The Commerce Department's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has requested $2.9 billion in total budget authority for fiscal year 2001, a 20 percent increase, about $500 million over the current
In the year when NOAA is celebrating it's 30th anniversary, the requested increase will allow the agency to continue a mission critical to all Americans, to assess and predict the weather and changes to our earth's climate and to preserve and protect our coastal and living marine resources
NOAA's overall responsibilities are divided into two main areas - to assess and predict the environment, which includes short-term weather warnings and forecasts, providing seasonal climate forecasts as well as long-range climate assessments, and promoting safe navigation. The second primary responsibility is stewardship of U.S. coastal resources and protection of living marine resources. This includes working with states to develop plans to maintain and protect coastal ecosystems, supporting cooperative efforts to preserve endangered fish populations such as various salmon stocks in the Pacific northwest
, and ensuring the health and preservation of a wide variety of marine mammals.