NOAA's FY 2001 Budget Request

NOAA's 2001 Budget Request

Budget News Release

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NOAA, a key component of the Department of Commerce, plays a vital role in the everyday lives of our citizens through our numerous contributions to the Nation's economic and environmental health. In a period of strongly competing government priorities, the President's FY 2001 Budget Request of $2.9 billion in total budget authority provides essential new resources for NOAA, underscoring the agency's important contributions to the Nation (see Section 4 for a detailed breakout of the Budget Request). The proposed budget provides the resources necessary to maintain indispensable services, ensures continuing progress in critical investment areas, and addresses statutory obligations.

NOAA's 30th Anniversary logoThis year marks the 30th anniversary of our Agency, and our slogan for this event, "Our Seas and Our Skies-30 Years of Excellence at NOAA," captures the essence of who we are and what we do. By tackling challenges from the deep ocean to the surface of the sun, NOAA is helping to make America and the world a healthier place to live. Although NOAA is young, the responsibilities and mission that NOAA retains date back much earlier, beginning with maritime charting in 1807 when President Thomas Jefferson established the Survey of the Coast, which later evolved into our National Ocean Service. As depicted in the graph below, NOAA has grown from a $277 million agency in 1971, to a $2.9 billion request with 12,600 people today.

Since then, NOAA has had much to be proud of-but there is still much to be done. NOAA has the challenge of mapping the future of our oceans and coasts, and of deepening our understanding of the atmosphere, which are no less than the economic and environmental lifelines of America and the world. This Budget Request, then, is one in a series of steps toward these goals.

NOAA's responsibilities, from issuing weather and climate forecasts, to managing our Nation's ocean and marine resources, are much in the public view. In 1999, we experienced a range of powerful weather and climate events, including a La Niña, for which NOAA provided a long range forecast, searing heat that scorched southern states, floods that swallowed parts of America's heartland, and a devastating hurricane season. The 1997-'98 El Niño provided scientists around the world their first opportunity to observe a major climate event from beginning to end, and issue valuable forecasts to help mitigate the potential impacts.

In 1999, NOAA built on its ability to provide long range forecasts and develop new climate products, including hurricane and drought outlooks that allowed emergency managers, businesses, communities and individuals to make advance preparations for the inclement weather. Also in 1999, NOAA completed the deployment of the Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System (AWIPS). This system, along with the NOAA Weather Radio and the Warning Decision Support System, was credited for the outstanding service and long lead time for warnings issued during a violent outbreak of tornadoes in May in Oklahoma and Kansas.

To fulfill its environmental stewardship mission, NOAA has initiated and continued strong cooperative efforts to protect our living marine resources. These efforts include innovative partnerships with the states of Washington, Oregon, and California to protect and recover at-risk Pacific salmon and steelhead species. These partnerships were based upon the significant flexibility of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and provided a mechanism to reduce human-caused threats to the at-risk species before they are listed under the ESA. Thus, the partnerships promote the economic strength of the Nation and enhance recovery of at-risk species.

Take reduction strategies also have decreased incidental mortality in commercial fisheries. Strong fishery management programs have helped ensure the long term sustainable harvest of valuable stocks of marine fish. Management actions to rebuild haddock stocks in New England have resulted in recent assessments indicating that the stock is recovering, and harvest limits have been safely increased.

NOAA also has led an effort to bring increased visibility to the challenges threatening our living marine resources. NOAA co-hosted the National Ocean Conference in 1998 with the Department of Navy-the first national conference to draw attention to key ocean resources and issues, including coastal and ocean navigation and transportation, coastal habitats, fishing resources, and the interaction of ocean processes on weather and climate. Over 800 national leaders, members of Congress, researchers, and other interested stakeholders attended. Over 1,000 additional stakeholders participated in the Conference via satellite downlinks to facilities around the country. Several initiatives were introduced during the Conference which were included in the FY 2000 budget submission and are included in the FY 2001 Budget Request. A further discussion of these crosscutting initiatives is provided later in this section.

NOAA's mission is to describe and predict changes in the Earth's environment, and to conserve and manage the Nation's coastal and marine resources to ensure sustainable economic opportunities. NOAA implements its mission through the activities of its five line offices: the National Ocean Service (NOS); the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS); the Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR); the National Weather Service (NWS); and the National Environmental, Satellite, Data and Information Service (NESDIS). The chart below illustrates the distribution of NOAA's Budget Request among the line offices.

Today, the Nation and the world look to NOAA's five line offices to provide timely and precise weather forecasts that protect lives and property; to manage fisheries and protected species; to build healthy coastlines; to make America more competitive through safe navigation; to examine changes in the oceans; and to inspire and create approaches that will protect and keep our precious natural resources alive for the generations to come.

