exploration and development leading to the intelligent use of our marine resources ..." NOAA formed a conglomeration of several existing agencies that were among the oldest in the federal government. They were the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey, formed in 1807; the Weather Bureau, formed in 1870—Geodetic Survey and Weather Service had been combined by a 1965 consolidation into the Environmental Science Services Administration (ESSA); and the Bureau of Commercial Fisheries, formed in 1871. NOAA was established within the Department of Commerce via the Reorganization Plan No. 4 of 1970. In 2007 NOAA celebrated 200 years of service with its ties to the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey.
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