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NOAA News Releases 2003
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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is awarding a grant of more than $1 million for national education and outreach to the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation of McLean, Va. NOAA is an agency of the Commerce Department.

The grant will fund a cooperative agreement that facilitates educational and outreach efforts between NOAA’s National Marine Sanctuary Program and the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation. The NOAA program and the non-profit Foundation share a mutual interest in creating conservation-based research and the types of education and outreach programs that connect the public to the nation’s system of 13 national marine sanctuaries. Programs will focus on the importance of conserving the marine resources in the sanctuaries.

“We are constantly working to improve the understanding of our marine environment and to strengthen education initiatives like those of the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation,” said retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “This grant will help teach the importance and benefits of marine sanctuaries and reinforces NOAA’s and the Bush Administration’s commitment to the environment. Like underwater national parks, these sanctuaries provide essential habitat for marine life and sustainable commercial and recreational use opportunities at the same time.”

The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation is a non-profit organization that creates meaningful opportunities for public interaction with the nation's marine sanctuaries. Through public and private sector partnerships, the foundation will create conservation-based education and outreach programs designed to preserve, protect and promote these underwater treasures — part of the lifeblood of our planet.

In fiscal year 2003, NOAA awarded more than 475 grants totaling $204.2 million to members of the academic, scientific and business communities to assist the agency in fulfilling its mission to study the Earth’s natural systems in order to predict environmental change, manage ocean resources, protect life and property and provide decision makers with reliable scientific information. NOAA goals and programs reflect a commitment to these basic responsibilities of science and service to the nation for the past 33 years.

The Commerce Department’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of our nation’s coastal and marine resources. To learn more about NOAA, please visit

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NOAA’s National Marine Sanctuary Program:

NOAA Administrator, Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Ph.D.: