National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science
An NCCOS diver conducts a fish transect census in a field of sea fans, sea plumes, and sea whips off the coast of La Parguera, Puerto Rico.
Science provides the foundation for making wise decisions about the use of our ocean and coastal resources. At the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS), scientists are conducting and supporting the research, monitoring, and assessment needed to help manage coastal ecosystems and society’s use of them.
NCCOS is composed of five centers and two research labs. Work at these locations is focused on four different areas:
- Science to manage harmful algal bloom (HAB) threats. HABs have been reported in every coastal state and provide an estimated $1 billion in losses to coastal economies each year. NCCOS provides leading research to forecast, prevent, detect, control, and mitigate these toxic blooms.
- Research on climate impacts to coastal ecosystems and communities. Changes in the Earth's climate can affect the health, productivity, and biodiversity of coastal and marine ecoystems and communities. NCCOS investigates how changes in sea level, ocean chemistry, and temperature affect coastal ecosystems and the services they provide.
- Research on the impacts of coastal contamination. Contaminated coastal waters are bad for the environment and they are bad for us. NCCOS science is helping us monitor, research, and assess the impacts of contaminants in coastal ecosystems.
- Science for coastal ecosystem management. Competition between multiple users of our coasts has been on the rise for decades. NCCOS develops ecosystem maps, models, and assessments to guide planning in coastal communities, to help managers balance the use and protection of marine resources.