The National Oceanographic Partnership Program (NOPP) was legislatively established in 1997 in Public Law 104-201 to promote a number of national goals through improved knowledge of the oceans and to strengthen oceanographic efforts by creating partnerships among Federal agencies, academia, industry, NGOs and other stakeholders of the national oceanographic community. NOPP is a formal collaboration of fourteen U.S. government agencies that are directly involved in oceanographic research, operations and education. In the area of ocean observation and prediction, NOPP areas of interest and investment have included data assimilation and modeling, fostering the development of technologies for ocean observing systems, and, in particular, providing a national leadership forum to foster the development and maintenance of an integrated and sustained ocean observing system that will meet national needs, while also serving as the U.S. component of a global ocean observing system. In response to Congressional interest, two reports were completed in 1999 under the auspices of NOPP that provide a framework and strategy for achieving a fully integrated and sustained capability for ocean observations through the establishment of a program office, Ocean.US, to oversee this national enterprise. In May 2000, Congress was informed of the decision to establish Ocean.US and, following a period of discussions and interagency negotiations, the Office was formally established in October of 2000. Early actions of Ocean.US included establishing an independent physical presence in the national Capitol region and building a staff from personnel from the principal NOPP agencies.