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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is being targeted by the Obama administration to be moved from the Department of Commerce to the Department of the Interior.  The reorganization is part of a larger plan by the Obama administration to streamline government. Such a reorganization requires approval by Congress.

NOAA was placed in the Commerce Department by the Nixon administration.  NOAA’s $4.9 billion budget is about 60 percent of Commerce’s overall funding. NOAA has more than 12,000 employees.

Its functions include:

SATELLITES

National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service

Operates satellites that gather information on weather and topography and other environmental and climatological data.

Full Time Employees: 831

Budget: $1.4 billion

WEATHER

National Weather Service

Monitors, analyzes and forecasts weather and issues alerts for imminent storms, floods and other emergencies.

Full Time Employees: 4,644

Budget: $1 billion

FISHERIES

National Marine Fisheries Service

Assesses and protects fisheries, including the Chesapeake Bay and finds ways to restore overfished species and their habitats.

Full Time Employees: 2,823

Budget: $1 billion

OCEANS AND COASTS

National Ocean Service

Monitors coastal areas for ecological threats, creates nautical charts and leads restoration efforts after disasters such as oil spills.

Full Time Employees: 1,246

Budget: $578 million

SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH

Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research

Conducts research investigating deep sea vents and analyzing changes in the ozone layer.

Full Time Employees: 744

Budget: $449 million

(Wash Post, 1/23/2012, NOAA)