Data alone are not enough. Putting the data to work to protect America's coasts takes successful models, tools, training and the know-how to apply such information on-the-ground. How do you balance the need to protect wetlands and build needed roads? How do you protect coastal homes from erosion without damaging the beach? Ports are an economic powerhouse. How do you safeguard them from anticipated sea level rise? A challenging number of decisions are required to save lives, livelihoods and property before a hurricane, coastal flooding, oil spill or other disaster strikes.
Through the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA), NOAA oversees the National Coastal Zone Management Program that works with state partners to address coastal resource management issues. The National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS) maintains a network of reserves dedicated to long-term research, monitoring, education and stewardship activities that contribute to improvements in coastal management and local decision making.
Developed by NOAA's Coastal Services Center and partners, Digital Coast helps analyze risks, visualize impact, capture data, assess consequences, and generate a decision-making framework. The average benefit is 3.5 times the investment, a 254-percent return!