NOAA 2000-007
Contact: Tim Tomastik


The Commerce Department's National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration has requested $2.9 billion in total budget authority for fiscal year 2001, a 20% increase, about $500 million over the current budget.

In the year when NOAA is celebrating it's 30th anniversary, the requested increase will allow the agency to continue a mission critical to all Americans, to assess and predict the weather and changes to our earth's climate and to preserve and protect our coastal and living marine resources.

"This budget request represents a strong commitment by the Administration to NOAA's invaluable role in contributing to the Nation's economic and environmental health. As the population of the United States continues to grow, it becomes more important for us to better manage and preserve our natural resources, understand and predict weather patterns, and comprehend the consequences of human influences on our environment," said D. James Baker, NOAA administrator and under secretary for oceans and atmosphere.

NOAA's overall responsibilities are divided into two main areas -- to assess and predict the environment, which includes short-term weather warnings and forecasts, providing seasonal climate forecasts as well as long-range climate assessments, and promoting safe navigation. The second primary responsibility is stewardship of U.S. coastal resources and protection of living marine resources. This includes working with states to develop plans to maintain and protect coastal ecosystems, supporting cooperative efforts to preserve endangered fish populations such as various salmon stocks in the Pacific northwest, and ensuring the health and preservation of a wide variety of marine mammals.

NOAA plays a key role in many Presidential, Departmental, and interagency initiatives, including the Lands Legacy Initiative, the Natural Disaster Reduction Initiative, the South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Initiative, the Clean Water Initiative, building the capacity of the Nation's Minority Serving Institutions, the Climate Services and Observations Initiative, and the implementation of the America's Ocean Future Report.

NOAA's 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 every day. A sample of these critical budget initiatives and programs are described below:

  • $110 million in increases to support the programs that comprise the Natural Disaster Reduction Initiative, including increases for sustaining the modernization of the National Weather Service, research and new funding for satellites and data efforts.
  • $265.8 million in increased support for the Lands Legacy Initiative, which addresses some of the most serious challenges facing U.S. coasts and oceans. The request will increase funding for the National Marine Sanctuaries and Estuarine Research Reserves, as well as mapping and monitoring of fragile coral reefs. The increase will also help address the effects of polluted run-off in coastal areas, enhance the recovery of threatened and endangered coastal salmon, and provide grants to states for coastal zone management plans.
  • $28 million to support the Climate Observation and Services Initiative. Because it is critical to provide timely data and information about climate and extreme weather events, NOAA must act immediately to repair its deteriorating data and observation systems while simultaneously developing new capabilities.
  • $42 million in new funds, as part of the Lands Legacy Initiative, for the Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund. The money will be used to enhance the recovery of threatened and endangered coastal salmon through conservation measures funded jointly with tribes, States and local communities.
  • $60 million increase to implement the Pacific Salmon Treaty.
  • $51.6 million to continue the efforts and momentum built at the National Ocean Conference held in Monterey, Calif. in 1998 to develop a coordinated, disciplined, long-term Federal ocean policy. These funds will be used to support NOAA's efforts to promote safe and efficient navigation, promote the development of environmentally friendly and commercially viable aquaculture industries, increase fisheries stock assessments and observer programs to carry out the mandates in Magnuson-Stevens Act; to map and explore U.S. ocean waters with advanced underwater technology; to continue protection of threatened and endangered marine species, and activate and upgrade a NOAA vessel to support fishery research activities.
  • $17 million to continue educational training relationship through a joint partnership with a consortium of minority serving institutions as part of a Commerce wide effort.

NOAA's FY 2001 budget request is available on the Internet at