The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) formed the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) in 1999 as the focal point for NOAA’s coastal ocean science efforts. We help NOAA meet its coastal stewardship and management responsibilities, and we provide coastal managers with the scientific information necessary to decide how best to protect environmental resources and public health, preserve valued habitats, and improve the way communities interact with coastal ecosystems. Our work includes:
Coastal storms, flooding, and rising seas pose a persistent threat to coastal communities. NCCOS research efforts seek to understand the ecosystem services that improve a community’s resistance to the impacts of weather and changing climate conditions.
Marine Spatial Ecology integrates a broad spectrum of physical, biological, and social sciences. Communities, state and federal stewards and industries such as aquaculture, energy and tourism adapt this information to make decisions balancing the tradeoffs between resource use and conservation.
Social science refers to a range of disciplines focused on the study of people and their associated social systems. NCCOS social science research studies connections between people and the environment through ecosystem services valuations, assessing human use, and assessing vulnerability and resilience within coastal communities and ecosystems.
Coastal, Great Lakes and inland communities rely on NCCOS for ecological forecasting, stressor detection, and an understanding of stressor impacts on coastal resources to assist in managing the security of their water supply, safety of local fishing and shellfishing industries, the health of their people, and the strength of their coastal and lakefront tourism.