NOAA conducts research to develop new technologies, improve operations, and supply the scientific basis for managing natural resources and solving environmental problems. NOAA's comprehensive system for acquiring observations-from satellites and radars to ships and submersibles-provides critical data and quality information needed for the safe conduct of daily life and the basic functioning of a modern society. NOAA's products and services include short term weather forecasts, seasonal climate predictions, long term global change prognoses, environmental technologies, nautical charts, marine fisheries statistics and regulations, assessments of environmental changes, hazardous materials response information, and stewardship of the Nation's ocean, coastal, and living marine resources.

These products and services provide vital support to the domestic security and global competitiveness of the United States, and positively impact the lives of our citizens, directly or indirectly, every single day.

The President's Budget Request also allows NOAA to perform an essential role in a number of Departmental, interagency and Presidential initiatives, including: the Natural Disaster Reduction Initiative; the Lands Legacy Initiative; the Climate Services and Observations Initiative; building the capacity of the Nation's Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs); the South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Initiative; the Clean Water Initiative, and the America's Ocean Future Initiative. Critical budget initiatives and programs are described below:

Natural Disaster Reduction Initiative: $110.0 million

Critical to meeting our 21st Century mission and the reduction of natural disasters is the ongoing health of NOAA's weather and satellite programs. In order to ensure our success, the President's Budget Request includes a total of $110.0 million in increases for sustaining the modernization of the National Weather Service, research and new funding for satellites and data efforts. The table below summarizes the programs that comprise the Natural Disaster Reduction Initiative (NDRI).

National Weather Service: $53.9 million

The President's Budget includes $14.7 million in adjustments-to-base (ATBs) essential to sustaining a modernized National Weather Service (NWS). The ATBs will include funding for the mandatory federal pay raise and projected inflationary increases in non-labor categories such as maintenance and service contracts. Since 70 percent of the NWS base operations is committed to labor costs this funding is vital.

Also included in the FY 2001 request is $8.4 million to sustain base operations, $2.3 million to modernize and update the co-operative observer (COOP) network, $2.0 million for Weather Forecast Office (WFO) Maintenance, $6.6 million for Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System (AWIPS) Operations and Maintenance (O&M), $0.1 million for NEXRAD O&M, $0.1 million for ASOS O&M, an additional $1.0 million for U.S. Weather Research Program (USWRP), and another program that contributes to NDRI is the Advanced Hydrologic Prediction System (AHPS).

In the Procurement, Acquisition and Construction (PAC) Account, NWS systems acquisition funding is to continue the acquisition and improvement of major systems associated with advancing short term warnings and forecasts. For FY 2001, new increases are requested for the Next Generation Radar (NEXRAD) Program ($1.3 million); Automated Surface Observing System (ASOS) ($1.3 million); AWIPS/NOAA Port ($1.4 million); Computer Facilities upgrades ($4.0 million); NOAA weather radio expansion and enhancements ($6.2 million); Evansville Doppler Radar ($5.5 million); and in addition the Radiosonde Replacement Network supports NDRI.

Satellite Coverage and Data Programs: $49.6 million

In order to ensure the sustainability of NOAA's satellite coverage and data programs, the President's Budget provides $49.6 million in new funding for these programs. Included in this request is funding for the next series of NOAA's Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES) ($25.2 million) and new funding for NOAA's polar orbiting satellites ($6.5 million). Additional funding in the amount of $1.0 million is provided for Environmental Observing Services. The FY 2001 Budget Request for polar satellites will support the NOAA M satellite launch planned for FY 2001 and NOAA N and N' to be launched in a future year.

For NOAA's National Polar Orbiting Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS) Program, the FY 2001 Budget Request provides $16.9 million in new funding. The convergence of the NOAA Polar program and the Department of Defense's Defense Meteorological Satellite Program into a converged NOAA/DoD/NASA Program will save the United States Government millions of dollars over the life of the program by developing a satellite system that meets the needs of each of these agencies.

Global Disaster Information Network: $5.5 million

The FY 2001 President's Budget Request also includes $5.5 million to create an integrated Global Disaster Information Network (GDIN). The GDIN is an interagency effort to improve all phases of disaster management and response by building a collaborative, public/private partnership to develop an information system to aid emergency managers and those affected by disasters. Funds will be used to improve coordination of and access to disaster information; to assure the reliability of Federal internet and other communication channels during disasters; and to standardize data sets, data access and data analysis tools.

Lands Legacy Initiative [$265.8 million]

In the FY 2001 Budget, NOAA requests an increase of $265.8 million to continue the many critical environmental programs of the Administration's historic Lands Legacy Initiative, which addresses some of the most serious challenges facing U.S. coasts and oceans. In FY 2000, NOAA received approximately $26.7 million in new increases for this initiative. The FY 2001 budget builds on the progress made to preserve our Nation's coastal and ocean resources. The FY 2001 Budget includes resources to significantly enhance the stewardship capabilities at the twelve National Marine Sanctuaries and 25 National Estuarine Research Reserves as well as the 33 coastal zone management states. Also included are additional resources to maintain and protect our critical estuaries, as well as mapping and monitoring of fragile coral reefs. With additional funds in FY 2001, NOAA will address the effects of polluted run-off in coastal areas, implement priority recommendations of the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force, enhance the recovery of threatened and endangered coastal salmon, and provide grants to coastal states with existing offshore oil and gas production for sound coastal zone management. These specific increases are described in detail below. (See initiative funding chart, next page.)

