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Large ship passing under the Golden Gate Bridge.
Whether you live near the ocean or in America’s heartland; you rely on the nation’s marine transportation system every day. Many of the products you use on a daily basis – from your toothbrush to your TV – made their way to you by way of this important system.
This complex network of waterways, ports, and equipment is a critical part of the nation’s transportation network. It is the world’s most extensive system for moving cargo and people safely and reliably. It gives American businesses competitive access to suppliers and markets worldwide, making the United States a leader in maritime trading. It also provides thousands of jobs, supports national defense and deployment missions, and provides recreational opportunities for us all.
Image showing a deep draft ship entering San Francisco Bay.
NOAA supports this vital system – and the economy – by providing:
According to a 2004 U.S. Department of State publication, NOAA’s products and services could be worth $300 million dollars annually to the nation’s coasts.
Just remember that more than 78 percent of U.S. overseas trade by volume and 43.5 percent by value comes and goes by ship, including 9 million barrels of imported oil daily. In 2007 alone, U.S. seaports and seaport-related businesses generated approximately 8.4 million American jobs and added nearly $2 trillion to the economy.
The next time you sail one of our nation’s many waterways or enjoy a delicious meal of imported foods, remember NOAA. We’re working hard to keep our marine transportation system running smoothly and support your quality of life.