Photo: L Reynolds

Our Vision

COASST sees a future in which all coastal communities contribute directly to monitoring their local marine resources and ecosystem health through the establishment of a network of people and programs collecting rigorous and vital data. Through their collective efforts, and the translation of their on-the-beach data into baselines against which any impact—from human or natural origins—can be assessed, nearshore ecosystems worldwide will be actively known, managed and protected.

Photo: Steve Morey

Our Mission

COASST believes coastal communities and people are essential scientific partners in monitoring marine ecosystem health. COASST partners with state, tribal and federal agencies, environmental organizations, and community groups to create actionable science – science that matters.  By collaborating with coastal residents, natural resource management agencies and environmental organizations, COASST works to translate long-term monitoring into effective marine conservation solutions and responsible marine stewardship.

In COASST, science is a team sport played by coastal residents and scientists working together to collect, verify, analyze, and communicate high-quality data of direct relevance to scientific understanding of system processes and function, and natural resource management and decision-making.  

We believe that everyone’s time is valuable, and that everyone who loves the coast and visits a favorite beach regularly is an expert on that place.  In COASST, we train people to “see” and understand their place through the lens of science, by collecting the same information, in the same way, month after month, in order to build up a picture of what’s normal.  We call that a baseline.

COASST participants collect three different types of data:

  • Beachcast birds
  • Marine debris
  • Evidence of human use of the beach environment

Learn more about participating with COASST