Coastal Zone Management Act

CZM Grants: $92.7 million

An increase of $92.7 million for the Coastal Zone Management (CZM) Program will provide grants and technical assistance to coastal states to enable state managers and local communities to better address the significant and costly impacts of rapidly increasing coastal populations, polluted runoff, deteriorating waterfront areas, and loss of coastal habitats. Coastal states, which have been constrained from fully implementing their coastal zone management programs due to lack of funding, will be able to address the impacts of coastal storms and flooding, declining water quality, shortage of public access to the shoreline, loss of wetlands, deteriorating waterfronts and harbors, and the challenge of balancing economic and environmental demands in increasingly competitive ports. The results will be improved habitat protection and restoration, increased public access to the coast, urban waterfront and coastal community revitalization, and better management of special areas that are of concern at the local, State, and National levels - for the benefit of the Nation's economy and environment. From the requested amount, NOAA recommends that $25.0 million in grants be used by states to reduce polluted runoff, the leading cause of degradation in coastal waters. As a result, state coastal waters will be cleaner and economic losses from polluted runoff will be reduced. NOAA also requests that $30.0 million of the total amount for CZM state grants be directed to implement community-based, environmentally protective solutions to combat the effects on coastal resources resulting from increased development and sprawl.

CZM Program Administration: $2.1 million

In order to fulfill the expanded responsibilities of the Coastal Zone Management Program, an increase is requested to support NOAA's responsibilities under the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) which continue to grow with the addition of new state coastal management programs and National Estuarine Research Reserves. This increase is critical if NOAA is to provide adequate levels of support to its state partners. For example, NOAA will mediate disputes between States, Federal agencies, and others; enable better dissemination of information from the National Estuarine Research Reserve System; and construct research, monitoring and education, and support facilities construction at the Reserves and Sanctuaries. Adequate technical and administrative support to manage and protect vital coastal habitat through the National estuarine and coastal management programs is essential to NOAA's ability to fulfill its responsibilities as a coastal steward and manage efforts under this initiative.

Polluted Runoff Grants: $2.0 million

NOAA requests an increase of $2.0 million, to accelerate completion of State Coastal Nonpoint Pollution Control programs that address the impact of polluted runoff on coastal waters (Nonpoint Pollution Control Program, Section 6217). In addition to supporting the Lands Legacy Initiative, this increase supports the Administration's Clean Water Initiative and furthers the recommendations of the Clean Water Action Plan. It also supports the recommendation included the 1999 interagency report, Turning to the Sea: America's Ocean Future to effectively address polluted runoff into coastal waters.

Coral Reef Conservation and Protection: $9.0 million

In FY 2000, NOAA began to strengthen its capabilities to address the Nation's coral reef crisis. Working with State, territorial, and local partners, this new funding will support research, monitoring, and local-level projects to reduce human impacts and increase sustainable use of America's valuable coral reefs. Of these additional funds, $4.0 million will allow NOS to improve understanding of reef health and focus on preventing reef-damage from vessel grounding, pollution, fishing, and other human impacts. $5.0 million of the increase amount will enable NMFS to develop, establish, monitor, and enforce coral reef fishery reserves critical to restoring valuable commercial and recreational species and protecting the habitats they depend upon. This request will directly support increased monitoring, protection, and sustainable use of coral reefs which are priorities of the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force and recommendations included in the America's Ocean Future report.

National Marine Sanctuaries: $10.0 million

NOAA requests an increase of $10.0 million for the Marine Sanctuary Program to improve and enhance the operating and technical capacity of the 12 existing National Marine Sanctuaries (Channel Islands, Cordell Bank, Gulf of the Farallones, Monterey Bay, Monitor, Olympic Coast, Stellwagen Bank, Gray's Reef, Florida Keys, Fagatele Bay, Flower Garden Banks, and Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale.)

Resulting from this increase will be improved protection of these special places that include coral reefs, endangered marine mammals, sensitive habitats and cultural resources. The request will also support exploration of deep ocean areas within the Sanctuaries and explore the important socioeconomic contributions to the Nation from ocean resources. Lands Legacy funds in FY 2000 were instrumental in beginning this process, by allowing some sanctuaries to reach baseline operational levels. These new funds will allow for continuing improvements to baseline operations and upgraded management capabilities. Education, community outreach, research and monitoring, cultural resource management, enforcement, and response to resource damage will all be enhanced by additional resources. Continued funding of $3.0 million is provided in the PAC account for Sanctuaries to complete a comprehensive facilities plan that prioritizes needs and opportunities at individual sites for constructing sanctuary exhibits and possible visitor centers and conducting collaborative education projects.

