This is historical material “frozen in time”. The website is no longer updated and links to external websites and some internal pages may not work.

Search form

Opening Our Oceans With Data.Gov

Two important Obama Administration initiatives--the first-ever National Ocean Policy and the creation of together to improve ocean and coastal planning and give all Americans transparent access to data.

[Ed. Note: Cross-posted from the National Ocean Council blog]

Today, we are pleased to announce the release of, the newest community on  This effort is the result of two important initiatives of the Obama Administration: the development and implementation of the National Policy for the Stewardship of the Ocean, our Coasts, and the Great Lakes and the creation of to make Federal data more accessible to the American people.

Since President Obama signed the Executive Order establishing a National Ocean Policy, the Administration has been working steadily to implement this policy.  One cornerstone of the policy is the Framework for Effective Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning, a science-based, regional planning process conducted jointly with states and tribes that guarantees the public and stakeholders a voice in decisions affecting the ocean.  Making the science that is available to the Federal Government accessible to all ocean users is a key to the success of this initiative.  That's why the National Ocean Council has teamed with the initiative to create an open and accessible website that houses and references a wealth of information and tools available to support ocean planning efforts.  

President Obama has consistently made clear that he will strive to lead the most open, efficient, and accountable government in history. The President has said that "information maintained by the Federal Government is a national asset." is a gateway to hundreds of thousands of agency data sets, making these national assets available to everyone. focuses in particular on data sets relevant to ocean and coastal planning, and will aid planners and interested citizens as they search for Federal data and information in this domain. was developed collaboratively by the 15 agencies and departments represented on the National Ocean Council.  This new, virtual community provides one-stop shopping for a wide range of data from these agencies.  In some cases, this is the first time that the data have been readily accessible through the Web.

We intend to populate this community with many more data sets in the near future, and we invite all of you to tell us what more we should add. 

Please join the community, tell us what you think, and help us support you in your ocean stewardship efforts.

John P. Holdren is Assistant to the President for Science and Technology and Co-Chair of the National Ocean Council

Aneesh Chopra is U.S. Chief Technology Officer