NOAA 50th Anniversary
Office of Coast Survey
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
U.S. Department of Commerce


June 24, 2020

Hello Coast Survey,

On June 17th, Coast Survey staff participated in conversations about how they are feeling and coping with the racial injustices that we have been seeing recently and it was very humbling and thought provoking. Through these discussions there were some ideas generated that the OCS Diversity and Inclusion Committee are already working on to continue to foster a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace. We heard how useful staff have found the Resource Guide to be and have added more sources. The D&I Committee would like to extend the offer to continue the conversation, if you would like to be part of the conversation sign up here and you will be contacted when a time is scheduled.

Here are some of the steps we are taking in the near-term:

  1. Investigating training on allyship and meditation.
  2. Book club discussion on the book "White Fragility: Why it is so Hard for White People to Talk about Racism" by Robin DiAngelo in late July. Stay tuned for more information.
  3. We invite YOU to share volunteer reviews of articles, books, movies, podcasts, etc that you find useful to be published in the Coast Survey newsletter. Reviews would include a brief description (1 paragraph), personal reflection (1 paragraph), and the source. If interested, send your resource review to Amanda.Phelps@noaa.gov.
  4. Discussion of the history and legacy of oceanography, seagoing exploration and mapping and today globalization and exploitation of less economically stable countries.

I wrote to you on Juneteenth that I take hope from the outpouring of outrage and determination by Americans from all backgrounds and even from people around the world. Typically, on Independence Day we celebrate the birth of our nation and freedoms that make this country great. For many reasons, celebrations this year will likely be different for many of us and I encourage you to take time to reflect on not only the things that make our country great, but the areas that we need to improve. I believe we all need to be part of the solution. I hope that we as Americans can continue to learn and work towards making our country truly equitable for everyone.

Rear Admiral Shepard M. Smith Rear Admiral Shepard M. Smith
Director, Office of Coast Survey