Privacy Policy

We are committed to the privacy of our visitors. We collect no personal information about you when you visit our website unless you choose to provide that information to us. Here is how we handle information about your visit to this site: If you do nothing during your visit but browse through the website, read pages, or download information, we will gather and store certain information about your visit automatically. This information does not identify you personally. We automatically collect and store information such as the following concerning your visit:

  • The Internet domain (for example, "" if you use a private Internet access account, or "" if you connect from a university's domain);
  • Your IP address (an IP address is a number that is automatically assigned to your computer whenever you are surfing the Web) from which you access our website;
  • The type of browser and operating system used to access our site;
  • The date and time you access our site;
  • The pages you visit; and
  • If you linked to our website from another website, the address of that website.

We use this information to help us make our site more useful to visitors — to learn about the number of visitors to our site and the types of technology our visitors use.

Information Protection

For site security purposes and to ensure that this service remains available to all users, this government computer system employs software programs to monitor network traffic to identify unauthorized attempts to upload or change information, or otherwise cause damage. If such monitoring reveals evidence of possible abuse or criminal activity, such evidence may be provided to appropriate law enforcement officials. Unauthorized attempts to upload or change information on this server are strictly prohibited and may be punishable under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986 and the National Information Infrastructure Protection Act or other law.

Information That You Voluntarily Provide

We do not collect personally identifiable information unless you choose to provide it to us. If you provide us with personally identifiable information (e.g., by sending an email or by filling out a form and submitting it through our website), we use that information only to respond to your message and to help us provide you with the information and services that you request. Submitting voluntary information constitutes your consent to the use of the information for the stated purpose. When users click the "Submit" button on any of the web forms found on our site, they are indicating voluntary consent to use of the information they submit for the stated purpose. We do not collect or use information for commercial marketing.

How Information Is Used

The information we collect is used for a variety of purposes (e.g., to respond to requests for information about our work; to fill orders; etc.). We make every effort to disclose clearly how information is used at the point where it is collected, so that our users can determine for themselves whether they wish to provide the information.

Sharing of Information

We may share the information you give us with another government agency if your inquiry relates to that agency. In other limited circumstances, such as responses to requests from Congress and private individuals, we may be required by law to disclose information you submit. Before you submit personally identifiable information, such as on an online form, you will be advised as to the purpose and how the information will be used.

We may also share information collected during your visit with non-federal entities, but only if your inquiry requires accessing data from that external entity. All of our sites that require such external access will be clearly identified to help you make an informed choice.

Retention of Information

We destroy the information we collect when the purpose for which it was provided has been fulfilled, unless we are required to keep it longer by statute or official policy. Electronically submitted information is maintained and destroyed according to the principles of the Federal Records Act and the regulations and records schedules approved by the National Archives and Records Administration. In some cases, information submitted to us may become an agency record and therefore might be subject to a Freedom of Information Act request.

Links to Other Sites

This site may have links to the websites of other federal agencies. There may be links to private organizations provided with their permission. Once you go to a site other than ours, you are subject to the privacy and security policies of the new site. It is always a good idea to read the privacy policy of any website that you visit. does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of information contained in a linked site. We also do not endorse the organizations or individuals maintaining sites that we link to, any views they express or any products/services they offer.


"Cookies" are small bits of text that are either used for the duration of a session (session cookies) or saved on a user's hard drive in order to identify that user or information about that user the next time she/he logs onto a website (persistent cookies). This website does not use persistent cookies or any other persistent tracking technology. One or more of our component sites may use session cookies to provide streamlined navigation. These session cookies are deleted from the component's server after your session ends, and information from them is not collected or saved.

Third-party Social Media Tools

We use third-party social networking/social media tools as a supplemental way to promote awareness of NOAA Ocean Exploration activities, events, news, and information.

Your activity on these third-party sites is governed by the security and privacy policies of the third party sites. Users of third-party sites are often sharing information with the general public, user community, and/or the third-party operating the third-party site. You should review the privacy policies of third-party sites before using them and ensure that you understand how your information may be used. You should also adjust privacy settings on your account on any third-party site to match your preferences. These tools are described below.

