NOAA Offers Free Sites & Apps


The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has a number of free mobile websites and apps that may be of interest to New England boaters. Here are a handful:

Mobile Websites

National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science

  • This website from the National Ocean Service’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science delivers news, information, tools and research from NOS’s focal point for coastal ocean science. While still in development, most site pages are designed to dynamically scale to fit any screen, from smartphone to tablet to jumbotron.

PORTS Coastal Observations and Predictions

  • This mobile site from NOS’s Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services provides coastal navigation observations and predictions for busy ports around the nation, including Boston, Portland, New London, New Bedford and Providence. Physical Oceanographic Real-Time System, or PORTS, provides mariners with information ranging from water levels to wind speed to water temperature.

Marine Forecasts

  • This mobile-device-friendly site from NOAA’s National Weather Service offers current marine forecasts and observations such as high seas, offshore and local conditions.

 iPhone/iPad Apps

See & ID Dolphins & Whales

  • Wildlife and nature enthusiasts, eco-tour companies, whale-watching tours, educators and scientists will find this app useful for identifying and learning about dolphins, whales, seals and manatees. The app also explains how boaters and educators can protect marine mammals by responsibly watching them in the wild. The app was developed by NOAA Fisheries.


  • This app from NOS’s Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary and partners augments existing ship-navigation tools informing mariners of the safest and most current information to reduce the risk of ship and right whale collisions.

 Android App


  • This app from the Office of Coast Survey allows Android users to download NOAA nautical charts and editions of the U.S. Coast Pilot. NOAA’s Coast Survey is seeking feedback to help improve MyNOAACharts.