National Ocean Service
Total Request - ORF: $243,408,000
Goal-Based Chart | Goal-Based Table Activity-Based
The National Ocean Service (NOS) is the primary Federal agency
responsible for the observation, measurement, assessment and
management of the Nation's coastal and ocean areas. As a national
leader for coastal stewardship, NOS promotes a wide range of
research activities to build the strong science foundation required
to advance the sustainable use of our coastal systems. NOS contributes
significantly to achieving two of NOAA's seven Strategic Plan
Goals; Sustain Healthy Coasts, and Promote Safe Navigation. NOS
also contributes to the Strategic Plan goals of Build Sustainable
Fisheries and Advance Short Term Warning and Forecast Services.
NOS provides improvements in the quality, quantity, geographic
distribution, and timeliness of ocean and coastal observations.
Mapping, charting and geodetic activities produce marine and
coastal data to increase the efficiency and safety of marine
commerce and support engineering and scientific efforts. NOS
also develops and manages marine sanctuaries and, in partnership
with the coastal states, helps manage the Nation's valuable coastal
zones and nationally significant estuarine reserves. Understanding
of the coastal environment is enhanced through coastal ocean
activities which support science and resource management programs.
NOS is undergoing organizational changes to strengthen coastal
stewardship, enhance research support for NOAA coastal management,
and build better linkages among NOAA's coastal programs. This
includes building a strong science foundation and improving the
links between NOAA's coastal science efforts and coastal management
responsibilities. Several important steps toward this goal are
reflected in the FY 1999 base including the following transfers:
the Charleston Southeast Laboratory transferred from the National
Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) in FY 1998
Appropriations language; and the transfer of the Coastal Ocean
Program, the transfer of the Great Lakes Environmental Research
Laboratory from the Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research
(OAR), and the transfer of the Beaufort and Oxford Laboratories
from NMFS, all into NOS in an FY 1998 reprogramming. These facilities
will help provide NOS with the regional presence necessary to
conduct important coastal research and form strong partnerships
with governmental and non-governmental stewards.
NOS seeks to build and support these organizational changes
with targeted increases in its suite of coastal science and management
programs. The increases will strengthen and enhance the critical
capabilities of selected programs that provide comprehensive
research, monitoring and assessment, planning, response, and
scientific and technical support to states and communities addressing
nonpoint pollution and growing outbreaks of harmful algal blooms
(e.g. Pfiesteria) and other symptoms of degraded coastal ecosystems.
Much of this support will be provided in the form of grants to
states and academic institutions.
For FY 1999, NOAA requests $243.4 million for the National
Ocean Service. This is a net increase of $3.9 million over the
FY 1999 base. This change consists of program increases of $26.4
million and program decreases of $22.5 million.
The FY 1999 proposed appropriation establishes authority to
collect fees to begin to offset costs associated with providing
navigation services. A proposal for the fees is being developed
in conjunction with the U.S. Coast Guard. The $2.5 million in
estimated fees collected will be used to offset the overall NOAA
Budget Authority and Appropriation in FY 1999.
Detailed Program Changes
Navigation Services - This subactivity funds production of
nautical charts and related products to ensure the safety of
marine transportation, while improving the economic efficiency
and competitiveness of U.S. commerce, through the provision of
a variety of digital and traditional data products and services
which includes paper charts, electronic charts, and tide and
current predictions. This subactivity also supports the maintenance
of the National Geodetic Reference System for accurate geographic
positions, elevations and gravity values and their variation
with time for national defense and space activities, mapping
and charting, infrastructure maintenance, public works, land
information systems, and Earth science investigations. NOS requests
$68.8 million, a net decrease of $7.3 million, in this subactivity
for FY 1999.
A net decrease of $5.4 million is requested for Mapping and
Charting activities. In FY 1998, $13.9 million was appropriated
for contract support to acquire hydrographic survey data to reduce
the survey backlog. The FY 1999 budget proposes to reduce that
amount by $5.4 million. Of the remaining $8.5 million, $5.5 million
will be used for contracts to acquire hydrographic data, and
$3.0 million will be used for contract support for the production
of powerful new digital nautical chart products which include
both raster and new standards compliant vector charts.
