The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management (OCRM) is committed to the privacy of its visitors. OCRM collects no personal information about visitors to its website unless they choose to provide that information.
How We Handle Information about Your Visit to Our Website
Information Collected and Stored Automatically: If you (the visitor) do nothing during your visit but
browse through the website, read pages, or download information, we (OCRM) 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 about your visit:
- The Internet domain (for example, "xcompany.com" if you use a private Internet access account,
or "yourschool.edu" 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.
Web Measurement Tools
OCRM uses Google Analytics measurement software to collect the
information listed above. The data are automatically sent to Google's system and the system
immediately aggregates the data. Neither OCRM nor Google ever have access to the specifics of
your particular site visits. The staff can only see the aggregate data from all users for a particular time
OCRM gathers this information to improve its websites. We may use the aggregated data to share
with our partners and contractors to help improve visitor experiences.
OCRM also uses online surveys to collect opinions and feedback from a random sample of visitors,
including feedback and data on visitors' satisfaction with its websites. This survey does not collect
personally identifiable information (PII). Participation in the survey is voluntary. If you decline the
survey, you will still have access to the identical information and resources on the website as those who
take the survey. Answers to the survey help OCRM improve its website to make it easier to use and
be more responsive to the needs of its visitors.
OCRM staff members conduct analyses and reports on the aggregated data from the survey. The
reports are only available to website managers, members of their communications and Web teams, and
other designated staff members who require this information to perform their duties.
OCRM retains the data from Google Analytics and survey results only as long as required by law or
needed to support the mission of OCRM websites.
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, for example by sending an e-mail 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 a user clicks 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,
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
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 submi
personally identifiable information, such as on an online form, you will be advised as to the purpose and
how the information will be used.
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, and 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
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Memo M-10-22, "Guidance for Online Use of Web
Measurement and Customization Technologies," allows federal agencies to use session and persistent
cookies. "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 to identify that user, or information about that user, the next
time the user logs on to a website ("persistent cookies").
The cookie makes it easier for you to use the dynamic features of webpages. Cookies from OCRM webpages only collect information about your browser's visit to the site; they do not
collect any personal information about you. We use both temporary "session cookies" and permanent
"persistent cookies." Session cookies last only as long as your Web browser is open. Once you close your
browser, the cookie disappears. Persistent cookies are stored on your computer for longer periods.
Session Cookies: We use session cookies for technical purposes such as to enable better navigation
through our site. These cookies let our server know that you are continuing a visit to our site. The OMB
Memo 10-22 Guidance defines our use of session cookies as "Usage Tier 1-Single Session." The policy
says, "This tier encompasses any use of single session Web measurement and customization
Persistent Cookies: We use persistent cookies to enable Google Analytics to differentiate between new
and returning visitors to our site. Persistent cookies remain on your computer between visits to OCRM pages for six months. The persistent cookies that block repeated survey invitations
expire in 90 days. The OMB -10-22 guidance memo defines our use of persistent cookies as "Usage Tier
2-Multi-session without Personally Identifiable Information (PII)." The policy says, "This tier4
encompasses any use of multi-session Web measurement and customization technologies when no PII is
If you do not wish to have session or persistent cookies stored on your machine, you can opt out or
disable cookies in your browser. You will still have access to all information and resources at OCRM
websites. However, turning off cookies may affect the functioning of some department websites. Be
aware that disabling cookies in your browser will affect cookie usage at all other websites you visit as
Interaction with Children
This website may offer educational content to children under 13. No personally identifiable information
is collected from them unless voluntarily submitted as a request for information or services. The
information collected is used to respond to user inquiries or to provide services requested by our users.
Third-party Social Media Tools
The National Ocean Service maintains official pages or accounts on several third-party websites to
better engage with the American public and promote awareness of National Ocean Service activities,
events, news, and information (a list of these tools is highlighted below). OCRM, as a program office within the National Ocean Service, makes use of some of the third-party
websites or tools. Your activity on those 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 public, user
community, 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
Facebook is a social networking website where users can connect and interact with other people.
OCRM's Facebook page features new content every week to keep you up to date with OCRM
our Facebook page. In addition, users may post comments on OCRM's Facebook page.
Facebook is a third-party Web service used by OCRM for outreach. Use of Facebook requires a
free membership; the Department of Commerce does not endorse membership on Facebook, nor
does the Department of Commerce have any control or responsibility for privacy on Facebook.
YouTube is a video-sharing service. The videos we share in the National Ocean Service YouTube
Channel (OCRM uses the National Ocean Service YouTube Channel) are copies of those that
appear in the video gallery on the NOS website. Please note that you are subject to YouTube's
the NOS YouTube Channel.
YouTube is a third-party Web service used by the National Ocean Service (and OCRM) for
outreach. Use of YouTube for commenting requires a free membership; the Department of
Commerce does not endorse membership on YouTube, nor does the Department of Commerce have
any control or responsibility for privacy on YouTube.
Twitter is a microblogging service to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of
This site 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 OCRM 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 its cookie and does not combine, match, or crossreference OCRM information 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 OCRM.
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 .
Google Earth and Google Maps
Google Earth and Google Maps map information and photographic imagery are used under license
by Google. OCRM data presented using Google Maps and 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 OCRM. Under the terms of the license, you are permitted to copy or use the Google
Maps and Google Earth images on your site so long as Google Maps and Google Earth trade names,
trademarks, service marks, logos, domain names, and other distinctive brand features are not
using this service.
Your Rights under the Privacy Act
More information about the Privacy Act can be found at the following off-site link: