Hearings and Testimony

NOAA's Office of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs plays a critical role in preparing NOAA witnesses for Congressional hearings and coordinating with Congressional Committees. Over the last two Congresses, NOAA has participated in a number of hearings across a broad array of topics that touch on NOAA's mission. See below for more information on each hearing and links to recordings and our testimony. 

117th Congress (2021-2022)

2021 Hearings

House Committee on Natural Resources, Subcommittee on Water, Oceans, and Wildlife Legislative Hearing: On Tuesday, November 16, 2021, Janet Coit, NOAA Fisheries Assistant Administrator and Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and Deputy NOAA Administrator, testified at a legislative hearing before the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Oceans, and Wildlife on two bills that would reauthorize and update the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act - H.R. 59 (Rep. Don Young, R-AK) the Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act, and H.R. 4690 (Rep. Jared Huffman, D-CA), the Sustaining America’s Fisheries for the Future Act of 2021.

NOAA Testimony


Weathering the Storm: Reauthorizing the National Windstorm Impact Reduction Program: On Wednesday, November 10, 2021, the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, Subcommittee on Research & Technology, held a hearing on the reauthorization of the National Windstorm Impact Reduction Program (NWIRP). At the invitation of the Committee, NOAA submitted a statement for the record. The hearing covered agency efforts supporting and accomplishments made under NWIRP, including incorporating storm surge into the program, impacts of improved climate modeling and forecasting, and program resources.

NOAA Statement for the Record


The future of Forecasting: Building a Weather-Ready Nation on All Fronts: On Thursday, October 14, 2021, Dr. Louis Uccellini, NOAA Assistant Administrator for Weather Services, and Director of the National Weather Service testified before the House Science Committee on the state of the National Weather Service. The hearing will offer Dr. Uccellini an opportunity to share insights on the progression and trajectory of NWS mission and operations before he retires after 40+ years at the NWS and 50 years of government service. He discussed advancements and accomplishments in labor relations, hiring, research and scientific achievements, the Weather Ready Nation initiative, launching Impact-Based Decision Support Services, staffing and budget issues, reform efforts, and other topics.

NOAA Testimony


Advancing Earth System Science and Stewardship at NOAA: On Thursday, September 23, the House Science Committee’s Subcommittee on the Environment will hold a virtual hearing to discuss Administrator Spinrad’s priorities as they relate to climate science and services; scientific integrity; the scientific workforce; weather, water, and climate research and forecasting; and other issues within the Science Committee’s jurisdiction. Dr. Spinrad is the sole witness for this hearing.

NOAA Testimony


House Committee on Natural Resources, Subcommittee on Water, Oceans, and Wildlife Legislative Hearing: On Thursday, July 29, Janet Coit, NOAA Fisheries Assistant Administrator and Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and Deputy NOAA Administrator, joined the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on a federal panel to testify at a legislative hearing before the House Committee on Natural Resources Committee, Subcommittee on Water, Oceans, and Wildlife. The hearing was held on a number of bills, including the Illegal Fishing and Forced Labor Prevention Act, Marine Mammal Research and Response Act, Safeguarding America’s Future and Environment (SAFE) Act, Keeping Ecosystems Living and Productive (KELP) Act, Prevention of Escapement of Genetically Altered Salmon in the United States Act, Keep Finfish Free Act, and the American Fisheries Advisory Committee Act.

NOAA Testimony


Examining the President’s Fiscal Year 2022 Budget Proposal for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: On Wednesday, July 21, Dr. Spinrad testified at a FY22 Budget hearing before the House Natural Resources Committee on NOAA’s FY22 Budget Request. 

NOAA Testimony


President Biden’s Fiscal Year 2022 Budget Request: Agency Policies and Perspectives (Part II): On Thursday, July 14, NOAA testified at a FY22 Budget hearing before the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment. Nicole LeBeouf testified on behalf of NOAA. 

NOAA Testimony


House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Oceans, and Wildlife Legislative Hearing- Ocean Based Climate Solutions Act Hearing: On Tuesday, June 22, NOAA was invited to testify at a legislative hearing before the House Natural Resources Committee on H.R. 3764, The Ocean Based Climate Solutions Act. Nicole LeBeouf joined the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on a federal panel to testify on the Ocean Based Climate Solutions Act. 

NOAA Testimony


Defining a National “Oceanshot”: Accelerating Ocean and Great Lakes Science and Technology: On Monday, June 7,  Assistant Administrator Craig McLean testified at a hearing before the House Science Subcommittee on Environment on NOAA’s efforts to bolster ocean science and technology.

NOAA Testimony


The Status of Drought Conditions Throughout the Western United States: On Tuesday, May 25, Assistant Administrator Craig McLean testified at a hearing before the House Natural Resources Committee Subcommittee on Water, Oceans and Wildlife on drought. NOAA’s testimony focused on NOAA’s drought products and services and the agency’s climate leadership role.

NOAA Testimony


Legislative Hearing on H.R. 160 the Restoring Resilient Reefs Act of 2021: On May 4, 2021, the House Committee on Natural Resources, Subcommittee on Water, Oceans, and Wildlife held a legislative hearing on H.R. 160 To reauthorize the Coral Reef Conservation Act of 2000 and to establish the United States Coral Reef Task Force, and for other purposes, titled Restoring Resilient Reefs Act of 2021. Jennifer Koss, Director of the Coral Reef Conservation Program testified on behalf of NOAA.

