Small Boat Program
In addition to its ships and aircraft, NOAA relies on hundreds of small boats located throughout the country to complete the organization’s complex and varied scientific missions. The NOAA Small Boat Program is committed to supporting the safe operation of these small boats through the principles of risk management.
Mission Statement: “To support NOAA’s mission of science, service and stewardship through safe, efficient, effective and professional small boat operations."
Vision Statement: “to be the industry leader for diverse, multi-mission small boat operations."
The NOAA Small Boat Program manages a fleet of more than 400 small boats that perform various data collection missions for NOAA throughout the United States and its territories including hydrographic surveys, fishing, diving, scientific instrument deployment/recovery, water and air quality monitoring, law enforcement and marine mammal surveys. Vessels vary in size from a simple 10-ft. kayak to a complex 85-ft. research vessel. The majority of small boats fall within the range of 16-26 feet in length and operate in near-shore environments, but extended missions in deep water environments are common among the larger vessels.