Was this page helpful?

America's Environmental Intelligence Agency: NOAA Celebrates 50 Years of Science, Service and Stewardship

In 1807, President Thomas Jefferson founded the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey (as the Survey of the Coast) to provide nautical charts to the maritime community for safe passage into American ports and along our extensive coastline. The Weather Bureau was founded 1870 and, one year later, the U.S. Commission of Fish and Fisheries was founded. Individually, these organizations were America's first physical science agency, America's first agency dedicated specifically to the atmospheric sciences, and America's first conservation agency.

The cultures of scientific accuracy and precision, service to protect life and property, and stewardship of resources of these three agencies were brought together in 1970 with the establishment of NOAA, an agency within the Department of Commerce. 

This year, NOAA marks 50 years of science, service, and stewardship. NOAA was born out of an idea that the ocean and atmosphere are inextricably linked and that we depend upon it — not only for the quality of our lives, but for life itself. Since then, NOAA has grown to become a world-class science agency with a reach that extends from the surface of the sun to the depths of the ocean floor. 

NOAA’s achievements are possible because of its dedicated workforce, who will undoubtedly propel us through the next 50 years of innovation and discovery. We invite you to join NOAA on their 50th anniversary pages, updated throughout 2020, as we recognize NOAA employees and partners with stories and features that celebrate NOAA’s Golden Anniversary.