NOAA 2003-038
Contact: David Miller
NOAA News Releases 2003
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Provides Blueprint for NOAA Science and Management

The Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released its new strategic plan that will be a broad guide for NOAA scientific and management efforts in years to come. The plan is the result of an intensive 3-month process, including seven regional meetings across the nation, to allow stakeholder input followed by a one month public period in January and February of 2003.

“This document will allow the agency, thanks to the input from over one thousand NOAA employees and our constituents, to be more effective and responsive to our Nation’s economic, environmental and public safety needs now and into the future,” said retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Ph.D., undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator.

In its final form, the plan provides a comprehensive map to guide the $3.2 billion federal science agency and includes a flexible, rolling horizon as opposed to a fixed time span. NOAA’s current five year strategic plan was originally developed in 1993 and revised in 1998. “The completion of the plan is a critical first step for improving NOAA’s strategic management process,” added Lautenbacher.

The goals and actions contained in the plan will enhance the agency’s ability to improve the health and productivity of coastal and ocean ecosystems; better predict climate, weather and water changes for private and public decision makers; and improve the safety, efficiency and environmental compatibility of commerce and transportation. These recommendations strengthen integration across the agency, increase efficiency, promote increased responsiveness to customer needs, and support President Bush’s Management Agenda.

Lautenbacher assigned Timothy R.E. Keeney, deputy assistant secretary for oceans and atmosphere at NOAA, to lead the planning process.

“The creation of an effective strategic plan is a significant management tool,” Keeney said. Comments gathered from the vast array of NOAA customers on the draft plan released in January, 2003, led to improvements in strategic vision as a critical and final step in this demanding course of action. I am pleased with the results of this process and look forward to implementing this strategic plan in cooperation with our public, private and academic partners.”

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.

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