National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the United States

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Environmental Law

An agency within the Department of Commerce that has numerous environmental responsibilities. It is the primary federal agency involved with the Coastal Zone Management Act.

NOAA conducts considerable research and makes recommendations concerning the atmosphere. It works with other agencies to measure ozone depletion in the stratosphere and calculates chemical components in the air. Acid precipitation studies are also part of the agency’s job.

The oceanic duties carried out by the agency include monitoring marine life and estuary habitats. NOAA designates areas that need special protection in the U.S. territorial seas and coastal areas. It must be consulted by the Army Corps of Engineers if a permit to allow dredged material to be dumped into the seas is proposed. See also Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act.

Based on “Environment and the Law. A Dictionary”.

Wildlife Conservation Responsability of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Responsability developed by the following enactments:

Note: Under the Fur Seal Act (FSA), NOAA regulates the taking and transportation of the North Pacific Fur Seal and its parts. TheAct provides that the seal may be captured by Alaskan tribes for subsistence use[35], or as otherwise permitted by NOAA for educational,scientific, or exhibitionpurposes.

Definition and Background of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, created by a presidential reorganization plan in 1970. The administration is empowered to explore and chart the global oceans; to manage, use, and conserve the oceans’ living resources; to monitor oceanic and atmospheric conditions; to report weather conditions in the U.S. and its possessions; to warn against impending natural disasters; to acquire and disseminate environmental data; and to protect endangered marine species.

At present, the organization of the NOAA includes the National Ocean Service, which prepares charts and surveys and monitors tidal and seismic activity; the National Weather Service, which provides weather forecasts to the public; the National Marine Fisheries Service, which is concerned with the living resources of the sea as they affect the U.S. economy and diet; the National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service, which operates weather and environmental satellite systems, gathers data on the environment, and provides administrative support for corresponding world data centers; and the Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, whose laboratories conduct broad research programs in marine and atmospheric sciences. In addition, the NOAA administers the National Sea Grant program, which provides monetary grants to institutions engaged in marine research. The agency also supports a data buoy project, which is developing a system of ocean buoys for automatically disseminating continuous marine environmental data.” [1]

Laws and Treaties Administered by NOAA

Federal Laws

  • Anadromous Fish Conservation Act
  • Animal Welfare Act
  • Antarctic Marine Living Resources ConventionAct
  • Clean Water Act
  • Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA)
  • Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA, or Superfund)
  • Construction in Floodplains Executive Order
  • Coral Reef Conservation Act of 2000
  • Deep Seabed Hard Mineral Resources Act
  • Dolphin Consumer Protection Information Act
  • Endangered Species Act (ESA)
  • Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations (Exec. Order 12,898)
  • Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act
  • Fur Seal Act (FSA)
  • Global Change Research Act
  • International Dolphin Conservation Program Act
  • Lacey Act
  • Land Remote Sensing Policy Act of 1992
  • Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act
  • Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA)
  • Marine Protected Areas Presidential Executive Order
  • Maritime Pollution Prevention Act of 2008
  • National Acid Precipitation Program Act
  • National Aquaculture Act of 1980, United States
  • National Climate Program Act
  • National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
  • National Marine Sanctuaries Act
  • National Sea Grant College Program Act
  • Oceans Act
  • Ocean Thermal Energy Conservation Act
  • Oil Pollution Act of 1990
  • Park System Resource Protection Act
  • Rivers and Harbors Act
  • Tsunami Warning and Education Act
  • Weather Service Organic ActNational Aquaculture Act of 1980

International Conventions/Treaties

  • Agreement Concerning the Shipwrecked Vessel RMS Titanic (proposed Congressional legislation pending)
  • Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels (proposed Congressional legislation pending)
  • Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Combat Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing
  • Antarctic Treaty
  • Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety
  • Convention on Biological Diversity
  • Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources
  • Convention on the International Hydrographic Organization
  • Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of WIld Fauna and Flora (CITES)
  • FAO Agreement to Promote Compliance with International Conservation and Management Measures by Fishing Vessels on the High Seas (Compliance Agreement)
  • FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries
  • Guidelines for Ships Operating in the Arctic
  • International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL)
  • Law of the Sea Convention

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

In Legislation

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the U.S. Code: Title 33, Chapter 17

The current, permanent, in-force federal laws regulating national oceanic and atmospheric administration are compiled in the United States Code under Title 33, Chapter 17. It constitutes “prima facie” evidence of statutes relating to Navigation and Navigable Waters (including national oceanic and atmospheric administration) of the United States. The reader can further narrow his/her legal research of the general topic (in this case, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the US Code, including national oceanic and atmospheric administration) by chapter and subchapter.


See Also

Deep-Sea Exploration
Diving (underwater)
National Weather Service
National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (42.4)
National Weather Service (42.1)
Travel And Tourism Administration (31)
National Institutes Of Health Organization (29.9)
National Marine Fisheries Service (29.5)
Science And Education Administration (28.5)
Department Of State Administration (28.2)

Notes and References

Guide to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

About U.S. Federal Departments

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National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: Open and Free Legal Research of US Law

Federal Primary Materials

The U.S. federal government system consists of executive, legislative, and judicial branches, each of which creates information that can be the subject of legal research about National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. This part provides references, in relation to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, to the legislative process, the federal judiciary, and the primary sources of federal law (cases, statutes, and regulations).

Federal primary materials about National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration by content types:

Laws and Regulations

US Constitution
Federal Statutory Codes and Legislation

Federal Case Law and Court Materials

U.S. Courts of Appeals
United States courts of appeals, inclouding bankruptcy courts and bankcruptcy appellate panels:

Federal Administrative Materials and Resources

Presidential Materials

Materials that emanate from the President’s lawmaking function include executive orders for officers in departments and agencies and proclamations for announcing ceremonial or commemorative policies. Presidential materials available include:

Executive Materials

Federal Legislative History Materials

Legislative history traces the legislative process of a particular bill (about National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and other subjects) for the main purpose of determining the legislators’ intent behind the enactment of a law to explain or clarify ambiguities in the language or the perceived meaning of that law (about National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or other topics), or locating the current status of a bill and monitoring its progress.

State Administrative Materials and Resources

State regulations are rules and procedures promulgated by state agencies (which may apply to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and other topics); they are a binding source of law. In addition to promulgating regulations, state administrative boards and agencies often have judicial or quasi-judicial authority and may issue administrative decisions affecting National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Finding these decisions can be challenging. In many cases, researchers about National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration should check state agency web sites for their regulations, decisions, forms, and other information of interest.

State rules and regulations are found in codes of regulations and administrative codes (official compilation of all rules and regulations, organized by subject matter). Search here:

State opinions of the Attorney General (official written advisory opinions on issues of state law related to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration when formerly requested by a designated government officer):

Tools and Forms

Law in Other Regions

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