Partnerships and Collaborations

CSO works in collaboration with federal, regional, academic and nonprofit partners to develop innovative methods, scientific data and tools to: research and analyze coastal hazards and vulnerabilities; research and evaluate best-available design and engineering science to protect and adapt shorelines to ever-changing conditions; assess and share the science and best management practices for coastal resilience; conduct legal analysis and policy research to advance coastal management practice; and unify the efforts of the public and private sectors so that homes, jobs, recreational areas, and natural resources are all protected from the threats facing our coasts.


Beach and Inlet Management Policy

CSO partners with the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association to advance shared priorities in protecting, preserving, and enhancing the beaches, shores, and other coastal resources of our ocean and Great Lakes states. Well-functioning beaches sustain tourism, protect coastal communities, and support significant coastal habitats for marine fisheries, shorebirds, and sea turtles. CSO and ASBPA work together to support comprehensive beach management policy.

See our Joint Beach and Inlet Management Policy here.

CRS for Community Resilience

CSO is partnered with the Association of State Floodplain Managers to enhance coastal communities’ resilience through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA’s) Community Rating System (CRS) program. In 2017, CSO and ASFPM released the “CRS Green Guide” to assist existing and prospective CRS communities with techniques, best practices, and case studies for activities that maximize a community’s CRS score and resilience by strengthening natural and beneficial features.

See the CRS Green Guide.

Learn more about Coastal Programs and the CRS.


Supporting natural infrastructure for frontline communities

CSO is partnered with the National Wildlife Federation to to help mitigate the barriers that frontline communities face accessing and
utilizing natural and nature-based infrastructure (NNBI)approaches, by assisting Coastal Zone ManagementPrograms (CZMPs) in delivering community technical assistance and strengthening the relationships between CZMPs and the communities they serve.

See our previous report on living shoreline policy recommendations in partnership with NWF: Softening Our Shorelines.

Strengthening Coastal Counties' Resilience

CSO, the National Association of Counties (NACo), and the Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM) are undertaking a project focused on outreach to county and local elected officials in the Gulf of Mexico region to improve communities’ resilience to changing coastal and economic conditions. The project partners will create a web-based, multimedia training program called the “Guide to Working with Local Elected Officials on Coastal Management.” The Guide will have modules for coastal managers on how to educate local elected officials on coastal management issues, and for elected officials.

NOS Roundtable

CSO coordinates and partners with the nation’s coastal management leaders through the National Ocean Service Roundtable, representing the coastal zone management program alongside the National Estuarine Research Reserve Association, the Sea Grant Association, the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, and the Integrated Ocean Observing System Association,.

Digital Coast Partnership

CSO partners with the NOAA Office of Coastal Management and seven national NGOs to deliver data, tools, and resources for coastal management to states and communities through the Digital Coast web portal. Beyond ensuring that critical informational resources are available via the Digital Coast website, the partnership works to unify and coordinate national NGOs working coastal management issues through conferences, webinars, workshops, and meetings to give coastal professionals a forum to collaborate on key coastal issues.

The Digital Coast Partnership includes these organizations:
American Planning Association
Association of State Floodplain Managers
Coastal States Organization
National Association of Counties
National Estuarine Research Reserve Association
National States Geographic Information Council
The Nature Conservancy
Urban Land Institute
NOAA Office for Coastal Management


SAGE, the Systems Approach to Geomorphic Engineering, is a community of practice dedicated to protecting our coastlines. SAGE promotes the wise use of both green (natural and nature-based) and gray (hard, structural engineering) approaches to make our coasts more resilient. Our systems approach addresses large areas of shoreline to foster thriving communities and flourishing natural ecosystems. For more information visit: