Coastal Inundation

Our nation’s coasts are increasingly at risk from rising seas, changing water levels in the Great Lakes, and more frequent and intense storms. These changes are forcing communities to plan for and adapt to coastal flooding using time scales associated with both weather (hourly, daily, and weekly) and climate (seasonally, annually, by decade, and beyond).

Communities can benefit from the resources provided below as they work to increase community resilience.

View of a flooded neighborhood from above. Tops of houses are just visible over the water level.

Get Started

  • 2022 Sea Level Rise Technical Report

    Provides decision makers with the most up-to-date sea level rise projections available for all U.S. states and territories.
  • Application Guide for the 2022 Sea Level Rise Technical Report

    Provides a synthesis of the most recent science related to sea level rise and serves as a key technical input for the Fifth National Climate Assessment that is underway. The report does not provide guidance or design specifications for a specific project, but is intended to help inform federal agencies, tribes, state and local governments, and stakeholders in coastal communities about current and future sea level rise.
  • Climate Science Special Report: Fourth National Climate Assessment

    An authoritative assessment of the science of climate change and variability and its impacts across the United States, now and throughout this century.
    Volume I (Chapter 12 covers sea level rise)
    Volume II (Chapter 8 covers coastal effects)
  • The State of High-Tide Flooding and Annual Outlook

    NOAA documents changes in high-tide flooding patterns from the previous year at 97 NOAA tide gauges along the U.S. coast, and provides a flooding outlook for these locations for the coming year, as well as projections for the next several decades.
  • High-Tide Bulletins

    NOAA seasonal high-tide flooding bulletins show when regions around the nation may experience higher than normal high tides. Bulletins are updated quarterly.

Access Key Data

  • Sea Level Trends

    Changes in relative sea level, either a rise or fall, have been computed at 142 long-term water-level stations using a minimum span of 30 years of observations at each location.
  • Extreme Water Levels

    This product provides annual and monthly exceedance probability levels for select NOAA water-level stations with at least 30 years of data. Exceedance probability is the likelihood that water levels will exceed a given elevation and is based on a statistical analysis of historic values.
  • Water-Level Stations

    NOAA provides real-time water-level information that is updated every six minutes. Search for a station by name, or click on the map icon to search for a station by region.
  • Great Lakes Water Levels

    Great Lakes water levels are continuously monitored by U.S. and Canadian federal agencies in the region through a binational partnership.
  • NOAA Vertical Datum Transformation

    VDatum is a free software tool designed to vertically transform geospatial data among a variety of tidal, orthometric, and ellipsoidal vertical datums, allowing users to convert data from different horizontal/vertical references into a common system and enabling the fusion of diverse geospatial data in desired reference levels.
  • Digital Coast Data Access Viewer

    Discover, customize, and download authoritative land cover, imagery, and lidar data from NOAA’s Digital Coast.

Visualize the Information

  • Digital Coast Sea Level Rise Viewer

    Use this web mapping tool to visualize community-level impacts from coastal flooding or sea level rise (up to 10 feet above average high tides). Photo simulations of how future flooding might impact local landmarks are also provided, as well as data related to water depth, connectivity, flood frequency, socioeconomic vulnerability, wetland loss and migration, and mapping confidence.
  • Digital Coast Coastal Flood Exposure Mapper

    Use this visualization tool to support communities that are assessing their coastal hazard risks and vulnerabilities. The tool creates a collection of user-defined maps that show the people, places, and natural resources exposed to coastal flooding.
  • Digital Coast Lake Level Viewer (U.S. Great Lakes)

    This web-based tool creates visuals that capture lake level changes that range from six feet above to six feet below historical long-term average water levels in the Great Lakes. Potential shoreline and coastal impacts are also provided. This information can be used to determine appropriate preparations, including zoning restrictions, infrastructure improvements, and habitat conservation.
  • Coastal Inundation Dashboard

    Real-time water levels, 48-hour forecasts of water levels, and historic flooding information are provided at a majority of coastal water-level stations operated by the National Ocean Service Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services.
  • Digital Coast Adapting Stormwater Management for Coastal Floods

    This interactive website, developed for stormwater and floodplain managers and land use planners, incorporates tools and methods to derive critical coastal water-level thresholds, as well as assess the potential impacts of exceeding those thresholds on stormwater infrastructure.
  • Climate Resilience Toolkit – Coastal Flood Risk Section

    This toolkit, designed to help people find and use tools, information, and subject matter expertise to build climate resilience, offers information from across the U.S. federal government in one easy-to-use location.
  • Climate Explorer

    This tool provides interactive graphs and maps showing past and projected climate conditions for any county in the United States.

Communicate the Issue

  • Coastal Inundation Mapping Training

    This course provides baseline information about the various types of flooding and teaches methods for mapping current flooding and potential coastal inundation scenarios using a GIS. Hands-on exercises help participants understand and apply the spatial methods covered in this course.
  • Risk Communication Basics

    This publication helps community leaders understand and connect with stakeholders and inspire risk-wise behavior through improved communication. Topics include why people perceive risk differently, best practices for risk communication, and sample conversations.
  • Building Risk Communication Skills

    This training provides insights into how and why people respond to risk, and helps participants develop new skills to better connect with a variety of audiences. Understanding and connecting with an audience’s diverse values and concerns can lead to a higher level of community engagement and can help motivate action to reduce risk.
  • Flood Literacy Story Map

    Developed in an effort to work toward a consistent set of terminology for communicating about flooding, this story map provides clear and scientifically-accurate flood hazard definitions and other resources to improve communication between groups of professionals and the public.

Take Action

  • National Coastal Resilience Fund

    This annual grant program provides funds to restore, increase, and strengthen natural infrastructure to protect coastal communities while also enhancing habitats for fish and wildlife.
  • NOAA Climate Program Office Funding Opportunities

    These competitive research programs fund high-priority climate science, assessments, decision-support research, outreach, education, and capacity-building activities designed to advance our understanding of Earth’s climate system and foster the application of this knowledge in risk management and adaptation efforts.
  • Effects of Sea Level Rise Program

    This program supports science that will inform management decisions to reduce the risks of flooding and sea level rise to coastal communities and determine the effectiveness of a range of different management actions that are being considered for improving coastal resilience.
  • NOAA Office for Coastal Management Funding Opportunities

    Visit this page for open competitive grant announcements.