NCCOS's social science portfolio is focused on the connections between people and the environment. NCCOS expertise in sociology, economics, and geography is integrated with our coastal ecosystem science to create comprehensive assessments. Similarly, NCCOS also funds external competitive social science research. We provide tools, maps, and products to help communities sustainably manage their natural resources and protected areas, and to better understand and respond to coastal hazards and contaminated coastal waters.
Areas of Focus
Why Social Science Matters
Our coastal communities and economies are dependent on nearby coastal and marine ecosystems. Because of this, it is important that we understand the relationships between them. Only with this knowledge can we ensure that our policies and actions support the well-being and sustainability of both ecosystems and nearby human populations.
Over 123 million people live within America’s coastal shoreline counties. These coastal communities produce $6.6 trillion annually in goods and services, and employ over 51 million people.
It is important to understand how people use, value, and impact natural resources. When patterns of human use are considered, we are able to understand the potential impacts of human activities on sensitive natural resources, like endangered and protected species.
Impacts from coastal hazards threaten property and community well-being. By understanding the vulnerabilities of communities to potential coastal risks, communities can take action to prepare and become more resilient.
From Around the Field
Evaluating Socioeconomic Indicators of Coastal Communities for Increased Understanding of Aquaculture Siting
The Economic Value of Natural Infrastructure for Storm Damage Reduction in North Carolina’s Coastal Communities