National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) - Center for Coastal Environmental Health and Biomolecular Research


FLC Region

Security Lab



219 Fort Johnson Road
Charleston, SC 29412-9110
United States

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Laboratory Representative


NCCOS is the focal point for coastal ocean science within NOAA's National Ocean Service. Our research areas and strategy were selected in response to Federal legislation, stakeholder input, and in concert with our scientific expertise and capabilities. We work with the NOS Coastal Science Board to identify the science needs of coastal managers and to prioritize our research. We work directly with environmental resource managers, industry, regulators, and scientists to deliver relevant, timely, and accurate scientific information and tools.

NCCOS'' s Center for Coastal Environmental Health and Biomolecular Research (CCEHBR) links and integrates basic research, applied science and long-term monitoring to problem solving and the development of information products used to protect natural resources and public and ecosystem health. Products include: baseline ecosystem characterizations and forecasts; analysis of coastal hazards and impacts; rapid analytical response to unusual marine mortalities and coral disease events; education outreach and transfer of developed technologies to international, federal and state agencies and the private sector.

CCEHBR use advanced technology to study complex problems, developing novel approaches to reduce impacts of harmful algal blooms (HABs) on marine animal health, human health, and quality of the coastal environment. Through our research, technology transfer and delivery of information, we respond to an array of issues caused by harmful algae and marine biotoxins.

Coastal development alters land use and landscape ecology, often increasing delivery of chemical and microbial pollutants into coastal waters and affecting the environment and people. Pollution events (e.g oil spills) can also produce short and long-term environmental impacts. We use combined measures of contaminant concentrations, their toxicity to organisms, and conditions of living resources to develop statistical and spatial models for resource managers. Our science and tools allow managers to predict impacts from coastal development and pollution events and test strategies that can mitigate impacts on coastal ecosystem health and quality of life.

CCEHBR surveys benthic communities and habitat characteristics to determine how environmental conditions change with time, and assess the social, economic and biological effects of human activities on coastal ecosystems. These local to large regional scale integrated assessments are important for informing coastal management decisions and are usually conducted in partnership with Federal, state, and local managers and researchers.

CCEHBR is also charged with defining the cause and effect relationships between ecosystem stressors and the health of coastal resources. The results of these efforts are products, models, and expert advice that inform public policies and coastal management decisions at local, state, and national levels.


The mission of the CCEHBR is to conduct integrated environmental research and develop diagnostic tools to measure the health of coastal ecosystems.

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