National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) - Center for Coastal Monitoring and Assessment


FLC Region

Security Lab



1305 East West Highway
Silver Spring, MD 20910
United States

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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 Monitoring and Assessment (CCMA) conducts field research and data analysis to support marine resource management at local, regional, and national levels. We partner with groups ranging from Tribal organizations to state governments to other federal agencies to identify research and monitoring questions of importance to communities. Based in Silver Spring, Maryland, our scientists work throughout the coastal United States, its territories, and the Freely Associated States.


The center provides the best available scientific information for resource managers and researchers, technical advice, and accessibility to data.  CCMA's science addresses five major environmental stressors:  Pollution, Land and Resource Use, Invasive Species, Climate Change, and Extreme Natural Events. 


The Center for Coastal Monitoring and Assessment (CCMA) is comprised of three branches and is one of five centers within NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS).

 CCMA conducts research on the distribution and ecology of marine plants and animals. From field studies and other surveys, we create maps, reports, and tools that document ecosystem conditions, anticipate changes in the environment and meet social and economic needs.  Our work is conducted nationwide in estuarine, coastal, and marine ecosystems with an emphasis on marine protected areas (MPAs) and coral reefs.


CCMA also conducts integrated environmental and water quality monitoring and assessments to define the status and trends of estuarine, coastal, marine, and Great Lakes ecosystems. CCMA is home to the Mussel Watch Project, one of the longest-running and most extensive contaminant monitoring projgrams in US history.


Our scientists evaluate pollution and its toxic effects and develop systems to predict and detect harmful algal blooms (HABs). For ten years, CCMA has been providing coastal states with advanced warning and accurate information on HABs, CCMA forecast help states prepare and protect citizens by identifying which beaches and shellfish beds will be affected by a bloom.


The Center for Coastal Monitoring and Assessment mission is to assess and forecast coastal and marine ecosystem conditions through research and monitoring. We accomplish our mission through a combination of field research and data analysis to support marine resource management decisions at local, regional, and national levels.

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