Facebook  is a social networking website where users can connect and interact with other people. We typically post something new on our Facebook page daily. Please note that you are subject to Facebook’s privacy policy when visiting our Facebook page.

X/Twitter  is a microblogging service to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of short, frequent posts. We typically tweet daily about content on the website. Please note that you are subject to X/Twitter’s privacy policy when visiting our X/Twitter page.

YouTube  is a video-sharing service. The videos we post on YouTube are copies of those that appear elsewhere on the website. Please note that you are subject to YouTube’s privacy policy when visiting our YouTube channel.

Instagram  is a mobile photo-sharing service. The images that we post on Instagram are copies of those that appear elsewhere on the website. Please note that you are subject to Instagram’s privacy policy when visiting our Instagram account.

LinkedIn  is a business and employment-focused social media platform that works through websites and mobile apps. The content that we post on LinkedIn are copies of those that appear elsewhere on the website. Please note that you are subject to LinkedIn’s privacy policy when visiting our LinkedIn account.

Google EarthTM/Google MapsTM
Google Earth/Google Maps  map information and photographic imagery are used under license by Google. NOAA Ocean Exploration data presented using Google Maps/Google Earth are in the public domain and made available in open standard KML/KMZ format. The map information and photographic imagery contain trade names, trademarks, service marks, logos, domain names, and other distinctive brand features. This does not imply an endorsement of Google, Google Maps, or Google Earth products or services by the Office of Ocean Exploration and Research.

Under the terms of the license, you are permitted to copy or use the Google Maps/Google Earth images on your site so long as Google Maps/Google Earth trade names, trademarks, service marks, logos, domain names, and other distinctive brand features are not deleted or in any manner altered. Please note that you are subject to Google’s privacy policy when using this service.

Google Analytics
This website uses Google Analytics , a third-party web measurement and customization technology, as defined and organized by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), “Guidance for Online Use of Web Measurement and Customization Technologies” (OMB M-10-22).

Google Analytics places a small file on your computer, commonly called a "cookie," so that it can recognize your computer if you visit in the future. This cookie does not collect personal identifying information. This is considered a Tier 2 service in the OMB guidance.

Google Analytics does not collect personally identifiable information through their cookie and does not combine, match, or cross-reference information on the website with any other information. Please review Google’s privacy policy  for additional information.

Visitors who choose to disable this web measurement will still have full access to the website. While the details vary from browser to browsers, most modern browsers can be set up to accept, reject, or request user intervention when a site asks to set a cookie. Google Analytics uses a cookie that begins with: _utm.


Social Media Comment Policy

NOAA Ocean Exploration does not discriminate against any views; however, we do reserve the right to delete comments posted to our social media accounts that:

  • Are violent, obscene, profane, hateful, or racist
  • Are sexually explicit or sexually harassing
  • Threaten, harass, or defame any person or organization
  • Spread misleading or false information/accusations
  • Are inappropriate or offensive
  • Are irrelevant or off-topic
  • Suggest or encourage illegal activity
  • Are copied and pasted multiple times
  • Solicit, advertise, link to, or endorse any financial, commercial, or nongovernmental agency

Comments with objectionable content will not be edited, they will be deleted, so please ensure that your comment contains none of the above. Please be respectful of others. Do not abuse the privilege of participating in our public, family-friendly forums. Repeat violators of any of these guidelines risk being blocked from commenting on all NOAA Ocean Exploration social media accounts.

Reporters are asked to send questions to our NOAA public affairs staff and to refrain from submitting questions as comments via social media.

We recognize that the web is a 24/7 medium and your comments are welcome at any time; however, given the need to manage federal resources, moderating and posting of comments will generally occur during regular business hours, Monday through Friday. Comments submitted after hours or on weekends will be read and responded to as quickly as possible during business hours.

To protect your own privacy and the privacy of others, please do not include phone numbers or email addresses in the body of your comment.