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Photo of Ocean City coast illustrating one of America's Coasts

Tales of the Coast

This Tales of the Coast educational portal describes the coasts of the United States and the varied ways that people interact with and affect coastlines. These discussions provide an understanding of the dynamic nature of coasts and their importance to the social and economic fabric of the U.S.

America's Coasts provides a discussion of variations in coastal regions, characterized as Atlantic, Great Lakes, Gulf of Mexico, Pacific, Alaska and Hawaii. An understanding of coastal diversity is crucial for the formation and implementation of effective management alternatives in the coastal zone. 

In Coastal Dynamics, you can learn more about the ways that coasts change and the events that affect them in the regions and latitudes of the United States.

Sharing the Coast talks about how the variety of resources and activities present on the coast requires the balancing of interests and objectives. Coastal ecosystems and resources differ; understanding the valuable aspects of a coast can support effective management.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has participated in coastal engineering since the early 20th century. Over time, methods for planning, designing and implementing engineering projects along the coasts have changed as scientific and technological discoveries have informed the process of coastal management. Corps and the Coast provides information about current coastal management processes.

This  portal also provides Coastal Histories on U.S. coastal areas and the USACE projects in those areas. Currently included are sections on Ocean City, Maryland, and Chincoteague Island, Virginia, as well as Mispillion Inlet in Delaware. The portal will soon feature a chapter on the history of the mouth of the Columbia River and the engineering projects that made the dangerous river more navigable.

Map of United States Mainland

National Atlas of the United States, March 2006, http://nationalatlas.gov. Satellite view conterminous United States, satellite view Alaska, satellite view Hawaii.

Coastal Zone

The transition zone where the land meets water; it extends offshore to the continental shelf break and onshore to the first major change in topography above the reach of major storm waves.