National Estuarine Research Reserves: $8.0 million

An increase of $6.0 million is requested for the National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS) to improve the ability of NOAA to protect, conserve, and restore coastal habitats and biodiversity at the Nation's 25 existing National Estuarine Research Reserves. NOAA, with its state partners, will provide national leadership in demonstrating how estuaries can be managed for the benefit of future generations. The increase will help make all reserves fully functional in accordance with program guidelines and a 1997 Inspector General report. Funds will help state partners hire full-time core staff and allow Reserve staff to plan and complete state land acquisition and construction activities. The increase also will complete assessment of biological resources at each site and implement the System-wide monitoring program critical to tracking the health of each reserve. This effort will address a key recommendation of the 1999 interagency report, "Turning to the Sea: America's Ocean Future," to improve monitoring of the Nation's estuaries. Funding of $2.0 million in the PAC Account is associated with the Lands Legacy Initiative, and is requested for state land acquisition and construction of research and visitor facilities.

Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund: $42.0 million

As part of the Lands Legacy Initiative, NOAA requests new funding to increase support for the Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund. These funds will build on the FY 2000 Appropriation and will be used to enhance the recovery of threatened and endangered coastal salmon by providing Federal funds to help share the costs of conservation actions by tribes, States and local communities. The increase will provide assistance in the conservation of Pacific salmon runs at risk of extinction in the western states of California, Oregon, Washington, and Alaska. Of these funds, those provided to coastal tribes do not require matching funds, while those provided to States have a 25 percent matching fund requirement. These new Federal resources will bolster lasting partnerships with tribal, State, and local governments in their effort toward Pacific salmon recovery and habitats restoration.

Coastal Impact Assistance Fund: $100.0 million

This Coastal Impact Assistance Fund will provide resources to coastal states with existing offshore oil and gas production. Offshore oil and gas development places a variety of additional social, economic and environmental demands on ports, communities, and natural resources of coastal states. Funds from the account will provide grants to existing oil and gas producing coastal states to implement activities consistent with Coastal Zone Management Plans and increase protection and sustainable management of coastal resources such as habitat protection, community revitalization, improved coastal access, and public education on coastal issues. States eligible to receive grants under the Coastal Impact Assistance Fund are: Alabama, Alaska, California, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. These funds will help develop the tools to minimize risks to coastal environments from coastal development including oil and gas activities.

Climate Observation and Services Initiative: $28.0 million

During recent years, there has been a growing demand from emergency managers, the private sector, the research community, decision-makers in the U.S. and international governmental agencies and the general public to provide timely data and information about climate variability, climate change and trends in extreme weather events. The economic and social need for continuous, reliable climate data and longer-range climate forecasts has been clearly demonstrated. Climate observations and services will be as important to the 21st century economies and societies as weather forecasting is today. To respond to these needs, as several recent National Research Council reports have pointed out, NOAA must take immediate steps to repair its deteriorating data and observational systems as well as support new observations and develop more efficient and timely data infrastructure capabilities. The Climate Observations and Services Initiative will provide resources critical to these needs and to extend our ability to produce forecasts on a longer-time scale. This initiative will support transitioning our current research efforts and knowledge into operational systems and products. To do this, NOAA will focus its efforts to address key deficiencies in its observation and data management systems, implement new ocean observations, and develop a broad spectrum of new forecast products. The following efforts will be supported by this initiative (see initiative funding chart, next page.)

Climate Reference Network: $6.0 million

To ensure NOAA's capability to monitor decadal to centennial changes of temperature and precipitation, a climate reference network consisting of several hundred stations must be developed by making use of the historical data from the best sites in the network of 11,000 cooperative observing sites. This climate reference network will build on data from stations identified as those with the longest environmentally stable records, most dedicated observers, and most reliable data with few interruptions. These records have been used to identify past trends, variations, and changes in climate but are now degrading at an intolerable rate. A climate reference network of about 250 stations will be identified with adequate spatial coverage to monitor temperature and precipitation trends across the USA. This will ensure long-term and bias-free global monitoring, including validation of NOAA's satellite monitoring capabilities. In FY 2001, NOAA will select the first 100 sites; place instrument types for temperature, precipitation, and soil moisture at a subset of the reference network; implement a means to electronically communicate all data collected in the reference network; develop a quality control package for observed data that includes checks for both random and systematic errors; and evaluate periods of concurrent data using old and new instruments to ensure a seamless transition to the new reference stations.

Improving the Availability of Climate Data and Information: $10.0 million

As observational capabilities increase and observing networks expand, it is essential that data management and dissemination systems are in place to make the resulting data and information widely and easily accessible to public and private sector decision makers. Many communities have an unfilled demand for data and information related to past, present, and expected changes in weather and climate. NOAA must develop the required infrastructure to assemble, develop, and communicate the data, information, and knowledge about the trends and future expectations of climate and weather events. Elements of this infrastructure will consist of:

—$1.0 million for NWS Climate Prediction Center to translate an enhanced capability to monitor global climate variability and the insights about climate fluctuations gained from better observing systems into operational practice. This will be done through improvements to climate forecast models and better assimilation of observational data and development of a broad spectrum of new forecast products which emphasize risks of high-impact weather events in the context of climate variability. Proposed new and improved products are biweekly to multi-year probabilities of rainfall events and droughts; probabilities of above- and below-normal hurricane seasons in the Atlantic and Pacific; probabilities of biweekly to multi-year temperature extremes; and probabilities for increased risk of fires.

