The Coastal and Oceanographic Assessment, Status and Trends (COAST) Branch is part of NOAA's National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science in the Center for Coastal Monitoring and Assessment (CCMA), located in Silver Spring, Maryland, USA. The goal of COAST is to:
“Support ecosystem-based management through integrated nationwide programs of environmental monitoring, assessment and research to describe the current status of and to detect changes in the environmental character of our Nation’s estuarine and coastal waters by providing information, tools and knowledge to regional, federal, state and local resource managers”.
COAST Branch activities focus on research and development of new remote sensing and "in situ" monitoring technologies, describing contaminant distributions throughout the Nations coasts and Great Lakes, and developing robust environmental indicators to enhance NOAA’s ability to assess and forecast coastal conditions. Current project themes of the COAST Branch include:
Pollution: COAST’s National Status and Trends Program (NS&T) is the longest running coastal and Great Lakes contaminant monitoring Program that is National in scope. Since 1984, NS&T scientists have monitored chemical, biological and associated physical measures in coastal waters, especially estuaries.
Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs): COAST is home to one of NOAA’s premier coastal and ocean Remote Sensing Programs, whose efforts focus on monitoring and forecasting estuarine and coastal environmental stressors. The Branch has developed the Nations first operational HAB detection and forecasting system in partnership with NOAA’s Center for Operational Products and Service (CO-OPS).
Oceanographic Characterization: Using satellite remote sensing data, COAST develops long term national and regional oceanographic trends (climatologies) to assess the nature and magnitude of our changing oceans, and to describe the complex interrelationships between ocean character, climate, and living marine resources that respond to this flux. Much of this work is done in partnership with CCMA’s Biogeography Branch who develop world-class spatially integrated assessments of coastal living resources and habitats.
Eutrophication: COAST is responsible for updating the "National Estuarine Eutrophication Assessment" (NEEA) to highlight changes in nutrient related water quality, sources of nutrients and expected future conditions that have occurred in the decade since the early 1990s. In addition, COAST’s satellite remote sensing capabilities are being used to develop synoptic assessments of chlorophyll concentration and climate variation throughout the Nation’s estuaries and coastal waters in an attempt to better describe processes affecting eutrophication.
See the COAST Branch's Projects http://ccma.nos.noaa.gov/about/coast/projects/ for links to project descriptions and products.
For information on our current staff, see Contacts http://ccma.nos.noaa.gov/about/coast/contacts.aspx.
For more information on NOAA's COAST Branch or products, please contact Greg Piniak at Greg.Piniak@noaa.gov or 301-713-3028, ext. 115.
Greg Piniak, Branch Chief
Coastal & Oceanographic Assessments Status and Trends
NOAA | NOS | NCCOS | Center for Coastal Monitoring & Assessment
1305 East-West Highway, SSMC-IV
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Phone: 301-713-3028, ext.115