A decrease of $1.5 million is proposed for lower priority
program terminations in the geodesy program to eliminate funding
for the South Carolina geodetic survey project and the National
Height Modernization Study.
A decrease of $0.3 million is requested to eliminate the one-time
federal funding for the operation and maintenance of the Houston-Galveston
Physical Oceanographic Real-Time Telemetry System.
Ocean Resources Conservation and Assessment - This subactivity
supports monitoring, assessment, responses to oil and hazardous
materials spills, and directed research programs to provide comprehensive
scientific information for decisions about the protection and
sustainable use of coastal and ocean resources. These activities
also help minimize damages to natural resources in the nation's
coastal areas, estuaries, and oceans, including the Great Lakes.
These programs allow NOAA to monitor the status and trends of
environmental quality in U.S. coastal areas, assess the biological
consequences of pollutants in coastal ecosystems, synthesize
environmental data to identify and evaluate strategies for managing
coastal and ocean resources, conduct natural resource damage
assessments to support recovery of funds for restoration, and
coordinate response activities and planning efforts to minimize
the environmental effects of hazardous materials spills and hazardous
waste sites in coastal areas. NOS requests a net decrease of
$1.4 million from the FY 1999 base of $81.8 million for this
subactivity for FY 1999. This includes increases of $11.6 million
and decreases of $13.0 million.
A decrease of $0.5 million is requested for Oceanic and Coastal
Research (Charleston Southeast Laboratory) reflecting the elimination
of funds transferred to the State of South Carolina for fisheries
NOAA requests total funding for GLERL in FY 1999 of $6.0 million,
a decrease of $0.8 million from FY 1999 base funding for the
reduction of Great Lakes nearshore research and the zebra mussel
research conducted by GLERL.
The Ocean Assessment program includes a net decrease of $2.2
million which is made up of six increases and six decreases.
An increase of $1.9 million is requested to continue NOAA
participation in implementing the National Pfiesteria Research
and Monitoring Strategy. This component enables the continuation
of critical monitoring, rapid response, and assessment of outbreaks
of pfiesteria and other harmful algal blooms (HABs) and the ecological
impacts of these blooms in estuaries. An additional increase
of $2.3 million is requested for grants to assist states, universities,
and communities to conduct rapid monitoring and assessment response
activities for pfiesteria and other types of HAB outbreaks. These
actions will be linked to the longer term Ecology and Oceanography
of Harmful Algal Blooms (ECOHAB) program efforts to improve understanding
of these episodic harmful algal bloom events to better manage
emergency outbreaks and to prevent or control them in the future.
These increases support the Administration's Clean Water Initiative.
An increase of $1.0 million is requested for the Coastal Resource
Coordination Program to conduct natural resource protection and
restoration activities through remediation at hazardous waste
sites that affect NOAA trust resources throughout the Nation.
This increase supports the Administration's Clean Water Initiative.
An increase of $1.9 million is requested to fund additional
contributions to the Administration's South Florida Interagency
Ecosystem Restoration Initiative. The funds will allow NOS to
fully implement an integrated ecosystem monitoring program in
South Florida, particularly in the coastal areas encompassing
Florida Bay and the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. These
additional monitoring and research activities are critical to
determine the design and impacts of ecosystem restoration efforts
on sensitive coastal resources such as the Florida Keys coral
reefs. NOAA's contributions to the South Florida Restoration
Initiative also involve NMFS and Coastal Ocean Science activities.
An increase of $1.0 million is requested to support research
on hypoxia in the northern Gulf of Mexico. A persistent "dead
zone" in the northern Gulf of Mexico develops seasonally
and significantly threatens nationally important fisheries. The
increase will support critical process research and diagnostic
modeling to quantify the causes and effects of this condition
and to develop efficient and cost effective land-based management
strategies to control nutrient runoff and other sources of this
problem in the Mississippi River drainage area. This increase
is part of the National Oceanographic Partnership Program and
complements funds requested within OAR.
