Valentine's Day is a time to express love of all kinds, and nobody deserves a Valentine more than our ocean.
From providing us with food, oxygen, industry, and recreational opportunities, to hosting a rich diversity of life, the oceans show their love for us every single day. The ocean is a real catch.
So let’s take a break from this love letter to talk about five ways we show our love for the ocean here at NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration.
1. Supporting Sound Science
Like any beautiful love, the ocean is full of mysteries. NOAA has been pushing the boundaries of knowledge since its predecessor the Office of Coast Survey was founded in 1807.
The National Ocean Service asks tough questions, and uses sound science to support smart decision making. The Office of Response and Restoration looks at everything from plastics in our ocean to how whales are impacted by oil spills.
From the frozen arctic to tropical coral reefs, NOAA scientists work hard to develop new ways to study and understand the ocean. It’s important in any relationship.
2. Holding Hands With Partners
Caring for the ocean is a big job, and we all have ways to help. NOAA partners with other federal agencies, states, tribes, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), universities, local communities, and everyday people to get the job done.
We work together on projects big and small. NOAA contributes funding and expertise to remove dams and restore wetlands, and promotes local coastal cleanups and environmental education in schools. NOAA values teamwork.
We can show more love for the ocean when we do it hand-in-hand.
3. Responding in Emergencies
One of the most important things in any relationship is supporting your loved ones when times get tough.
Thousands of oil spills occur in U.S. waters each year. While most are small, less than one barrel, there have been at least 44 oil spills larger than 420,000 gallons since 1969. They have severe consequences for people, industry, and the environment.
NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration is there every step of the way during a pollution event. We handle emergency response, assess damages, hold polluters responsible, and implement projects to restore the environment afterwards.
When oil spills and marine pollution happen, NOAA is there to help.
4. Restoring Special Places
Every part of the marine environment, from the depths of ocean abysses to your local beach, is special. OR&R shows our love by protecting the places that are most vulnerable.
When marine pollution occurs, our scientists have the expertise to clean it up and restore the environment. They take the entire system into account, from removing invasive species to installing wetlands and oyster beds. Each year NOAA implements projects that make our oceans and coastlines better.
By restoring these special places we show our love for the ocean, as well as the people and industries that rely on it.
5. Sharing the Love
When you’re in love you want to tell the world! That’s what NOAA strives to do by sharing what we do with all of you.
We do this by featuring our work through our blog and social media (find us on Facebook and Twitter). We also offer a wide variety of information and resources on our website, from educational resources for students and teachers to articles and podcasts. These platforms provide wonderful opportunities to interact with people from all walks of life who love the ocean as much as we do!
From everyone at NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration, Happy Valentine’s Day!