2022 SOST Opportunities and Actions Roundtable
Summary: The coastal ocean is essential to our economy, our culture, and ultimately our future. For example, over three billion people live within 100 km of the coast, coastal ecosystems add between 3 and 6 trillion dollars annually to our global economy, and in the US alone - 85% of the fish we eat comes from coastal ecosystems. Of course, we are also deeply connected to coastal ecosystems because of their recreational, cultural, and even spiritual meaning to us. Despite their importance, our scientific understanding of coastal ecosystems is lacking. We propose a new research model that addresses the many social, economic, political, and logistical factors that impede participation in coastal science and stewardship. Our aim is to produce a research science model that increases access to coastal ocean science through new instruments and community relationships. To do so we propose: (1) working with communities and agencies to determine the key data they need for improved coastal management; (2) creating novel sensor suites to address these needs for the most pressing coastal ocean data gaps (e.g., quantifying carbon budgets); (3) developing a novel share model that allows access to these sensors regardless of geography, institutional affiliation, or budget; and (4) increasing access to training in sensor development, use, deployment, and data management. Together these steps will promote better management of coastal systems under a changing climate, accessible technology for widescale coastal ocean deployment and data collection, and a diverse and inclusive blue workforce.