—$4.0 million requested in the PAC account for the National Environmental Data Archive and Access System (NEDAAS) to improve access by the public, private industry, decision makers, and scientists to the large volume of space-based and ground-based data, such as Doppler radar, polar and geostationary satellites. These new resources will improve the efficiency of NOAA's data management activities, for both in situ and satellite data; drive down NOAA's costs of data management per data set; and improve user services by providing access to data that is presently too costly to access for most users. The system will include the development of optimized storage technologies such as data compression and decompression, media migration to new generation storage devices, and improved Internet access to near online data.

—$1.0 million to develop and implement real-time operational updates to NOAA's premier research quality long-term ocean and atmospheric reference data sets. The Nation's highest quality long term, peer reviewed data sets are being used in a research mode, but are now ready for exploitation by private industry, decision-makers, and the general public. These funds will be used to develop the infrastructure necessary to update routinely these data sets in real-time and ensure access to the data.

—$2.5 million to improve observation network performance by ensuring that key in situ and satellite observing networks systems adhere to the principles and guidelines for long term climate monitoring as articled by the National Academy of Sciences. The funding will be used to monitor the performance of these networks using performance indicators to identify problems early enough to prevent serious degradation; provide for overlapping coverage when new instruments are introduced; ensure the data are used in national and international assessments to help evaluate the data quality; and provide for adequate metadata (information about the operation the network and related algorithms used for processing the data). Improving the overall performance of these networks will allow NOAA to avoid reconstructing entire historical data sets because of problems uncovered long after initial observations.

—$1.5 million for observations and analysis in linking climate and extreme weather events critical to the general public and decision makers. Of particular importance is how climate variations such as El Niño, the North Atlantic Oscillation or long term trends influence the probability of occurrence of extreme weather events. An observational and analysis effort is proposed to better forecast high-impact weather on both short and long time scales; localize the predicted area of impact with high-resolution nested modeling and field programs; develop new tools for risk evaluation and prediction of extreme or significant weather types; and understand better the underlying physical processes that govern the unique weather of topographically complex regions.

Baseline Observatories: $3.0 million

These funds will upgrade and expand operations at NOAA's remote manned Global Atmospheric Baseline Observatories at Barrow, Alaska; Mauna Loa, Hawaii; American Samoa; and the South Pole, Antarctica. These observatories measure up to 250 different atmospheric parameters relevant to the study of climate change and are critical to the collection and continuity of the world's longest atmospheric time series, supplying the scientific community with information on the state and recovery of the ozone layer, global carbon dioxide, and other trace gases impacting the global climate. Funds are needed to rehabilitate the aging Barrow and Samoa observatories by upgrading the equipment and facilities; upgrading the Dobson ozone spectrometer equipment; and upgrading 11 continuous surface radiation sites. Routine aircraft flask profile measurements of trace gases and aerosols also will be expanded to cover the continental U.S. and the Pacific basin, and enhanced sampling from ships and buoys will be undertaken. Finally, funds are requested to expand the gas and aerosol baseline measurements of effluents flowing from the Asian mainland to Hawaii, Alaska, and North America.

Ocean Observations: $9.0 million

Improved understanding of ocean circulation and physics is fundamental to our ability to predict climate variability. Finer measurements of ocean data are needed to track climate shifts, understand the interaction of oceans and atmosphere and predict severe weather and the regional impacts of climate variability. This initiative will provide funds for NOAA to complete the U.S. portion of the global array of profiling floats (ARGO) for temperature and salinity. NOAA, with its international partners, will use these resources to construct, deploy and operate an array of profiling floats for data collection in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. It will also deploy additional surface drifting buoys in the Southern Hemisphere and other under-sampled regions to complete the Global Drifter Array and improve and increase sampling from Voluntary Observing Ships (VOS). NOAA will make use of the U.S. (NASA) and French (CNES) satellite altimetry data (sea surface heights) by developing a methodology for effectively assimilating altimetry into ocean models and improving assimilation systems for the higher latitudes. In conjunction with this, NOAA will upgrade global sea-level stations for satellite altimeter drift calibration and for monitoring of long-term trends. Most of these funds (up to $7.5 million) will be managed through the National Oceanographic Partnership Program (NOPP).