An increase of $1.4 million is requested to support activities
proposed under the Natural Disaster Reduction Initiative to expand
work with coastal states to develop coastal risk atlases and
provide new remote sensing data in a more timely and effective
manner so that coastal communities can better prepare for and
recover from natural disasters, and assess the impacts of natural
hazards on coastal habitats.
NOAA proposes a decrease of $5.9 million for the cooperative
agreement between NOAA and the Cooperative Institute for Coastal
and Estuarine Environmental Technology.
NOAA proposes a decrease of $3.8 million for the NOAA Coastal
Services Center, including a $1.5 million decrease for coastal
hazards research and applications of defense technologies for
environmental monitoring, and termination of $0.3 million for
the one-time provision of a grant to implement the Charleston
NOAA proposes a decrease of $1.0 million to terminate support
for the Commission on Ocean Policy, a one-year project.
A decrease of $1.0 million is proposed to terminate the one-time
support for coral reef studies in the Pacific and Southeast regions.
However, funding is included to continue research and monitoring
of coral reefs as part of the Administration's South Florida
Interagency Ecosystem Restoration Initiative (discussed above).
Within the Damage Assessment line item, an increase of $1.5
million is requested for the Damage Assessment and Restoration
Program (DARP). This increase will enable NOAA to fulfill its
legislative mandates and public trusteeship responsibilities
for coastal and marine resources. The additional funds are required
for case-specific studies to support NOAA litigation and for
development of new methods to more efficiently and effectively
restore coastal and estuarine habitats. This increase supports
the Natural Disaster Reduction Initiative and complements funds
requested in NMFS.
Within the Coastal Ocean Science line item, NOAA requests
an increase of $0.6 million for research through the multi-agency
ECOHAB program. This research will provide researchers, managers,
public health officials and the fishing industry with critical
scientific information needed to ameliorate the impacts of these
toxic blooms that threaten our coastal ecosystems. This increase
supports the Administration's Clean Water Initiative.
Ocean and Coastal Management - This subactivity supports the
coastal states and territories in implementing Federal partnership
programs that promote rational use of the Nation's coastal zone,
and designating and managing unique and nationally significant
marine and estuarine areas. NOS requests a net increase of $12.7
million in this subactivity for FY 1999, comprised of increases
totaling $14.8 million and decreases totaling $2.1 million.
NOAA requests an increase of $6.0 million to be provided to
states through Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) Enhancement
Grants to enhance and implement the approved Coastal Nonpoint
Pollution Control program control elements of their management
programs to address polluted runoff. This increase supports the
Administration's Clean Water Initiative.
NOAA proposes a decrease of $1.3 million for the National
Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS) to reduce funding provided
to existing reserve sites for baseline operations, system-wide
monitoring, and workshops for decision makers and reduce funds
available for newly designated reserve sites.
NOAA requests an increase of $5.0 million for the Coastal
Nonpoint Pollution Control Program (CNPCP). By June 30th of 1998,
twenty-nine coastal states will have received approval of their
Coastal Nonpoint Pollution Control Programs with some conditions.
Three additional states (Georgia, Texas, Ohio) will begin Coastal
Nonpoint Pollution Control Program development. These funds will
assist Coastal Zone Management states to complete Coastal Nonpoint
Pollution Control Program development, undertake specific actions
to address Coastal Nonpoint Pollution Control Program conditions,
and begin Coastal Nonpoint Pollution Control Program development
in the three additional states. This increase supports the Administration's
Clean Water Initiative.
To facilitate tracking all activities and accounting with
the Coastal Zone Management program, funding obligated in the
Coastal Zone Management Fund (CZMF) is now shown under the Coastal
Management sub-activity. An increase of $3.8 million in ORF is
requested to reflect reduced funding availability in the CZMF.
NOAA proposes a decrease of $0.8 million for the National
Marine Sanctuary Program to reduce system-wide planning costs.