On June 8, 2021, in the context of global celebrations for World Oceans Day, UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) announced the official endorsement of CEOS COAST (Committee on Earth Observation Satellites Coastal Observations, Applications, Services, and Tools Ad Hoc Team) as one of 66 Actions selected as part of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Observations for Sustainable Development “the Ocean Decade”, out of over 200 applications received.
This designation and association with the UN Ocean Decade significantly raises the international profile of CEOS COAST and opens new avenues for international collaboration, particularly:
- through the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) Blue Planet and AquaWatch Initiatives,
- with key Ocean Decade Sponsors, such as the US National Academy of Science, IOC, UN, World Meteorological Organization, and
- with other Ocean Decade recognized Actions, such as Ocean Predict, Biogeochemical Argo (BGC-Argo), and GOOS (Global Oceanographic Observing System).
From the IOC/UNESCO press release:
The Committee on Earth Observation Satellites – Coastal Observations, Applications, Services, and Tools (CEOS COAST)
Lead institution: U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Environmental Satellite Data and Information Service (NESDIS) Center for Satellite Applications and Research (STAR)
COAST is a team within the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites focused on the coastal zone, especially the land-sea (~aquatic) interface. Working collaboratively with stakeholders to co-design and co-develop high priority products which resonate with major agencies and by leveraging CEOS-wide agency capabilities and capacities, CEOS COAST pilot projects are uniquely capable of using Earth Observation to provide a multidisciplinary approach to addressing the SDGs, disaster risk reduction, and coastal resilience in response to climate change. Diverse societal issues are tackled by COAST under the pilot project themes across geographical regions ranging from continental shorelines to small-island nations.”
COAST is Co-Chaired by Dr. Paul DiGiacomo (NOAA) and Dr. Raj Kumar (Indian Space Research Organisation) who lead a truly international collaboration with more than 17 space-related organizations from around the globe using Earth observations to enhance data collection and monitoring in coastal areas.
Significant risks and threats to human health and safety and property losses occur in coastal regions, and yet, they are home to abundant natural resources and crucial ecosystem services in need of protection. Coastal hazards such as flooding and inundation, as well as water quality and associated impacts to ecosystem health and productivity (e.g. eutrophication, hypoxia, harmful algal blooms, sediment loadings, and coral reef and other habitat degradation) represent particularly great challenges for society to address.
CEOS founded COAST in 2019 to provide new and improved scientific/technical capabilities and build capacity for a more robust end-to-end value chain supporting coastal stakeholders and global sustainable development. This coastal-focused team of subject matter experts bridges land and aquatic observation domains within CEOS and, given its cross-cutting nature, will integrate across multiple themes, geographical regions, and science areas.
COAST is implementing high impact pilot projects that leverage the CEOS Analysis Ready Data (ARD) framework and Earth Analytics Interoperability Lab (EAIL). Significant opportunity exists to facilitate technology transfer from developed to developing nations by improving and scaling up of various regional and national demonstration pilots into global coastal products, encouraging the broader use of Earth Observations for societal benefit within coastal zones.
Learn more on the CEOS COAST website.