Fiscal Year 2013 Annual Report
NOAA Coastal Services Center

The New Digital Coast: Built with User Suggestions

Image showing representatives of the Digial Coast partnership

Representatives of the Digital Coast partnership at a meeting held in May in Charleston, S.C. Current partners include the American Planning Association, Association of State Floodplain Managers, Coastal States Organization, National Association of Counties, National States Geographic Information Council, The Nature Conservancy, Urban Land Institute, National Estuarine Research Reserve Association, and NOAA.

NOAA's Digital Coast, an online information resource that provides the data, tools, and training most needed by coastal communities, is now even easier to use. A wide range of resources are available that include Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) data, guidance for local inundation mapping, and Stories from the Field descriptions, which document uses of Digital Coast resources.

User recommendations prompted this year's site redesign and led to performance measures being exceeded. The top five products in each of the major content categories are now available from the home page, and the sorting function on the data and tool pages makes finding the right resource even easier. The new Digital Coast Data Registry enhances the user's ability to discover all the ways in which data sets are available and to find additional data sets that may be of interest. Since these data sets are hosted from a variety of authoritative sources, users are saved the work of searching many disparate sites for information.

Over 1,200 Coastal Professionals Better Prepared to Address Resilience and Habitat Issues

Image taken during a NOAA Coastal Services Center training

The NOAA Coastal Services Center provides trainings in person, online, and via webinars and guides. The training subject matter is wide-ranging and includes topics such as technical skills, effective projects, working with people, climate adaptation, coastal hazards, coastal conservation, and community resilience.

Officials charged with the management of coastal resources and communities continue to benefit from the courses offered by the NOAA Coastal Services Center, with 98 percent saying that they would recommend the courses to other coastal professionals. In the past fiscal year, 46 training courses plus 13 web-based courses were conducted for people in 37 states and territories. Through these opportunities, over 1,200 people were trained in social sciences, geospatial technologies, and coastal issues such as preparing for climate change. New topics were added this year on deriving shoreline data, restoration project design, and grants management.

Great Lakes "Story Maps" on Flood Resilience Earn Esri GIS Award

The NOAA Coastal Services Center received Esri's 2013 Special Achievement in GIS Award for three story maps that illustrate flood resilience opportunities in the Great Lakes using spatial data, graphics, and concise messages. These maps will help coastal planners communicate the benefits of protecting and restoring coastal habitats. Developed in collaboration with Esri and the Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM) from Esri templates, the story maps were customized for three Wisconsin counties: Ozaukee, Sheboygan, and Brown. The maps are part of an online Great Lakes Coastal Resilience Planning Guide by ASFPM and the Digital Coast partnership, funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

Enhanced Access to Ocean and Great Lakes Economic Data

The U.S. Census Bureau provides some of the most sought-after data in the nation. NOAA's Economics: National Ocean Watch (ENOW) website delivers the data from this agency that are most important to coastal resource managers. The ENOW data set now includes 2010 data for individual coastal counties, states, regions, and the coastal United States. ENOW uses common economic indicators such as employment, wages, and gross domestic product to describe six economic sectors that depend on the ocean and Great Lakes. The new ENOW Data Wizard is making the task of finding data even easier. Users can download or copy data for individual coastal counties, states, regions, or the coastal United States.