NOAA Federal Advisory Committees

The Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) requires that certain procedures be followed whenever a Federal agency seeks the consensus advice of a group external to the Federal government. The purpose of Federal Advisory Committee (FAC) is to provide uniform standards for the operation of advisory committees used in the executive branch and to ensure public access to and knowledge of their deliberations. The following describes NOAA’s existing FACs.

Advisory Committee On Commercial Remote Sensing (ACCRES)

ACCRES, established in 2002, provides information, advice, and recommendations to the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere on matters relating to the U.S. satellite commercial remote sensing industry and NOAA's activities to carry out the responsibilities of the U.S. Department of Commerce set forth in the National and Commercial Space Programs Act (NCSPA or Act), 51 U.S.C. § 60101, et seq.

ACCRES evaluates economic, technological, and institutional developments relating to commercial remote sensing and submits to the Under Secretary recommendations on promising new ideas and approaches for Federal policies and programs. ACCRES serves as a forum for the discussion of issues involving the relationship between industry activities and Government policies, programs, and regulatory requirements.

Hydrographic Services Review Panel (HSRP)

HSRP was established by the NOAA Hydrographic Services Improvement Act. The HSRP is directed to provide advice to the Under Secretary on all authorities related to hydrographic surveys. For example, the scope of HSRP includes hydrographic surveying, nautical charting, water level measurements, and geodetic measurements; the scope also includes operations, research, development, and dissemination of these data.

Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee (MAFAC)

The Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee was established in 1971 by the Secretary of Commerce to provide advice on living marine resource matters under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Department of Commerce. Primarily, these matters fall under NOAA Fisheries.

Members represent a diverse set of perspectives from commercial, recreational, environmental, academic, state, tribal, and consumer fisheries interest groups. Members draw on their expertise and other appropriate sources to assist in:

Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee (MPAFAC)

The Marine Protected Areas (MPA) Federal Advisory Committee advises NOAA and the Department of the Interior on ways to strengthen the nation's system of MPAs. It includes representatives of diverse stakeholder groups, including scientists, academia, commercial fishermen, anglers, divers, state and tribal resource managers, the energy and tourism industries, and environmentalists, among others. MPAFAC meetings are open to the public and provide opportunities for public comment.

National Sea Grant Advisory Board (NSGAB)

The National Sea Grant Advisory Board is the National Sea Grant College Program's Federal Advisory Committee (FAC). The Board advises NOAA and the National Sea Grant College Program on strategies to address the Nation's highest priorities in terms of the understanding, assessment, development, management utilization and conservation of ocean, coastal and Great Lakes resources.

NOAA Science Advisory Board (SAB)

NOAA’s Science Advisory Board (SAB) is the only Federal Advisory Committee with responsibility to advise the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere on long- and short-range strategies for research, education and the application of science to resource management and environmental assessment and prediction.

SAB activities and advice provide necessary input to ensure that National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) science programs are of the highest quality and provide optimal support to resource management, and environmental assessment and prediction. The advisory board assists NOAA in maintaining a complete and accurate understanding of scientific issues critical to the agency's missions.

Ocean Exploration Advisory Board (OEAB)

NOAA established the Ocean Exploration Advisory Board (OEAB) under the Federal Advisory Committee Act and legislation that gives NOAA statutory authority to operate an ocean exploration program and to coordinate a national program of ocean exploration. The OEAB advises NOAA leadership on:

United States Integrated Ocean Observing System Advisory Committee (IOOS)

The U.S. IOOS Advisory Committee is a federal advisory committee that provides advice to the NOAA Administrator and the Interagency Ocean Observation Committee (IOOC). They advise on the: