Healthy ecosystems, communities, and economies that are resilient in the face of change.


Earth’s ecosystems support people, communities, and economies. Our own human health, prosperity, and well-being depend upon the health and resilience of natural and social ecosystems. Managing this interdependence requires timely and usable scientific information to make decisions. Human well-being requires preparing for and responding to changes within these natural systems. NOAA’s mission of science, service, and stewardship is directed to a vision of the future where societies and their ecosystems are healthy and resilient in the face of sudden or prolonged change.

A vision of resilience will guide NOAA and its partners in a collective effort to reduce the vulnerability of communities and ecological systems in the short-term, while helping society avoid or adapt to potential long-term environmental, social, and economic changes. To achieve this vision we must understand current Earth system conditions, project future changes, and help people make informed decisions that reduce their vulnerability to environmental hazards and stresses that emerge over time, while at the same time increase their ability to cope with them.

Resilient human communities and economies maintain or improve their health and vitality over time by anticipating, absorbing, diffusing, and adapting to change. Resilient communities and institutions derive goods from ecosystems in a way that does not compromise ecosystem integrity, yet is economically feasible and socially just for future generations. To this end, NOAA will focus on four long-term goals that are central determinants of resilient ecosystems, communities, and economies — and that cannot be achieved without the Agency’s distinctive mission and capabilities.

The objectives identified in the Plan are the basis for NOAA’s corporate planning, performance management, and stakeholder engagement over the next five years. Objectives are specific outcomes NOAA can achieve on the path to broader, long-term goals and toward a more capable, flexible enterprise. They are measureable and can be affected by specified activities over a five-year period. Evidence of Progress within each Objective form the basis of outcome-oriented performance measures. NOAA’s Line Offices and Staff Offices will be accountable for executing the strategy laid out in this document through implementation plans at a tactical (rather than strategic) level of detail. Where there are shared capabilities to achieve an objective, there will also be joint accountability for budgeting, executing, and performing toward that objective.