The Coastal Coupling Community of Practice: An Interagency Collaboration Working Toward Continental-scale Modeling in the Coastal Transition Zone

Cayla Dean, Lynker Technologies, Inc. Under contract to NOAA National Ocean Service, Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services, Tuscaloosa, AL, United States, Patrick Burke, NOAA/NOS/CO-OPS, Silver Spring, MD, United States, Audra Luscher-Aissaoui, NOAA National Ocean Service, Silver Spring, MD, United States and Trey Flowers, NOAA Office of Water Prediction, National Water Center, Tuscaloosa, United States
More than 100 million Americans are living in coastal regions that do not have access to accurate water forecasts accounting for the combined impact of saltwater and freshwater because contemporary models cannot properly represent the complex interaction of riverine, estuarine, and coastal processes. Providing continental-scale forecasts across the coastal zone is a challenge that is too great for a single Federal agency, especially given the differences in end-user needs, mission priorities, and technical model requirements. To help address this challenge, the Coastal Coupling Community of Practice (CC CoP) was formed this past spring. It is a multi-institutional team that is collaborating around the coupling of hydrologic and hydrodynamic models across the coastal transition zone with the goal of better simulating and analyzing earth system processes. The CC CoP aims to develop products and services that meet the needs of the operational user community that are interested in a wide range of applications critical for society related to forecasting, forensic studies, risk assessment, infrastructure design, and water management. The CC CoP is developing strategies and best practices (scientific and operational) to enable the coupling of models using a community modeling approach that is responsive to stakeholder needs. The grand challenge for the CC CoP is sustaining collaboration with the community to foster integrated coastal solutions that encompasses research, model development and application, data provision, observations, analysis, and service delivery. These challenges are being achieved by establishing an active, functioning, and sustainable community that develops, evaluates, recommends and applies coastal solutions.