President Proposes Key Investments in NOAA 2011 Budget

Strengthening science and innovation for the global economy

February 1, 2010

NOAA Budget Summary

Click here to view the full NOAA FY2011 Budget Summary.

President Obama today released the 2011 proposed budget for NOAA, requesting $5.6 billion for the nation’s oceanic and atmospheric agency. The request includes investments to strengthen NOAA’s science, promote economic development, strengthen energy and security, sustain oceans and coasts, and protect lives and livelihoods.

“This budget reflects the commitment of the president and secretary of commerce to job creation, science and the environment,” said Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “NOAA’s innovations in science and technology have been instrumental in ensuring that a strong economy and a healthy environment go hand in hand. This request will build on that track record as we meet the demands of a changing world.”

Investment highlights

Weather: Each year the National Weather Service issues more than a trillion forecasts and 10,000 warnings to protect lives and property. The FY 2011 budget invests more than $1 billion for the National Weather Service and weather related research. NOAA will commit $26.7 million to enhance aviation weather forecasts – a vital tool for the aviation industry. It is estimated that NOAA’s aviation forecasts save the industry $580 million annually.  To address the demands of a global economy that relies heavily on space based technologies and communications, NOAA is investing $13 million for its Space Weather Prediction Center. Preparing for the future of weather forecasting, $10 million is requested for research and development of multi-function phased array radar – a potential major improvement in weather detection.

Research and climate: Strengthening science across NOAA and addressing climate change are high priorities for the Obama administration. In FY 2011, the budget proposes $464.9 million for NOAA’s research office. Examples of programs include $11.6 million to support new technologies and ecosystem monitoring systems to assess the effects of ocean acidification. Scientific assessment for understanding how and why climate is changing is a vital tool so NOAA will commit $10 million for regional and national assessments. In 2011, $20.9 million will be directed to the Carbon Tracker Observing and Analysis System for carbon monitoring and analysis.

Oceans and coasts: While coastal counties represent only 16 percent of the nation’s land area, 36 percent of our population lives in coastal communities. These communities provide 42 percent of the nation’s economic output. NOAA intends to invest $550.6 million to support vibrant coastal communities and their economies. Of note is $6.8 million for coastal and marine spatial planning, $20 million for regional ocean partnership grants, and $12.5 million for the development of ocean sensors for marine ecosystems. When linked together, these elements constitute a comprehensive investment to improve the health and resiliency of oceans, coasts and Great Lakes ecosystems and the economies that rely upon them.

Fisheries: Rebuilding our fisheries and sustaining the jobs and communities they support is the focus of $992.4 million in the president’s request. Included in FY 2011 is $54 million for a national catch share program that will provide fishermen a stake in the benefits of a well-managed fishery. Building on its successful community-based restoration program, $23.8 million is directed for additional investments in habitat projects, while $20.8 million is slated for species recovery grants.

Satellites: One of the greatest challenges facing NOAA today is ensuring the continuity of satellite operations to provide coverage of weather forecasts and climate measurements into the future. The president’s budget request directs $2.2 billion to improving observations and management of these critical services. The budget also reflects the recent White House decision to improve federal management for the development of the nation’s next generation of polar orbiting satellite and includes $1.1 billion for the new Joint Polar Satellite System. NOAA’s next generation geostationary satellites, GOES-R series, will continue to be developed with $730 million directed to that program. The request also includes $9.5 million for the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR).

Program support: In order to deliver sound science, services and stewardship NOAA must invest in its information technology infrastructure, facilities and its fleet. To that end the FY 2011 request includes $515.1 million for these efforts. Included is $10.8 million for information technology and security, $5 million for work at NOAA’s Atlantic Marine Operations Center, and $10.4 million for major ship repair and the design of a sixth fisheries survey vessel.

Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke is focused on strengthening the conditions for economic growth and opportunity by promoting innovation, entrepreneurship, competitiveness, and stewardship. The 2011 budget reflects this ethic and will allow the Department of Commerce to better meet the needs of the American people. 

NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and conserves and manages our coastal and marine resources.