The mission of the Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is to understand and predict changes in climate, weather, oceans, and coasts; share that knowledge and information with others; and conserve and manage coastal and marine ecosystems and resources.
As described below, several NOAA offices are engaged in activities that help coastal communities identify and minimize the impacts of weather- and climate-related hazards on lives, livelihoods, and coastal ecosystems.
National Ocean Service
NOAA’s National Ocean Service (NOS) is the Nation’s ocean and coastal agency. It provides the science-based information and tools that communities need to manage competing demands for ocean and coastal resources while protecting the economic, social, and environmental benefits these resources provide. This information includes reliable, actionable information to help communities adapt to the impacts of coastal hazards and climate change. Authorities include the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA), which created the National Coastal Zone Program, a voluntary partnership between NOAA and coastal States and Territories to manage the coasts for sustainable development and resource protection.
Multiple offices within NOS develop data, tools, and other resources that support coastal flood risk identification and management.
Office for Coastal Management: NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management administers the CZMA by providing national leadership to State and Territory coastal programs and estuarine research reserves through financial and technical assistance to keep America’s coasts healthy and resilient.
- National Coastal Zone Management Program
- National Estuarine Research Reserve System
- CZMA Climate Change and Coastal Hazards E-Newsletter
- Adapting to Climate Change: A Planning Guide for State Coastal Managers
- Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program (land acquisition program)
Coastal Services Center: The NOAA Coastal Services Center (CSC) supports the environmental, social, and economic well-being of the coast by linking people, information, and technology. CSC provides the technology, information, and management strategies used by local, State, and National organizations to address complex coastal issues.
- Digital Coast Website (delivery mechanism for many of CSC’s products and services):
- Coastal Inundation Mapping
- Climate Adaptation for Coastal Communities
- Coastal County Snapshots
- CanVis Visualization Program
- Sea Level Rise and Coastal Flooding Impacts Viewer
- Incorporating Sea Level Change Scenarios at the Local Level
- Social Coast
- Historical Hurricane Planning and Impact Assessment Reports
- Coastal Data
- Coastal Storms Program
- Climate Resilience Evaluation & Awareness Tool (CREAT)
NOS Special Projects: NOS Special Projects provides a wide range of GIS-based tools and services as well as coastal socioeconomic data from a variety of sources to better inform coastal management decisions.
- NOAA Spatial Trends in Coastal Socioeconomics
- NOAA Historical Shoreline Survey Viewer
Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services: NOAA’s Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services provides the national infrastructure, science, and technical expertise to monitor, assess, and distribute tide, current, water level, and other coastal oceanographic products and services.
- Tides and Currents
- Inundation Analysis Tool
- Extreme Water Levels
- Sea Levels Online
- Great Lakes Online
Office of Coast Survey: NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey provides navigation products and services that ensure safe and efficient maritime commerce on America’s oceans and coastal waters and in the Great Lakes.
- Storm Surge and Coastal Inundation
- NOAA Shoreline Website
National Geodetic Survey: NOAA’s National Geodetic Survey provides the framework for all positioning activities in the Nation. The foundational elements—latitude, longitude, elevation, shoreline information, and their changes over time—contribute to informed decision making and impact a wide range of important activities, including mapping and charting, navigation, flood risk determination, transportation, land use, and ecosystem management.
- Continuously Operating Reference Stations
- Emergency Response Imagery
National Weather Service
NOAA’s National Weather Service provides weather, water, and climate data, forecasts and warnings for the protection of life and property and enhancement of the national economy. With some 5,000 employees in 122 weather forecast offices, 13 river forecast centers, nine national centers, and other support offices around the country, NWS provides a national infrastructure to gather and process data worldwide.
National Hurricane Center: Among its responsibilities, NOAA’s National Hurricane Center provides operational storm surge forecasts, as well as surge modeling for Hurricane Evacuation Studies conducted under the National Hurricane Program.
- Introduction to Storm Surge Brochure
- Storm Surge Interactive Risk Maps
- Tropical Cyclone Storm Surge Probabilities Graphical Product
- Hurricane Storm Surge Animation with Floodwall Protection
Office of Climate, Water, and Weather Services: NOAA’s Office of Climate, Water, and Weather Services oversees the design and delivery of hydrometeorological and climate products and services, which include those related to predictions, warnings, and preparedness.
- Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service
- National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program
Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (NOAA Research)
NOAA’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research works in partnership with other NOAA offices to provide better forecasts, earlier warnings for natural disasters, and a greater understanding of the Earth. It seeks to provide unbiased science to better manage the environment.
National Sea Grant College Program: The National Sea Grant College Program is a national network of universities and research institutions that conduct scientific research, education, and extension projects designed to better understand and use our ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes resources. Focus areas include coastal hazards and coastal community development.
- State Sea Grant Programs
- National Sea Grant Law Center
Climate Program Office: NOAA’s Climate Program Office manages competitive research programs that fund high-priority climate science, assessments, decision support research, outreach, education, and capacity-building activities designed to advance our understanding of Earth’s climate system, and to foster the application of this knowledge in risk management and adaptation efforts.
- NOAA Climate Portal
- Coastal and Ocean Climate Applications Program
- Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments Program
- Global Sea Level Rise Scenarios for the United States National Climate Assessment
National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service
NOAA’s National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS) provides timely access to global environmental data from satellites and other sources to promote, protect, and enhance the Nation’s economy, security, environment, and quality of life. To fulfill its responsibilities, NESDIS acquires and manages the Nation's operational environmental satellites, operates the NOAA National Data Centers, provides data and information services, performs official assessments of the environment, and conducts related research.
National Geophysical Data Center: NOAA’s National Geophysical Data Center provides long-term scientific data stewardship for the Nation’s geophysical data, ensuring quality, integrity, and accessibility.
- Digital Elevation Model Discovery Portal
- Unstructured Grid Catalog
- Regional Climate Trends and Scenarios for the U.S. National Climate Assessment
National Climatic Data Center: NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center maintains the world's largest climate data archive and provides climatological services and data to every sector of the United States economy and to users worldwide.
- Weather and Climate Toolkit
- Extreme Events
- Severe Weather