Ask NOAA

Ask NOAA

Question

What role is NOAA playing in the U.S. commonwealths and territories?

Answer

NOAA in the Caribbean
The Caribbean islands of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands benefit from a number of NOAA offices, programs and projects.  NOAA’s National Weather Service office in San Juan provides  weather and flood warnings and forecasts for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service also has field offices in this area to implement NOAA’s fisheries observer and protected species programs that help ensure the sustainability of threatened and endangered species.

NOAA has strong programs with partners on these islands, including the National Sea Grant Program, Jobos Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve,  Coral Reef Conservation Program  and Caribbean Fisheries Management Council.  Mostly coordinated and funded by NOAA, they are operated and managed by state and university employees.

Other NOAA projects in this region focus on monitoring and understanding the environment and providing training and assistance to help manage island resources.

NOAA in the Pacific
In the Pacific, NOAA offices conduct research in American Samoa, Guam and the Northern Mariana Island.  NOAA’s National Weather Service has an office in Honolulu, Hawaii, that provides forecast and warning coverage for all field offices in this region, as well as a forecast office in Guam.

 NOAA’s National Ocean Service supports important partnership programs like Sea Grant, a Coral Reef Conservation Program within American Samoa, and a Coastal Resource Management Office in the Northern Mariana Islands.   

NOAA Research and the National Marine Fisheries service have field and regional offices that cover these areas, as well as cater to the specific environmental stewardship needs of these communities. From monitoring a tsunami  or incidental sea turtle take in a local longline fishery, NOAA strives to work with these remote U.S. outposts to keep them apprised of inclement weather and protect and preserve their vital marine ecosystems.   

This month’s experts:  Geno Olmi, NOAA Southeast and Caribbean Regional Team Coordinator and Laura Hamilton, NOAA’s Pacific Regional Coordinator.

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