With many Americans living near the coast, human pressures such as coastal development and pollution are impacting the health and sustainability of coastal ecosystems. In addition, changing climate conditions are impacting these ecosystems and the communities that depend on them. As decision-makers continue to plan for climatic and non-climatic stressors, there is an increased demand for information on the linkage between ecosystems and services they provide to communities (e.g. food, flood protection, tourism, etc.), mechanisms for the valuation of these ecosystems services, and approaches to incorporate this information into coastal management and planning decisions.
The NOAA Coastal and Ocean Climate Applications (COCA) program is supporting efforts to address these research gaps and build capacity. COCA is a competitive grants research program within the NOAA Climate Program Office. One of several programs within the CPO Climate and Societal Interactions division, COCA strives to support coastal resilience by addressing the needs of decisions makers dealing with pressing climate-related issues in coastal and marine environments.
Since 2006, COCA funds applied research projects, lead by interdisciplinary teams of scientists and practitioners, to develop and transition climate-related research and knowledge to inform coastal decision-making. The program has supported research focused on the topic of coastal ecosystem services and coastal adaptation. The goal of this effort is to advance the understanding of the connections between coastal ecosystems and coastal adaptation planning and management decisions. This presentation will highlight research case studies supported by COCA and discuss examples and lessons learned in the development and application of methodologies for integrating ecosystem services into coastal adaptation.