The NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office provides science, service, and stewardship to protect and restore the Bay. The Office is organized into three associated programs to ensure that NOAA's resources and capabilities are aligned with the current and future needs of the Bay, constituents, and partners. Efforts in these programs are focused on the work NOAA undertakes in the Bay area in four key topic areas (Fisheries, Habitats, Observations, and Education). Together, the Office's programs represent an integrated approach to ecosystem management, enabling scientists and resource managers to examine some of the interconnected elements of the Bay ecosystem and ensuring that Bay residents have a holistic understanding of the resource.
Science: Ecosystem Science Program
The Ecosystem Science Program focuses on applied research and monitoring in fisheries and aquatic habitats; integrated coastal observations; and synthesis, analysis, and modeling to describe and predict Bay ecosystem processes. The NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office undertakes these activities directly through its own capabilities, including state-of-the-art field work, indirectly by supporting the work of outside entities (including regional academic partners), and collaboratively with other NOAA offices and regional resource management partners (including other federal and state partners).
Service: Coastal and Living Resources Management Program
The Coastal and Living Resource Management Program enhances implementation of ecosystem management through improved coordination and assistance and targeted protection and restoration. The NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office identifies and analyzes the needs of coastal and living resource managers and coordinates NOAA programs to deliver policy advice and technical assistance to Bay decisionmakers. Living resource management strategies supported by the Office foster ecosystem-based approaches to management for the protection and restoration of key ecological species (including oysters, striped bass, menhaden, blue crabs, and their habitats, including submerged aquatic vegetation).
Stewardship: Environmental Literacy Program
The Environmental Literacy Program fosters ecosystem stewardship through lifelong learning opportunities designed to increase environmental awareness, knowledge, and literacy in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The ultimate goal is to facilitate productive and lasting citizen involvement in stewardship of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office's philosophy is based on the premise that a continuum of opportunities is needed to allow for citizens to enter the conversation at the appropriate level. This continuum begins with scientific communication and outreach to the science interested public; continues by providing more in-depth information to interested audiences; and culminates in targeted education to specific user groups, including students and decisionmakers.