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CICEET: Tools for Living Coasts

Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management CICEET Program

Protecting Our Living Coasts

map of U.S.

CICEET's Living Coasts Program fosters effective planning and sustainable growth in coastal areas around the nation. Click on the image above to visit CICEET's Web site, where you can learn more about these pojects using an interactive map.

The Cooperative Institute for Coastal and Estuarine Environmental Technology (CICEET), a partnership between the National Ocean Service and the University of New Hampshire, recently brought land-use planning researchers and outreach specialists together as part of the Living Coasts Program.

Many of the environmental challenges along our nation’s coasts begin with the decisions we make about how to use our land. Changes in land use can lead to declining water quality and habitat degradation, and decisions we make today about how to use our land will impact our future management options as we face challenges such as climate change and rising sea level.

CICEET’s Living Coasts Program was created in 2007 to help coastal communities access and make better use of land-use planning tools, allowing communities to grow in a way that preserves water quality, protects natural areas, and improves quality of life. Under the program, 13 teams including scientists and outreach specialists from academia, the private sector, nongovernmental organizations, and government agencies working in 20 coastal states have received grants to address priority land-use issues such as comprehensive planning, natural resource protection, the need to balance economic and ecological health, and stormwater management.

 New Jersey Aerial Shot

This aerial shot shows coastal development in New Jersey, the focus of a CICEET project involving the Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR). The project will help coastal communities develop stormwater management strategies that will better protect water quality, manage flooding, and replenish area aquifers when planning for future development.

The recent Living Coasts workshop provided an opportunity for the 13 program teams to improve their projects by sharing lessons learned and successes related to technology development and working collaboratively with communities. Participants also provided feedback on how CICEET’s funding opportunity design has influenced project progress and discussed how they and CICEET can work to broaden the impact of their work to other communities.

Through strategic partnerships and competitive funding opportunity programs, CICEET has sponsored more than 170 environmental technology projects to detect, prevent, and reverse the impacts of coastal pollution and habitat degradation. Today, CICEET's portfolio contains dozens of "field-ready" tools that are being used around the nation to rebuild eroding beaches, restore coastal habitat, clean up pollution, protect public and economic health, and manage community growth.