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The NOAA-ECSC has four core goals that are essential to its overall vision to provide a well-integrated framework for informing coastal resource management through integrated science that will balance societal demands and the preservation of sustainable Gulf of Mexico (GOM) coastal ecosystems.


  • Increase the number of well trained and highly qualified scientists and managers, particularly from under-represented minority groups entering the NOAA and NOAA-related workforce,
  • Enhance the scientific understanding of human interactions with the coastal environment in support of NOAA's place-based management, specifically as it relates to the response of coastal and marine ecosystems to natural and human induced stressors,
  • Improve the scientific basis for coastal resource management by integrating natural and social science research to develop tools and research products to characterize, evaluate, and forecast coastal and marine ecosystem responses to natural and human induced stressors and,
  • Facilitate community education and outreach relating to the function and relevance of coastal ecosystems and the services they provide to society.


Through these goals, the ECSC’s plans to continue to build on student advancement, particularly from underrepresented minorities in NOAA and STEM-related disciplines, utilizing research as a vehicle to train students and develop skills related to environmental management and Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning (CMSP). As an integrated, strategic, comprehensive and ecosystem-based approach, CSMP is based on sound science, of allocating ocean space in order to reduce environmental impacts and facilitate compatible activities to promote sustainable use and protection of resources now and for future generations.


The need for CMSP was identified by President Obama's National Policy for the Stewardship of the Ocean, Our Coasts, and the Great Lakes as one of the nine priority implementation objectives for addressing conservation, economic activity, user conflict and sustainable use of the ocean, our coasts and the Great Lakes.


Using an interdisciplinary approach that will include socio-economics, law and policy, and the geospatial, biological, chemical, and physical sciences, the ECSC approach is organized through five training and research focus areas:


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