NOAA Testimony


Increasing Risks of Climate Change and NOAA’s Role in Providing Climate Services: On April 15, 2021, House Appropriations Committee Commerce Subcommittee on Climate, Justice and Science Chairman Matt Cartwright (D PA-8) presided over a virtual/hybrid hearing to discuss NOAA climate services. Witnesses included Nicole LeBoeuf, NOS Assistant Administrator, and Dr. Stephen Volz, NESDIS Assistant Administrator and Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Environmental Observation & Prediction.

NOAA Testimony LeBeouf and Volz

116th Congress (2019-2020)

2020 Hearings

Environmental Justice for Coastal Communities: Examining Inequities in Federal Grantmaking: On October 15, 2020, the House Natural Resources Committee, Subcommittee on Water, Oceans and Wildlife hosted a remote oversight hearing to discuss the inequalities in federal grantmaking. This hearing examined the requirements for federal grants and how it impacts underserved communities. 

NOAA Statement for the Record


Building a Stronger and More Resilient Seafood Sector: U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS), chairman of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, convened a hearing titled, “Building a Stronger and More Resilient Seafood Sector,” on Wednesday, July 29, 2020. This hearing examined the national and regional impacts of COVID-19 on the seafood industry and the effects of the fish disaster funding provided in the CARES Act. Witnesses will have the opportunity to discuss the work that needs to be done to sustain and restore a more resilient U.S. seafood sector. Dr. Paul Doremus, Deputy Assistant Administrator of Operations for NOAA Fisheries, was NOAA’s witness.

NOAA Testimony


Nominations Hearing for Dr. Neil Jacobs, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Environmental Observation and Prediction, Performing the Duties of Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere: On March 11, 2020, the Senate Commerce Committee held a full-committee hearing on the nomination of Dr. Neil Jacobs for Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and Administrator for NOAA.

NOAA Testimony


Examining Opportunities to Improve Prevention and Response of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harrassament at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: On Thursday, February 27, 2020 the House Natural Resources, Oversight Subcommittee asked NOAA to testify on the implementation of NOAA's SASH program.  The hearing explored the complexity of SASH-related issues NOAA faces (e.g., aboard NOAA research vessels and related to observers aboard fishery vessels) and progress toward addressing those issues.  Dr. Neil Jacobs, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Environmental Observation and Prediction, performing the duties of Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, was NOAA’s witness. 

NOAA Testimony


An Examination of Federal Flood Maps in a Changing Climate: On Thursday, February 27, 2020 the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology Subcommittee on Environment and the Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight held a hearing to explore how flooding and sea level rise affect American property owners, how the Federal Emergency Management Agency uses science to inform its flood products, and whether additional federal resources are needed to research and communicate future flood risk to the public. NOAA’s testimony focused on the interagency partnership between NOAA and FEMA, including how the agency’s science informs FEMA flood products, as well as about NOAA’s sea level measurement and coastal mapping tools, data delivery, and coastal resilience portfolio. Mark Osler, Special Advisor for Coastal Inundation and Resilience, testified for NOAA.

NOAA Testimony


Space Missions of National Importance: Planetary Defense, Space Weather Protection, and Space Situational Awareness: On February 12, 2020, the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, convened a hearing that focused on U.S. leadership in space missions vital to the global economy and the protection of human health and life on Earth. Witnesses discussed policies, programs, and research that are important for planetary defense, space weather protection, and space situational awareness. 

NOAA Testimony


Hearing on Legislation Regarding Ocean Issues: On January 14, 2020 held a legislative hearing on six bills: H.R. 1834, H.R. 2236, H.R. 4679, H.R. 4723, H.R. 5126, and H.R. 5548. RDML Tim Gallaudet, PH.D., USN RET. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and Deputy NOAA Administrator was NOAA’s witness.

NOAA Testimony

2019 Hearings

A Task of EPIC Proportions: Reclaiming U.S. Leadership in Weather Modeling and Prediction

NOAA Testimony


Oversight of NOAA’s Report on Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing

NOAA Testimony


Space Weather: Advancing Research, Monitoring, and Forecasting Capabilities

NOAA Testimony


Feeding America: Making Sustainable Offshore Aquaculture a Reality

NOAA Testimony


Fishery Failures: Improving the Disaster Declaration and Relief Process

NOAA Testimony


Legislative Hearing

NOAA Testimony


Field Hearing - Weathering the Storm: Improving Hurricane Resiliency through Research

NOAA Testimony


National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's FY 2020 Budget Request

NOAA Testimonies: Jacobs and Gallaudet


The Future of Forecasting: Building a Stronger U.S. Weather Enterprise

NOAA Testimony


The Emerging Space Environment: Operational, Technical, and Policy Challenges

NOAA Testimony


The Cost of Doing Nothing: Maritime Infrastructure Vulnerabilities in an Emerging Arctic

NOAA Testimony


House Natural Resources Committee, Legislative Hearing

NOAA Testimony


A Review of the NOAA FY2020 Budget Request

NOAA Testimony


National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Budget Request for Fiscal Year 2020

NOAA Testimony


Ensuring U.S. Global Leadership on the Final Frontier

NOAA Testimony


Examining the Threats to the North Atlantic Right Whale

NOAA Testimony


Understanding the Changing Climate System, and the Role of Climate Research

NOAA Testimony