Minority Serving Institutions: $17.0 million

As part of a Commerce-wide capacity building effort, NOAA requests $17.0 million to continue educational training relationships through a joint partnership with a consortium of Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs). These efforts will result in the education of new marine, atmospheric and environmental scientists. In addition, the initiative will help to develop capacity at the consortium of MSIs and allow these institutions to train a greater number of resource scientists and managers. This effort will provide the Department with a broader and more diverse pool of potential employees. Having additional trained natural resource managers will expand the overall scientific community and provide NOAA with additional sources of scientific data that would allow the agency to more effectively carry out its mission.

South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Initiative: $1.6 million

NOAA's FY 2001 Budget Request includes an increase of $1.6 million to address issues related to the South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Initiative. The South Florida Initiative is an integrated effort among Federal, tribal, State and non-governmental partners to halt the degradation and restore the function of the South Florida ecosystem. As the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers begins to implement major construction and re-routing of water flow through the South Florida ecosystem, downstream coastal resources will be affected. NOAA supports the portion of the South Florida Initiative exclusively devoted to restoring and protecting the coastal and marine portions of the South Florida ecosystem such as the fisheries habitat and coral reefs. Continued investment is necessary to restore and maintain the marine ecosystem and the associated economies of South Florida and the Florida Keys. The table below summarizes the programs included in this initiative.

Clean Water Initiative: $6.9 million

NOAA's FY 2001 Budget requests an increase of $6.9 million over the FY 2000 enacted budget, to support the Administration's Clean Water Initiative. This Initiative will help protect coastal communities from toxics and reduce the flow of pollution into coastal waters from nonpoint sources (e.g., runoff from agricultural fields, city streets, and other areas). Polluted runoff is now a major source of coastal water pollution and one of the primary factors associated with outbreaks of harmful algal blooms (e.g., pfiesteria) and the spread of hypoxic zones in U.S. coastal waters.

The increasing frequency and magnitude of these problems suggests that significant action is required now to reduce the costs and symptoms of polluted runoff, and improve the quality of U.S. coastal waters. NOAA's FY 2001 request will strengthen and enhance critical research, monitoring, resource trustee, and coastal management capabilities of the National Ocean Service required to address the sources of polluted runoff and symptoms of degraded coastal waters, including harmful algal blooms, hypoxia, and beach closings. The table on the next page summarizes the programs included in the Clean Water Initiative.

Harmful Algal Blooms: $2.4 million

Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) are an expanding problem in all of our Nation's coastal areas. Over the past two decades, an estimated $1.0 billion in economic losses have occurred in coastal communities due to HABs such as red and brown tides, and Pfiesteria, that are associated with polluted waters. A requested increase of $2.4 million will be used to work with States, universities, and communities to conduct rapid monitoring and assessment response activities in response to HAB outbreaks. Development of HAB action plans, undertaking necessary actions such as targeted research, monitoring and assessment during an episode, and providing fiscal and technical support to those affected by HABs will improve management measures aimed at recovery, prevention and control. In addition, these funds will improve overall understanding of HABs by improving the support provided to the interagency program, the Ecology and Oceanography of Harmful Algal Blooms (ECOHAB).

Coastal Nonpoint Source Pollution Control Programs: $2.0 million

Presently, 29 coastal states have approved Coastal Nonpoint Source Pollution Control Programs that require funds for implementation. Working with other Federal, State and local agencies, NOAA will use $6.0 million of the Coastal Zone Management (CZM) Act Grants to fund these programs for implementing on-the-ground management measures to control polluted runoff in coastal areas. This increase of $2.0 million also supports the Lands Legacy Initiative.

Polluted Runoff Grants: $2.0 million

Communities, businesses and human health are increasingly threatened by polluted runoff and the symptoms of polluted coastal waters. For example, every year degraded water quality causes warnings or closures of thousands of beaches resulting in losses to tourism and recreation industries. An increase of $2.0 million will support the development of nonpoint control programs in the new CZM states through Polluted Runoff (Nonpoint Pollution Control Program, Section 6217) Grants. These grants, which are also counted as part of the Lands Legacy Initiative, will be used to assist new coastal zone management states to develop their nonpoint programs. The grants will also aid other coastal states that need to meet conditional requirements in order to gain full approval of their programs. The funding will also further strengthen the management and implementation of the states' ongoing programs. Three states (Texas, Georgia , and Ohio) recently submitted their coastal nonpoint programs for approval and Minnesota's plan is in its initial stage of program development.

Coastal Protection and Restoration Program: $0.5 million

NOAA's FY 2001 Budget Request includes an increase of $0.5 million which will enhance NOAA's capabilities to address the impacts of hazardous waste sites on coastal water quality and NOAA trust resources. These funds will allow NOAA's Coastal Protection and Restoration Program to address these serious environmental threats more quickly and effectively. NOAA will be able to expedite restoration and cleanup of coastal natural resources without costly litigation, share NOAA's technical expertise, and create cost effective approaches for remediating waste site contamination as part of the Clean Water Initiative.

