Coastal and Ocean Climate Applications (COCA): Supporting Resilient Coastal Communities in a Changing Climate
FY18 COCA and RISA Partnerships on Coastal Climate Research and Extension

NOAA’s Coastal and Ocean Climate Applications (COCA) program competitively selected two new projects in FY18 for a total of $800,000 over two years.

To support NOAA’s vision of resilient ecosystems, communities, and economies, the Coastal and Ocean Climate Applications (COCA) program supports interdisciplinary research where scientists work with coastal decision-makers, resource managers, and stakeholders to address weather- and climate- related challenges. The goal is to support coastal decision making in a changing climate.

In the United States, over half of the national gross domestic product comes from the coast and more than 50% of the U.S. population lives in coastal watershed counties. Human pressures, such as coastal development, pollution, and habitat destruction, are impacting the health and sustainability of coastal built and natural systems. As human pressures on the coast continue to increase, the coastal built and natural environment is expected to experience, and in some cases is already experiencing, impacts from climate variability and change, including: drought, flooding, sea level rise, heat waves. To address these many challenges, communities along the coast are seeking assistance to understand their vulnerabilities, risks and impacts to climate variability and change.

As scientists continue to make advances in understanding the connections between weather/climate and sea-level rise, storm surges, flooding, salt-water intrusion, etc., there is increasing need to ensure collaboration between scientists and coastal decision makers and the communication of research results to the broader coastal decision making community. To address this, the COCA and RISA programs collaborated on a two-year effort to support and expand coastal climate research and extension within the RISA network, with a focus on the coastal Mid-Atlantic and South Central RISA regions.

The two new projects supported by COCA in FY18 include:

Mid-Atlantic RISA region includes the following coastal states: Virginia, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, and the District of Columbia.

  • Strengthening Coastal Weather- and Climate-Related Outreach and Collaboration for Decision Support in the Chesapeake Bay and Greater Mid-Atlantic Regions
    • Lead PI: Robert Nicholas, The Pennsylvania State University
    • Collaborators: Carlton Hershner, Virginia Institute of Marine Science; Debra Knopman, RAND Corporation; and Klaus Keller,The Pennsylvania State University.

South Central RISA region includes the following coastal states: Texas and Louisiana, with transboundary work in Mississippi and Alabama

  • Building a More Resilient Coast: Understanding and Adapting to Extreme Events
    • Lead PI: Barry Keim, Louisiana State University
    • Collaborators: Alan Black, Louisiana State University; Renee Edwards, Louisiana State University; Melissa Daigle, Louisiana Sea Grant Program, Louisiana State University; Mark A. Shafer, Oklahoma Climatological Survey; David Sathiaraj, Southern Regional Climate Center, Louisiana State University

COCA is a program in the Climate and Societal Interactions Division of the Climate Program Office, within NOAA’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research. Learn more about COCA and it’s funding opportunities.

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NOAA is engaged in a partnership with NSF, NIH, USDA and agencies from 8 other countries to reduce risk in the public health sector through the use of climate-related knowledge and information tools and services; this allows us to leverage millions of dollars of investment from other countries in high priority topics to the US.

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Americans’ health, security and economic wellbeing are tied to climate and weather. Every day, we see communities grappling with environmental challenges due to unusual or extreme events related to climate and weather. In 2017, the United States experienced a record-tying 16 climate- and weather-related disasters where overall costs reached or exceeded $1 billion. Combined, these events claimed 362 lives, and had significant economic effects on the areas impacted, costing more than $306 billion. Businesses, policy leaders, resource managers and citizens are increasingly asking for information to help them address such challenges.

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