The National Oceanographic Partnership Program (NOPP) was established by Congress under the National Oceanographic Partnership Act (PL 104-201, 10 USC 7901-7903) in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1997 to promote the national goals of assuring national security, advancing economic development, protecting quality of life, and strengthening science education and communication by improving knowledge of the ocean.


These goals are achieved through collaborative efforts facilitated through the NOPP members and support teams, who coordinate Federal efforts with multi-sector marine science and technology initiatives for ocean research partnerships. Projects are fueled by broad science and technology goals of Federal agencies who work together to fill knowledge-needs that might fall between agency-missions or to achieve Science and Technology (S&T) goals too large for any single agency to tackle alone. Partners include state and tribal governments, private sector industries, academia, and non-governmental organizations who collectively address national marine science priorities across a range of disciplines and data needs.

Through its interagency initiatives, the NOPP has been proven an invaluable forum for advancing the Nation’s ocean science priorities that transcend single-agency mandates in the common pursuit of wise use and stewardship of our ocean, coasts and Great Lakes.

Celebrating its 200th project in 2015, the NOPP continues to successfully leverage Federal resources and investments that encompass a broad range of topics, including oceanographic research and exploration, marine technologies, resource management, ecosystem surveying and monitoring, and ocean education. NOPP projects have not only led to significant contributions in oceanography, but also consistently generate needed data to inform mitigation strategies for our changing oceans and shifting coastlines, and greatly improve decision-making tools for sound marine resource management.

The NOPP also supports the activities of its Federal partners, the inter-agency committees under the Subcommittee on Ocean Science & Technology, and the Ocean Research Advisory Panel (ORAP) in carrying out and reporting activities that work towards achieving the goals in the National Ocean Policy for the Stewardship of the Oceans, Coasts, and Great Lakes.

Partnership Formation and Funding


Throughout the year, NOPP partners identify ocean research and technology topics of mutual and emerging interest that would benefit from cross-agency and cross-sector partnership.  Selected topics are announced through agency-issued solicitations, and projects are selected for funding through a peer review process.

The full text of the National Oceanographic Partnership Act can be found here.

NOPP Institutional Partners