Preserving Our Planet


High resolution (Credit: NOAA)

Imagine a world without clean water, clean air, sustainable land, or living oceans. Our natural resources exist in a delicate balance and are vulnerable to environmental changes. That’s why it’s important that we all do our part to conserve, preserve, and care for the Earth’s resources — and protect the environment that sustains us with food, fuel, shelter and medicine.

At NOAA, we’re proud of our role in conserving and protecting some of our nation’s most treasured natural resources. As a premier federal science agency, we maintain a presence in every state and have emerged as an international leader on scientific and environmental matters.

Driving Our Successes

NOAA helps protect and restore our natural resources through science, exploration, education, and outreach, as well as a variety of programs, including the:

National Marine Sanctuary Program: Manages a national network of ocean and Great Lakes areas designed to protect natural and cultural resources, while enabling you to use and enjoy our oceans and coasts. The Program includes 13 national marine sanctuaries and a marine national monument.

fish and coral.
Smallmouth grunt and elkhorn coral.

High resolution (Credit: NOAA)

Fisheries Management Program: Ensures that fisheries are maintained at productive levels to support sustainable fisheries and the ecosystems to which they contribute. The FMP achieves this by implementing the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, eliminating over-fishing and rebuilding over-fished stocks, ensuring the survival of a vital food resource, and contributing to the economy.

Ecosystem Research Program: Provides the tools and scientific information necessary to effectively manage our costal and ocean resources. By developing models and forecasts, resource managers can make more informed decisions that balance the costs and benefits for both the ecosystem and society. ERP also is educating our next generation to become better environmental stewards.

Protected Species Program: Protects and recovers marine animals listed as threatened and endangered under the Endangered Species Act. It also conserves most marine mammals protected by the Marine Mammal Protection Act to ensure their survival and enjoyment by future generations.

mangrove roots.
Mangroves showing root system.

High resolution (Credit: NOAA)

Coastal and Marine Resources Program: Provides the critical building blocks for protecting, restoring, and managing the use of our coastal and ocean resources through a broad ecosystem approach.

Corals Program: Works closely with other federal, state, and local agencies, and other organizations to help protect coral reef ecosystems from over fishing, pollution, climate change and coral bleaching, disease, recreational overuse and misuse. It also provides innovative education and outreach to the public about ways to protect coral health.

How You Can Help

Recycle and Reuse. Buy recycled. One ton of purchased recycled paper saves 4,000 kW-h of energy, 7,000 gal. of water, and 17 trees. And a tree has the capacity to filter up to 60 lbs. of pollutants from the air. Use old newspapers to protect your garden against frost. Recycle electronics — donate your old wireless phone or computer.

Conserve energy and water. Turn off the TV, the faucets, and the lights when not in use. Choose energy and water efficient appliances. Open a window instead of running the AC. Caulk and weatherstrip all your doors and windows. Insulate your walls and ceilings. Use environmentally-friendly cleaning products. Collect rainwater for use during dry months in rain barrels.

Learn more about the environment. Read and think about environmental issues. Visit national parks, botanical gardens, or a zoo in your area and learn more about your environment.

Fishing for rainbow trout.

High resolution (Credit: NOAA)

Be seafood savvy: Whether shopping for seafood or just out fishing, find out the best species to take home for dinner. When fishing, take only what you need and leave the undersized ones for another day. Call your local fishing authority to find out more, or visit

Get involved. Join a conservation organization. Volunteer your time to pick up trash in a park or teach children about nature. Get involved in tree planting, seed collection, and weed control. Explore all the ways to get involved and choose something that excites you.

To learn more about what NOAA is doing to conserve and restore out natural resources, check out the other stories to the right. NOAA logo.