NOAA timeline: 2000s

  • 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
    Blue trevally (Caranx melampygus), ornate butterflyfish (Chaetodon ornatissimus), and starry-eyed parrotfish (Calotomus carolinus) over a coral reef off Maui.
    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 All Hazards broadcasts official National Weather Service warnings, watches, forecasts and other hazard information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It can alert you when severe weather threatens your area.
    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 safe haven sign in Newport, Oregon.
    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 satellite image for larger view of Hurricane Katrina taken Aug. 28, 2005, as the storm’s outer bands lashed the Gulf Coast of the United States a day before making landfall.
    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
    A Hawaiian monk seal taking a nap near the lagoon on Southeast Island in Hawaii.
    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
    A colorful pile of fishing nets.
    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
    Marine debris in San Francisco.
    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.
  • 2006
    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
    NOAA's National Severe Storms Laboratory mobile radar tracking a thunderstorm in Nebraska
    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 tsunami buoy.
    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 conducts operations in the northern Gulf of Mexico in March 2012.
    NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer, "America's ship for ocean exploration" commissioned.
  • 2008
    Unmanned aerial systems, such as the 'hexacopter' pictured above, are a powerful new tool for whale research. NOAA's John Durban, center, remotely directs the hexacopter into the outstretched hands of NOAA's Holly Fearnbach.
    NOAA establishes the Unmanned Aircraft Systems program within NOAA Research.
  • 2008
    North Atlantic right whale entangled in line.
    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
    Fishing.
    NOAA Fisheries begins an initiative to strengthen partnerships with the recreational fishing community.
  • 2009
    NOAA researcher Ian Enochs dives over underwater vents near an uninhabited volcanic island north of Guam. Given its remoteness, the island offers a unique natural laboratory to study how ocean acidification affects coral reef ecosystems.
    NOAA establishes the Ocean Acidification Program.
  • 2009
    Tornadoes seen over Minnesota farmland, August 24, 2014.
    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.