- 2000 National Weather Service modernization is completed; doubles lead times for tornado and flash flood warnings; reduces tornado-related fatalities by 40 percent.
- 2000 Installation is completed on the Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System (AWIPS), a high-tech, interactive weather computer and communications system that replaces the AFOS network. AWIPS provides significant improvements in weather- and flood-related services.
- 2000 The Coral Reef Act of 2000 establishes NOAA's Coral Reef Conservation Program.
- 2000 Presidential Executive Order establishes NOAA's National Marine Protected Area center.
- 2001 Atlantic sea scallops are declared rebuilt following declines in the 1990s.
- 2002 NOAA Weather Radio adapted for use in national emergencies; expanded to reach 95 percent of the American public the following year.
- 2003 NOAA hosts the Earth Observation Summit in Washington, DC.
- 2004 Tsunami readiness in the United States is strengthened after a magnitude 9.0 earthquake strikes in the Indian Ocean, and tsunami waves kill over 230,000 people around the Indian Ocean basin. Congress passes the Tsunami Warning and Education Act, authorizing NOAA to strengthen its tsunami detection, forecast, warning and mitigation programs.
- 2005 NOAA forecasts Hurricane Katrina and mounts a massive response in the storm's aftermath.
- 2005 NOAA begins expansion of U.S. tsunami detection and warning capabilities in response to the December 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.
- 2006 President Bush uses the Antiquities Act to establish the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument (originally called the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Marine National Monument), making it the largest single conservation area in the history of the country.
- 2006 The Magnuson‐Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Reauthorization Act of 2006, which amended the High Seas Driftnet Fishing Moratorium Protection Act, directs the United States to strengthen international fisheries management organizations and to address illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing and bycatch of protected living marine resources.
- 2006 Congress passes the Marine Debris Act (amended in 2012 and 2018), which formally authorizes NOAA to work on marine debris issues and establishes the Marine Debris Program.
- 2006 NOAA publishes the first Fisheries Economics of the United States report, detailing the economic impacts of U.S. commercial and recreational fishing activities and fishing-related industries.
- 2007 NOAA celebrates 200 years of science, service, and stewardship by the agency and its predecessors.
- 2007 The MSA Reauthorization Act was a game-changer in fisheries management and placed the trajectory of U.S. fisheries on the path to global leadership.
- 2007 The National Weather Service transitions from county-based to new storm-based warnings, issuing more geographically specific warnings for tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, floods, and marine hazards. NWS implements the Enhanced Fujita scale to rate tornadoes, replacing the original Fujita Scale.
- 2008 NOAA completes the U.S. tsunami detection network after deploying the final two tsunami detection buoys in the South Pacific.
- 2008 NOAA launches a seafood facts website; FishWatch.noaa.gov.
- 2008 NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer, "America's ship for ocean exploration" commissioned.
- 2008 NOAA establishes the Unmanned Aircraft Systems program within NOAA Research.
- 2008 The Ship Strike Reduction Rule is implemented to protect North Atlantic right whales and other cetaceans from ship strikes.
- 2009 Dr. Jane Lubchenco becomes the first woman and the first marine ecologist to lead NOAA.
- 2009 An unmanned underwater glider successfully crossed the Atlantic Ocean, opening up a new world of ocean technology.
- 2009 NOAA Fisheries begins an initiative to strengthen partnerships with the recreational fishing community.
- 2009 NOAA establishes the Ocean Acidification Program.
- 2009 National Severe Storms Laboratory conducted the first phase of the the largest tornado field experiment in history, aiming to answer detailed questions about how, when, and why tornadoes form.