THE NOAA OCEAN ACIDIFICATION PROGRAM (OAP)
The NOAA OAP was established by section 12406 of the 2009 Federal Ocean Acidification Research and Monitoring Act to coordinate research, monitoring, and other activities to improve understanding of ocean acidification impacts to marine species. In accordance with NOAA’s mission to understand changes in the world’s oceans, share that knowledge, and conserve coastal and marine ecosystems, the OAP maintains long-term monitoring; conducts research designed to enhance conserving marine ecosystems sensitive to OA; promotes OA educational opportunities; engages national public outreach activities related to OA and its impacts; and coordinates OA activities across other agencies and appropriate international ocean science bodies. As part of its responsibilities, the OAP provides grants for critical research projects that explore the effects on ecosystems and the socioeconomic impacts leading to potential adaptive strategies.
In order to do this the OAP fosters dialog among scientists, resource managers, stakeholders, policy makers, and the public and advances research and monitoring of the effects of ocean acidification on economically and ecologically important ecosystems and species. Research and engagement activities are conducted according to six different focus areas or themes.
1. MONITORING the changes in ocean chemistry
2. Measuring the BIOLOGICAL RESPONSE of ecologically and economically important species
3. Assessing the SOCIO-ECONOMIC IMPACTS on human communities of ocean acidification
4. Facilitating DATA MANAGEMENT and DATA SHARING
5. Assisting stakeholders to create and implement ADAPTATION STRATEGIES
6. Coordinating and conducting EDUCATION & OUTREACH
To learn more about NOAA's mission and the legislative drivers explore that links to the right.
The OAP coordinates and administers a multi-faceted, matrixed program which spans NOAA line offices, funding efforts in Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR), National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service (NESDIS), and National Ocean Service (NOS). The OAP HQ is located in the OAR division of NOAA. OAP is the NOAA liaison for ocean acidification with other federal agencies, international entities, stakeholders, states and local agencies, the press, Congress and the public. The OAP also hosts the NOAA OA Working Group (NOAWG), which has representatives from the spectrum of NOAA programs involved in OA research, some funded by OAP, some not: Climate Program Office, National Sea Grant Office, Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory, National Centers for Environmental Information, National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, Ocean Exploration and Research, Coral Reef Conservation Program, NMFS Fisheries Science Centers, NMFS Aquaculture Program, NMFS Science & Technology, National Estuarine Research Reserves, Integrated Ocean Observing System, and National Marine Sanctuaries. The NOAWG provides guidance on operational, programmatic and implementation issues. The OAP also has a senior executive service (SES) level Executive Oversight Board with representatives from NMFS, OAR, NESDIS and NOS.