January 30, 2013 -- Since 2008, the Digital Coast website has provided data, information, tools, and trainings to everyone with a stake in coastal community issues and decisions. Now a revamped design makes these resources even easier to find and use.
The new face of Digital Coast includes a homepage with a “ Get Data Now” button and instant access to social media, a partner news blog, and stories from the field. The five most popular products in each major content category are accessible from the homepage. And site users can find data and tools more quickly with the addition of a new sorting function.
“Our aim is always to make sure that Digital Coast offerings are accessible for every coastal player—not just technologists but also planners, local officials, resource managers, and others. Our constituents say the new Digital Coast features are more eye-catching and intuitive,” says Nicholas Schmidt, director of the Coastal Geospatial Services division for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ( NOAA) Coastal Services Center. The Center leads and hosts the Digital Coast effort.
Digital Coast can benefit anyone involved in coastal community issues that include strengthening resilience to natural hazards, safeguarding the coastal economy, and improving offshore renewable energy planning.
The site makeover was guided by suggestions from the Digital Coast Partnership, which includes seven national organizations on the front lines of rapid coastal change
These changes include a U.S. population living in coastal watershed counties that grew by 50.9 million between 1970 and 2010, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Other coastal sectors that have grown apace include development and infrastructure, the coastal economy, and—for a variety of reasons—hazards such as intensified storms, floods, and sea level rise.
In 2010 (latest figures available), forty-five percent of the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) was generated in the shoreline counties along the U.S. oceans and Great Lakes. This area accounted for over 50 million jobs, over $6.5 trillion in GDP, and about $2.7 trillion in wages, according to NOAA’s Spatial Trends in Coastal Socioeconomics website.