The Big Picture
We are committed to the privacy of our visitors. We collect no personal information about you when you visit our website unless you choose to provide that information to us. Here is how we handle information about your visit: When you browse through this website, read pages, or download information, we 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 concerning 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.
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 and to fill orders). 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 information.
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 submit 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
"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 in order to identify that user, or information about that user, the next time the user logs on to a website ("persistent cookies"). This website does not use persistent cookies or any other persistent tracking technology. However, this site does use Google Analytics, a tool that provides basic information about website visitors. Please note that this third party service will place a file on your computer so that it can recognize if you visit marinedebris.noaa.gov in the future. Lastly, one or more of our component sites may use session cookies to provide streamlined navigation. These session cookies are deleted from the component's server after your session ends and information from them is not collected or saved.
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. We may also share information collected during your visit with non-federal entities, but only if your inquiry requires accessing data from that external entity. All of our sites that require such external access will be clearly identified to help you make an informed choice.
NOAA’s Marine Debris Blog is a service used to communicate and stay connected through the publishing of reverse-chronologically listed posts. We typically post each week to keep you abreast of what’s new at the MDP. Users may post comments on the MDP’s blog posts and we encourage public interaction and communication about the content we post. However, this does not imply that the MDP agrees with or accepts the content, opinions, or views expressed within any public comment. The person who posts a comment is solely responsible for the content of the comment. While we do not discriminate against views or opinions posted to our blog, we reserve the right to remove or not approve any comment. A comment will not be edited or modified to remove unacceptable content; the entire comment will simply be deleted. All comments submitted to NOAA’s Marine Debris Blog will be reviewed before posting. Some of the reasons we may remove or not approve a comment are listed below:
- Abusive, vulgar, obscene, racist, threatening, or harassing comments.
- Libel, slander, or personal attacks of any kind, including the use of offensive terms that target specific individuals or groups.
- Spam, including content that promotes products or services or contains gratuitous links (links or references to other NOAA webpages or federal government sites are acceptable).
- Makes unsupported accusations.
- Comments that suggest or encourage illegal, dangerous, or destructive activity.
- Duplicate posts.
- Clearly off topic.
- Political campaigning or lobbying.
- Comments that are really customer support questions (for that, please visit our Contact Us page).
Third-party Social Media Tools
The NOAA Marine Debris Program (MDP) maintains official pages or accounts on several third-party websites in order to better engage with the American public and promote awareness of MDP activities, events, news, and information (a list of these tools is highlighted below). 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 general public, user community, and/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 preferences. For more information on content that you voluntarily submit on MDP third-party social media tools, please see the Office of Response and Restoration's official comment policy.
Privacy Act Statement Authority
The collection of this information is authorized under 5 U.S.C. § 301, Departmental regulations, which authorizes the operations of an executive agency, including the creation, custodianship, maintenance and distribution of records.
NOAA collects this information for the purpose of facilitating external coordination regarding Oil Spills, Chemical Spill, and Marine Debris responses and customer service related requests from the diverse community of customers including the U.S. Coast Guard, the Environmental Protection Agency, as well as other federal, state, and tribal parties.
NOAA Routine Uses
NOAA will use this information to enable communication with data providers and customers of the NOAA6701/6702 systems. Disclosure of this information is permitted under the Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. Section 552a) to be shared among NOAA staff for work-related purposes. Disclosure of this information is also subject to all of the published routine uses as identified in the Privacy Act System of Records Notice Commerce/NOAA-11, Contact Information for Members of the Public Requesting or Providing Information Related to NOAA’s Mission.
Furnishing this information is voluntary; however, failure to provide accurate information may delay or prevent the individual from submitting and/or receiving information.