What are the trade winds?

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Ocean noise refers to sounds made by human activities that can interfere with or obscure the ability of marine animals to hear natural sounds in the ocean. Many marine organisms rely on their ability to hear for their survival. Sound is the most efficient means of communication underwater and is the primary way that many marine species gather and understand information about their environment. Many aquatic animals use sound to find prey, locate mates and offspring, avoid predators, guide their navigation and locate habitat, and listen and communicate with each other.

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Corals Week 2016

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Celebrate the beauty and importance of coral reef ecosystems!

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What are the trade winds?

This item was filled under Basics, Economy, Facts, Maritime Transportation


Known to sailors around the world, the trade winds and associated ocean currents helped early sailing ships from European and African ports make their journeys to the Americas. Likewise, the trade winds also drive sailing vessels from the Americas toward Asia. Even now, commercial ships use "the trades" and the currents the winds produce to hasten their oceanic voyages.

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San Francisco Bay Region: Working Together to Build Resilience

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San Francisco, the Bay area, and its Outer Coast comprise the largest estuarine area on the west coast of the United States. It’s been said that this region is not gauged by its length and width, but by the broadness of its vision and the height of its dreams. The region is a major urban and economic center and a unique ecological treasure. It is home to over seven million people, and retains some of the largest and most important natural areas along the west coast, including three National Marine Sanctuaries (Greater Farallones, Cordell Bank, and Monterey Bay), the Point Reyes National Seashore, the San Francisco Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, and the San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge Complex. The estuary serves as a major hub of commerce and supports the most intact Mediterranean-climate wetlands in North America.

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The Importance of the Ocean to U.S. Island Territories

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A new report allows readers to better understand the importance of the ocean to the economies of two U.S. territories in the Caribbean. For people who manage, protect, and make use of the resources in these special places, more accurate economic data about ocean use are key to good decision making. And good decisions will help keep our ocean healthy and resilient—supporting livelihoods for future generations. Shown here: St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands.

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Exploring Tidal Marsh Resilience to Sea Level Rise

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The NOAA-sponsored National Estuarine Research Reserve System released a national assessment of tidal marsh resilience in the face of rising sea levels. This assessment establishes a national monitoring baseline for estuarine climate change impacts.

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How are satellites used to observe the ocean?

This item was filled under Basics, Economy, Ecosystems, Facts, Health, Ocean Observations


Satellites are amazing tools for observing the Earth and the big blue ocean that covers more than 70 percent of our planet. By remotely sensing from their orbits high above the Earth, satellites provide us much more information than would be possible to obtain solely from the surface.

Using satellites, NOAA researchers closely study the ocean. Information gathered by satellites can tell us about ocean bathymetry, sea surface temperature, ocean color, coral reefs, and sea and lake ice. Scientists also use data collection systems on satellites to relay signals from transmitters on the ground to researchers in the field—used in applications such as measuring tidal heights and the migration of whales. Transmitters on satellites also relay position information from emergency beacons to help save lives when people are in distress on boats, airplanes, or in remote areas.

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NOAA 2017 Tide Tables are Available

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NOAA 2017 tide tables are now available. NOAA tide tables have been in production for 150 years and are used by both commercial and recreational mariners for safe navigation. Printed tide tables provide users with tide and tidal current predictions in an easy-to-read format for particular locations. NOAA's Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services produce these tide tables on an annual basis.

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NOAA Collects East Coast Aerial Imagery in Aftermath of Hurricane Matthew

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From October 7-10, 2016, the National Geodetic Survey collected damage assessment imagery for more than 1,200 square miles in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew. The aerial imagery was collected in specific areas identified by FEMA and the National Weather Service.
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NOAA Collects Aerial North Carolina Imagery in Aftermath of Hurricane Matthew

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From October 11-16, the National Geodetic Survey (NGS) collected imagery of areas in North Carolina to help assess damage caused by river flooding due to heavy rains from the now-dissipated Matthew. The aerial imagery was collected in specific areas identified by FEMA and the National Weather Service.
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