Why a NOAA Ecosystems Goal?

NOAA is responsible for stewardship of coastal and marine resources. These responsibilities include managing fisheries, protecting and recovering vulnerable species, monitoring coastal and ocean habitats, and protecting these resources and habitats from pollution and invasive species. To attain long-term sustainability of our resources, NOAA is committed to moving toward an ecosystem-based approach to management of the Nation's coastal and ocean ecosystems. This will require increased understanding of these complex systems as well as improved integration and collaboration in their management.

Ecosystem approaches are not new. Over the past several decades, NOAA has been collecting the knowledge, experience, and information needed to holistically manage coastal and ocean resources, while keeping the ecosystem in mind. NOAA's Ecosystems Goal Team (EGT) was created to focus efforts of the following four line offices on EAM: National Ocean Service (NOS); National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS); Ocean and Atmospheric Research (OAR); and the National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service (NESDIS). The EGT includes nine Ecosystem Goal Programs that matrix across these four line offices.

NOAA's vision for the future is a society that understands and acts as stewards of healthy coastal and ocean ecosystems not only for our aesthetic enjoyment and health, but because healthy ecosystems are fundamental to our economic future. NOAA's EAM is a holistic, evolutionary management strategy designed to improve the health and productivity of coastal and ocean ecosystems.

Ecosystem Programs

Aquaculture Coastal Marine Resources Enforcement
Fisheries Management Protected Species Ecosystem Observations
Coral Reef Conservation Habitat Ecosystem Research