America's Ocean Future Initiative: $51.6 million

NOAA's FY 2001 Budget Request continues to focus on necessary actions designed to explore, protect and restore America's vital ocean resources. Highlighting the important role the ocean plays in the daily lives of all Americans, the Administration's 1999 interagency report, "Turning to the Sea: America's Ocean Future," introduced measures to promote new scientific insight into the oceans, sustain use of fisheries and other marine resources, provide new opportunities for economic growth, and protect fragile coastal communities and ecosystems, such as coral reefs, from damage and environmental degradation. The report and this initiative are a result of the recommendations made at the National Ocean Conference in order to develop a coordinated, disciplined, long-term Federal ocean policy. The specific programs included in this initiative are summarized in the table on the next page.

Safe Navigation: $6.2 million

NOAA requests an increase of $6.2 million to promote safe and efficient navigation. These resources will improve the competitiveness of U.S. ports and exports while lowering the risk of marine accidents and resulting pollution. In partnership with the private sector and local authorities, NOAA will focus on the quality assurance necessary to fully implement the Physical Oceanographic Real-time Systems (PORTS). NOAA will continue to modernize the National Spatial Reference System and continue progress on NOAA's electronic chart database, including reduction of the shoreline data backlog.

A complete suite of electronic charts with timely updates of hydrographic, shoreline and navigation data is a key recommendation of the Turning to the Sea: America's Ocean Future report. Modernized, accurate positioning supports the PORTS program, electronic charts, other navigation-related programs and many economic sectors that depend of accurate location data.

Aquaculture: $2.6 million

Wild fish stocks in the U.S. and around the world are dwindling. At the same time world demand for protein continues to rise. The budget proposes $2.6 million to promote the development of an environmentally friendly and commercially viable domestic aquaculture industry. Of the $2.6 million, OAR will use $1.6 million for research and development of environmentally and economically sound aquaculture technologies with a focus on peer reviewed competition to find projects that will lead to business use. NMFS will direct much of the remaining increase of $1.0 million towards developing aquaculture standards that protect the environment, which promote ecologically-sound farming technologies, and address site selection criteria to assist those who plan to invest in aquaculture within Federal waters. These funds will further the Administration's ocean stewardship mission by protecting the environment while developing sustainable aquaculture.

Fisheries Stock Assessments and Conservation, and Management: $11.9 million

NOAA requests a total increase of $11.9 million. The increase is comprised of a $3.6 million increase request for establishment of the National Observer Program and more observer coverage to carry out mandates in the Magnuson Stevens Act. In addition, a requested $3.0 million will support work on fisheries oceanography. This increase supports programs to improve stock predictions by identifying and assessing critical environmental processes controlling long-term trends in the Nation's fishery production. These funds also support a network of bio-physical moorings in the North Pacific Ocean will provide data on key oceanographic indicators and give greater insight into environmentally-induced shifts in the productivity of commercially important fish stocks.

Within the $11.9 million increase, an increase of $1.8 million supports field studies to refine essential fish habitat and reduce the impacts of commercial and recreational fishing gear, anchoring, commercial at-sea processing and related fish waste discharges, and vessel operations on essential fish habitat. In addition, an increase of $1.0 million is requested to collect fisheries statistics and perform economic analyses required by the National Standard 8 of the Sustainable Fisheries Act (SFA). The analysis will include socioeconomic characteristics of commercial and recreational fishermen, economic values within fisheries, and vessel data within fisheries, all of which will improve the analytical capability to predict and monitor the economic and social consequences of management decisions. Also requested is an increase of $2.5 million to develop a core economic data collection capacity within NMFS to determine economic consequences of various activities on participants in a fishery, including improved regulatory flexibility analyses.

Seafloor Observatories: $3.1 million

In order to implement the 1999 interagency report, Turning to the Sea: America's Ocean Future, NOAA is requesting an increase of $3.1 million to unravel deep-sea mysteries, discover new opportunities in the ocean, and better understand how to protect marine resources. These funds will launch a program to map and explore U.S. ocean waters with advanced underwater technology. It will expand activities at two existing shallow-water observatories, the LEO-15 (off of the coast of New Jersey), and the Aquarius in the Florida Keys. The increase will fund two new deep-sea observatories: the new millennium observatory which recently has begun its first phase in the Pacific Juan deFuca Ridge and also an observatory in the Gulf of Mexico. Finally, to better understand the contribution that ocean resources provide to the Nation's economy, funds will also be used to assess the economic value of the domestic ocean and coastal resources.

Fleet Replacement: $8.0 million

The FY 2001 requests increase of $8.0 million is requested to reactivate, convert, and upgrade the NOAA vessel Adventurous to support fisheries research activities. The Adventurous is a modern T-AGOS class vessel acquired from the Navy and is currently inactive. The Adventurous can be converted to meet the marine mammal survey and some high priority fisheries data collection requirements. In addition, $8.3 million is funded to continue the construction of a new acoustically quiet Fisheries Research Vessel (FRV) that is essential for conducting the stock assessment surveys necessary to monitor species' abundance, recruitment, age composition, and responses to ecological changes and fisheries pressure to build sustainable fisheries. The collection of fisheries and marine mammal information at-sea is essential to the mission and to the development of sensible regulation governing commercial and recreational fishing activities.

