Education and Outreach

photo of a sunset

Students receive a hands-on education while restoring an oyster reef at the Chesapeake Bay-Virginia National Estuarine Research Reserve.

As a global leader in coastal, oceanic, and atmospheric sciences, NOAA has a responsibility to improve public understanding of our planet’s dynamic air and water systems and the effect those systems have on all aspects of people’s lives. NOAA works through a variety of channels to promote knowledge and understanding of the nation’s 95,331 miles of coastline.

Annual exhibits at national and international science symposia, educational programs for K-12 schools, grants and fellowships for college students, and ocean and coastal conference sponsorship are some of the ways NOAA promotes appreciation for the nation's valuable ocean and coastal resources.

OCRM Resources

Coral Reef Outreach and Education — The Education section of the Coral Reef Conservation Program’s webpage lists many resources available to learn more about coral reefs, as well as lesson plans and other information for educators.  The About Corals section has basic information about coral biology and value and an Interactive Reef for visitors to explore.

NERRS Education Programs — The National Estuarine Research Reserves conduct year-round education programs on site for K-12 students. Programs include everything from hands-on field experience for students to professional teacher development.

Estuaries.Gov helps educators bring the beauty and the importance of estuaries into classrooms and educational programs. The site delivers scientific information and real-time data for anyone interested in estuaries, or simply in need of a reliable resource. is interagency website with partners that include NOAA's Chesapeake Bay Office and the Environmental Protection Agency's National Estuary Program.

NOAA Resources

Discovery Kits describe the basic scientific principles underlying the applied science and activities of NOAA’s National Ocean Service (NOS). Designed for high school level educators and students, they are written in easy-to-read, non-technical language and focus on the themes of oceans, coasts, and charting and navigation. Check out the following sites:

NOAA Ocean Explorer lets everyone learn about, discover, and virtually explore the ocean realm. Visitors can follow NOAA scientific and educational explorations in near real time, learn about exploration technologies, observe remote marine flora and fauna in a colorful multimedia gallery, read about NOAA's 200-year history of ocean exploration, and discover other NOAA resources in a virtual library.