About / Our Office
Helping Communities Thrive and Adapt to a Changing Coast
Climate change and a growing population. These two factors alone account for many of the challenges facing the nation’s coastal and Great Lakes communities. Add in sea level rise, erosion, flooding, congested evacuation routes, threatened public access to natural resources, habitat loss, storm preparedness and recovery, and vulnerable infrastructure and populations.
These are multifaceted problems, which need multifaceted solutions.
That’s what NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management was founded to do: work with a variety of partners, from all sectors, to deliver the products, services, and programs most needed by the nation’s coastal communities. The primary programs within the organization are represented below.
- National Coastal Zone Management Program – A unique federal and state partnership that provides the nation’s most direct implementation of coastal management policy. Thirty-four states have a federally approved coastal management program.
- National Estuarine Research Reserve System – Leading the nation’s estuary science efforts, this program produces groundbreaking research and provides environmental health data. The network of 30 protected areas also contributes local science-based training, education, and outreach programs, and provides unique recreational opportunities.
- NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program – Provides the sound science needed to address threats to coral resources, and preserve, sustain, and restore coral reef ecosystems.
- Digital Coast – The go-to source for the data, tools, and training most needed by coastal communities. This initiative takes it a step further, however, by bringing key user groups together (the Digital Coast Partnership) to identify critical needs and ensure that NOAA’s products and services are reaching the target audiences.
The Office for Coastal Management is working to increase the resilience of the nation’s coastal zone, and take the actions needed to keep coastal residents safe, the economy sound, and natural resources functioning as they should. Every day our teams take the steps needed to help communities adapt to a changing coast. We have staff located in all regions of the U.S. to work directly with partners to address the most pressing challenges, such as coastal inundation and habitat loss.