Acquisition of Data: $1.8 million

NOAA requests an increase of $1.8 million over the FY 2000 enacted. This request supports the collection of hydrographic and coastal assessment data through days-at-sea for programs of significant national interest.

These increases will support an additional 140 days-at-sea of University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System (UNOLS) ship time needed to support ongoing and new ECOHAB program and Global Ocean Ecosystem Dynamics (GLOBEC) projects. This request implements a key recommendation of the Ocean Future report to increase research to understand the ongoing changes in ocean chemistry.

Resource Protection: $13.5 million

To continue resource protection NOAA requests an increase of $13.5 million which includes $12.3 million in Endangered Species Act Recovery Planning and $1.2 million for Protected Species Management. NOAA requests an increase of $12.3 million to implement programs to respond to the extinction crisis facing several highly endangered marine species and to expand efforts for Pacific and Atlantic Salmon. Included in this increase is $2.3 million to stem the decline of Pacific leatherback turtle and the northern Atlantic loggerhead turtle, Hawaiian monk seals, northern Atlantic and North Pacific right whales, Steller sea lions, and Cook Inlet Beluga Whales, all of which are on the brink of extinction. This will be done through a combination of research, monitoring and management actions to determine the causes for the decline and to implement recovery measures. This initiative also includes $9.0 million to continue the Administration's support for the recovery of endangered Pacific salmon by investing in the scientific underpinnings of this recovery program and monitoring its effectiveness, and $1.0 million to provide a solid foundation for conserving Atlantic salmon in Maine through a strong investment in research. Protected Species Management also includes $0.2 million to monitor marine biodiversity to maintain healthier marine species and ecosystems through evaluating the threats and their impacts on habitats and biodiversity and $1.0 million for coral reef assessments and reduction of fishery impacts not included in the Lands Legacy Initiative.

Fisheries and Marine Resource Enforcement: $4.5 million

Enforcement is a key element of a credible management effort designed to support the growth and stability of the domestic fishing industry and protect our nation's living marine resources. NOAA requests an increase of $4.5 million for enforcement activities. This increase includes $1.3 million needed to expand current vessel monitoring programs, $0.2 million needed to provide additional enforcement activities associated with salmon recovery efforts, and $2.5 million to establish cooperative enforcement programs between NMFS and the coastal states.

Other NOAA Programs of Note

Global Learning and Observation to Benefit the Environment: $2.0 million

Also important in meeting NOAA's immediate programmatic needs and longer-term strategic goals are several key programs. Among these key programs is the Global Learning and Observation to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) Program aimed at improving the quality of science education for the next generation of American scientists. The GLOBE Program is a worldwide network of students, teachers, and scientists working together to study and understand the global environment. Students and teachers from over 7,000 schools in more than 80 countries are working with research scientists to learn more about our planet. The FY 2001 President's Budget Request includes an increase of $2.0 million, for a total of $5.0 million, for the GLOBE Program.

Commerce Administrative Management System: $15.8 million

Also essential in making NOAA's programs successful is the Commerce Administrative Management System (CAMS). NOAA requests $15.8 million for CAMS in the PAC Account in order allow for continued production support. These funds will support the Accounts Payable, Small Purchases, and the Travel Modules. The full funding of CAMS is essential for NOAA to maintain a sound financial accounting system and to meet its statutory obligations under the Federal Managers' Financial Integrity Act (FMFIA) and the Chief Financial Officer Act (CFO Act).

Pacific Salmon Treaty: $60.0 million

NOAA requests an increase of $60.0 million to implement the Pacific Salmon Treaty. This increase will provide $20 million to capitalize the Southern Boundary Restoration and Enhancement Fund, $20 million to the Northern Boundary and Transboundary Rivers Restoration fund and $20 million to the State of Washington to complete the Vessel License Buyback Program and the State of Alaska to mitigate lost fishing opportunity arising from the agreement. The two endowment funds will be administered by the Pacific Salmon Commission for habitat, stock enhancement, science and salmon management initiatives in both countries.

Detailed information on these programs and regarding adjustments to base, program reductions, and terminations are shown in Section 4: Supplemental Information.


The challenge of investing strategically in the Nation's future is accompanied by the requirement to be more effective, to identify and realize opportunities for savings, and to focus the efforts of all levels of Government on what matters most to the American people. Our citizens are increasingly demanding proof of performance-documentation of the "bang for the buck"-and NOAA's FY 2001 Budget Request includes measures which track results to the level of public investment. Success in the complexities of the 21st Century, will depend more and more on partnerships and cooperative ventures that link business, industry, and universities with Federal, State and local governments and international parties. NOAA will continue to develop those associations that most efficiently and economically leverage resources and talent, and that most effectively provide the means for successfully meeting mission requirements.