Coastal Zone Management

Data and Tools

Various networks provide opportunities for coastal planners to share data and information. Some resources are specific to certain geographies, while others span the entire country. Visualization tools are particularly helpful in analysis and communicating with the public.

Canada geeseCal-Adapt

From California's Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) program, Cal-Adapt displays climate change research through charts, graphs, and maps. Raw GIS data are also available for download.

Great Lakes Coastal Resilience

Science-based case studies, local stories, and climate and environmental research across key planning and management areas to educate about data, methods, policies, and tools that local governments are using to help make Great Lakes communities more resilient, including a repository of data, maps, and tools.

Digital Coast

CanVis

Free and simpler alternative to the Adobe Suite for envisioning coastal change. Users can model potential development scenarios by inserting docks, buildings, rising waters, and other objects into photographs specific to their location

C-Cap Land Cover Atlas

Displays land cover changes from 1996 to 2006 using NOAA's remotely sensed imagery. Users visualize and explore observed land cover changes for their county or state and time frame of interest. This tool runs through the browser and can be used as a substitute for GIS analysis, but the raw data are also available for download.

Coastal County Snapshots

Turns complex NOAA data and research on flood exposure, ocean jobs, and wetland benefits into digestible charts, graphs, and narrative.

Habitat Priority Planner

Identifies high-priority areas for conservation, climate change adaptation, or restoration action. Users can change and display scenarios "on the fly," and resultant data tables, maps, and reports.

Hazards U.S. Multi-Hazard (HAZUS-MH)

A GIS-based software used to estimate potential damages and economic losses from earthquakes, floods, and hurricane winds, and floods. Developed and freely distributed by FEMA by request.

ISAT (Impervious Surface Analysis Tool)

A suite of scripts for the Spatial Analyst extension of ArcGIS, used to calculate the percentage of impervious surface area within user-selected geographic areas, such as watersheds, municipalities, and subdivisions.

Sea Level Rise and Coastal Flooding Impacts Viewer

Portrays sea level rise scenarios and potential impacts on a web-based map. Includes Social Vulnerability Index displaying differences in capacity for preparedness and response by census tract

Port Tomorrow

This tool provides information which shows port communities what to look for in resilient freight transportation infrastructure. This tool provides geospatial data within three resilience categories (marine transportation, port communities, and coastal hazards)

Spatial Trends in Coastal Economics Quick Report Tool

Economic and demographic information for coastal counties and other geographies through a map-based interface.

Ecosystem-Based Management Tools Network and Database

Methods, software and web tools for coastal-marine spatial planning and management decision makers, with an accompanying tools selection guide for coastal climate adaptation planning.

FEMA Map Service Center

Displays map-based flood hazard data through the browser, searchable by address.

Climate Wizard

NOAA Digital Coast Partner The Nature Conservancy's Climate Wizard is an interactive map representing the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's 4th Assessment data on changes in temperature and precipitation levels, searchable by three emission scenarios and 16 different models.

Great Lakes Information Network

Centralized location to acquire, distribute, and acquire geospatial data for areas within the Great Lakes region. Components include a data portal through which GIS and geospatial data for the Great Lakes can be published and acquired, and a gallery of downloadable images depicting Great Lakes geophysical data.

National Working Waterfront Network

Data, information, and tools to assist communities, individuals, and governments develop, inform, and enhance their sustainable working waterfront initiatives, through mechanisms such as a sustainable working waterfront toolkit and repository of financial resources, searchable by state.

Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials (NEMO)

Information for local land use decision makers about protecting water quality as communities grow, including the National Low Impact Development Atlas

Northeast Regional Association of Coastal and Ocean Observing Systems

Large repository of real-time and historical monitoring data, and interactive web-based tools such as the Northeast Ocean Data Portal for Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning.

Mid-Atlantic Ocean Data Portal

Online toolkit and resource center that consolidates available data and enables state, federal and local users to visualize and analyze ocean resources and human use information such as fishing grounds, recreational areas, shipping lanes, habitat areas, and energy sites, among others.

Storm Smart Coasts

This portal connects coastal decision makers to learn and share information on how to protect their communities from weather and climate hazards. Alabama, Delaware, Florida, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Texas have existing networks, Connecticut, Maine, and New Jersey coming soon.

Image: Canada geese and Vancouver, B.C., skyline. Photo by Flickr user James Wheeler (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).