Sea Level Rise and Inundation

We deliver improved assessments of natural resources and community vulnerability to inundation under current and future sea level rise scenarios. This is accomplished by a variety of teams of scientists from NCCOS, NOAA, as well as external scientists supported by partner agencies. Our projects are also supported through NCCOS’s external competitive research program called the Effects of Sea Level Rise Program. These projects improve water level forecasting through better prediction resolution and the incorporation of how coastal processes, sea level rise, and worsening coastal storms will impact the coast.

Providing Solutions

NCCOS scientists deliver improved assessments of natural resources and community vulnerability to inundation under current and future sea level rise scenarios. Teams of interdisciplinary scientists from NCCOS, other NOAA offices, and external partners work directly with stakeholders to meet locally and regionally identified inundation research needs.


Restoration Projects.
Projects explore the vulnerability of natural ecosystems and how they affect coastal inundation to inform best practices for land management activities to maximize the health and value of coastal ecosystems.


Natural and Nature-based Features.
Projects evaluate the potential for natural structures (e.g., barrier islands, wetlands, etc.) and nature-based designs (e.g., sea wall inside of a sand dune) to reduce coastal inundation and develop best practices for the inclusion of ecosystems in coastal protection strategies.


Community Planning.
Projects advance approaches that are capable of evaluating coastal vulnerability under multiple sea level rise, inundation, coastal management actions, and planning or policy scenarios.

Effects of Sea Level Rise Program

The Effects of Sea Level Rise Program supports science teams through a competitive proposal process. The teams co-develop science products with coastal managers and decision makers around the country to improve inundation modeling to explore natural solutions and policy changes that protect the ecosystems, infrastructure, and communities against flooding from sea level rise and storm surge. The projects evaluate mitigation scenarios to inform local and regional action.

Helping Constituents Understand the Impacts of Inundation Under Sea Level Rise

NCCOS supports efforts to translate the results of our research investments, and those of others, into accessible and useful information for coastal managers, planners, infrastructure engineers, lawmakers, and the public to help balance the needs of economic growth with those of conserving the resources of our nation's ocean and coasts. This can include tailoring resources for individual users or developing or improving existing dashboards or story maps that deliver the most advanced science on inundation and sea level rise impacts in an actionable format for end users.