Coastal Change Hazards - Stakeholder Engagement and Communications

Public Outreach

Public Outreach

Through outreach activities, CCH connects with the public, increases awareness about CCH science and products, and learns how to effectively engage with coastal communities. 

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Stakeholder Workshops

Stakeholder Workshops

By improving understanding of different stakeholder needs, CCH can effectively meet the needs of the Nation. 

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Building and utilizing effective partnerships produces outcomes with greater impact than can be achieved independently. 

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Science Center Objects

An important role of the Coastal Change Hazards (CCH) program focus is to foster communication and information exchange, promote collaboration, build partnerships, and connect people with CCH knowledge, data, and tools. Coastal communities and practitioners need scientific information to support decisions regarding development, economics, environmental health, and public safety along the coast. CCH leverages stakeholder engagement and communications expertise across all three USGS Coastal and Marine Science Centers in Woods Hole, MassachusettsSt. Petersburg, Florida; and Santa Cruz, California to connect CCH knowledge, data, and tools with intended audiences and engage with stakeholders. Stakeholder input is incorporated into science planning and deliverables to ensure the Nation’s needs are being met. 

Coastal Change Hazards Program Triangle Logo

USGS serves a wide range of partners, stakeholders, and users with varying interests and responsibilities, so stakeholder engagement and effective communications efforts take many forms, including:

Public Outreach

General outreach efforts, such as the Woods Hole Science Stroll, St. Petersburg Science Festival, Santa Cruz open house, and school partnerships and field trips, allow CCH to connect with the public, increase awareness about CCH science and products, and improve engagement with coastal communities. These outreach events are designed to educate adults and children about coastal change hazards. CCH provides information and resources that can be used to make more informed decisions in everyday lives. Public engagement allows for broad communication and creates transparency between the USGS and the public. Public outreach efforts generate interest in CCH work, as well as interest in the USGS and science in general, and showcases the importance and value of CCH research, data, and tools. 

Image of USGS drone pilot and interested bystanders at the 2017 Woods Hole Science Stroll

USGS drone demonstration at the 2017 Woods Hole Science Stroll. 

Photograph of research geologist Amy East sifting sand through wire mesh sieves.

USGS Santa Cruz Office Open House 2017. Research geologist Amy East (left) shows a budding geologist how to sift sand to determine its size.


Lauren Toth at St. Petersburg Science Festival

A USGS scientist discusses the importance of coral reef research by the USGS St. Petersburg Coastal & Marine Science Center during the School Day of the St. Petersburg Science Festival.

jet ski exhibit at St. Petersburg Science Festival

 A USGS scientist explains how jet skis (personal watercrafts, or PWC’s) are used to collect valuable data for coastal change projects.


Stakeholder Workshops

CCH stakeholders include federal and state agencies, regional and local coastal organizations, academia, coastal communities, coastal resource managers, government officials, and other coastal practitioners. Engagement workshops are organized to learn more about specific user needs, how users best receive information, the tools stakeholders use and why, and to collect feedback on USGS science. The input provided at workshops is incorporated into science planning and products. By gaining a better understanding of different stakeholder needs and preferences, CCH creates more effective data products for different audiences. Workshops are used to help identify and fill data gaps, as well as match appropriate audiences with existing tools, identify potential partners, and build stronger connections with coastal practitioners and communities.  

People putting sticky notes on a wall

USGS State of Our Nation’s Coast stakeholder engagement workshops in Oakland, California 

Room full of people sitting in groups at different tables

USGS State of Our Nation’s Coast stakeholder engagement workshops in Falmouth, Massachusetts



The USGS mission includes supporting state and other federal agencies by providing them with actionable scientific information and data. These partnerships create a mechanism where interdisciplinary science and products can be placed in the hands of decision- and policy-makers, as well as the public and other stakeholders, concerned with coastal change hazards. By building and maintaining effective partnerships with other organizations with complementary and reinforcing strengths, CCH can do more with federal resources, enhance the visibility of the USGS, reach more stakeholders, advance a shared objective, and achieve mutual goals. 

The Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM) has used DSAS [Digital Shoreline Analysis System] products to assess shoreline change and inform coastal management decisions for 20 years. Thanks to USGS for developing this tool and for our continued partnership - the new DSAS erosion forecasting filter will further enhance state and local planning by allowing us to consider possible shoreline locations 10 and 20 years in the future.” - Massachusetts Coastal Zone Management Director Lisa Berry Engler 

USGS scientist giving a presentation on natural and coastal hazards in wetlands and estuaries

Woods Hole Costal and Marine Science Center staff offered a presentation and handouts on Natural Hazards and Coastal Hazards in Wetlands and Estuaries at the Smithsonian Science Education Academies for Teachers (SSEATs)

USGS geologist leads a professional-development workshop for science teachers on geologic mapping of the Massachusetts seafloor

USGS geologist Elizabeth Pendleton leads a professional-development workshop for science teachers on geologic mapping of the Massachusetts seafloor. 

Science Stories

CCH uses geonarratives, or Story Maps, to tell compelling science stories about research and explain the purpose and value of various CCH data products.  

CCH developed a series of geonarratives to introduce partners and stakeholders to CCH research and tools. The Our Coasts geonarrative introduces users to the significance of our Nation’s coastal environments and why it is crucial to understand the impacts and risks associated with coastal change. Additional geonarratives represent CCH Science Stories and allow users to explore related topics in more detail such as barrier islandscoastal stormsshoreline changeforecasting coastal change, and the role of coral reefs in the coastal environment. Each geonarrative allows the audience to delve into CCH research and tools. The geonarratives link coastal hazards, the environmental drivers of coastal hazards, and our ability to reduce risks along the Nation’s coasts through application of research. 

Screenshot of Our Coasts Story Map

The Our Coasts geonarrative introduces users to the significance of our Nation’s coastal environments and why it is crucial to understand the impacts and risks associated with coastal change. 

Screenshot of Barrier Island Story Map

Science Stories allow users to interact with coastal change data to get a sense of the types of data and tools produced by the CCH. For instance, this map shows how the western shoreline of Fire Island, New York has changed since 1830. 


Screenshot of Coastal Wetlands Story Map

USGS scientists developed an interactive, web-based, geonarrative for the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge (New Jersey) wetland synthesis - a collaborative product arising from research in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. The geonarrative includes multiple data layers that display salt marsh complexity and change, such as marsh condition, salinity, and sediment. The geonarrative describes vulnerability analysis and correlation/causation analyses conducted by USGS scientists. 

Communications Platforms

CCH uses a variety of USGS communications tools and methods to educate and raise awareness about CCH research, data, and tools. The SEC component of CCH helps to maintain the program’s web presence; manages coastal-related USGS social media accounts; contributes to the Sound Waves Newsletter, which contains coastal and marine research news from across the USGS; creates informational electronic and physical products; convenes stakeholder engagement workshops; and much more. 

Facebook: USGS Coastal and Ocean Science (@USGScoastalandoceanscience) 

Twitter: USGS Coastal Change (@USGScoastchange) 

Coastal and Marine Research Newsletter: Sound Waves