What is coastal resilience?

Resilience means bouncing back.

Bouncing Back

Resilience is the ability to adapt to changing conditions and withstand—and rapidly recover from—disruption due to emergencies. In other words, it means bouncing back after something bad happens. This ability to overcome, or bounce back, is a concept that applies to individuals, to communities large and small, to our infrastructure, and to the environment. Here at the National Ocean Service, we are focused on coastal and ocean resilience because we recognize that communities that live near our coasts are increasingly vulnerable to disasters while also facing many other powerful long-term environmental changes.

The Big Picture

Coastal storms, water inundation, flooding, marine debris, and tsunamis. These are but a few examples of threats to our coastal communities, the economy, and the ecology we depend on. At the same time, we face population growth, expanding community development, and loss of natural resources. All of this is happening in areas near the coast that are also especially exposed to growing threats related to climate and environmental change. Resilience is about adapting to and bouncing back from these changes and challenges. At NOS, we are focused on helping coastal communities make informed choices to assess risk, minimize losses, and protect the things they care about. We help decision makers plan and take action to capitalize on opportunities, reduce vulnerabilities, and adapt to change with a variety of tools, data, and services.

Science to Solutions

Decision makers in coastal communities around the country need actionable information to make informed choices to enable thriving communities, ecosystems, and economies. NOS provides navigation, observation, positioning, resource management, decision support, technical assistance, and training. This suite of services and expertise helps communities identify risks and vulnerabilities to apply sustainable solutions that increase resilience to the impacts of climate change, extreme weather, coastal inundation, oil and chemical spills, and other hazards and environmental stressors. Investments in improved response to coastal environmental hazards is about ensuring that coastal citizens, planners, emergency managers, and other decision makers have the reliable information they need when they need it. Services such as aerial imagery of areas hit by a major storm, tools such as the Hurricane Tracker, and data provided by sources such as the Coastal Mapping Program are examples of how NOS assists coastal managers with the decisions they need to make before, during, and after environmental events.

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Did you know?

Do you live near the coast? There are ways that you can personally become more environmentally resilient.  It's about understanding the part we all play in the health of the ocean and our coasts.  Hazards like marine debris, flooding, and storm surge are issues that you can prepare for. Here are some tips:

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