IWR Mission: Coasts



Coasts Value to the Nation

IWR and the Coast

Our nation’s coasts are a vital resource subject to risks as a result of sea level change,  growing populations and increasingly intense storm patterns. IWR supports the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Civil Works in addressing these risks to our coastal communities through a variety of programs, initiatives, tools, and reports. IWR and USACE Headquarters, Districts, Divisions and the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center work together to enhance coastal resilience and sustain the environmental and economic resources of our nation’s coastlines.

IWR works with Federal partners such as the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, among others, in order to accomplish and coordinate its coastal missions.  States, academia, and other non-Federal partners are also essential collaborators in many of IWR’s coastal activities.  IWR develops and strengthens partnerships that are important to sustain coastal resources and support coastal communities as they face current and impending challenges.

Tales of the Coast

The Tales of the Coast website is an educational portal that provides historical information on several U.S. coastal areas and the USACE projects in those areas. The portal currently includes sections on Ocean City, Maryland, and Chincoteague Island, Virginia. 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.

Programs and Initiatives

Fenwick Island

Additional information on IWR’s coastal programs, initiatives and reports is available using the navigation tool bar. Under Programs and Initiatives, you will find the following:

  • Coastal Engineering Research Board (CERB)
  • Coastal Systems Portfolio Initiative (CSPI)
  • National Ocean Policy (NOP)
  • Systems Approach to Geomorphic Engineering (SAGE)
  • Planning Center of Expertise (PCX)

National Shoreline Management

National Shoreline Management Study

The National Shoreline Management Study (NSMS) describes coastal processes and explores policies relating to shore protection. On these pages you can learn more about information on recommendations about shoreline management policies and the use of a systems approach to sediment management. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers initiated the study through collaborative efforts with other agencies and in coordination with states.


Tools and Reports

Presque Island

Under the Tools and Reports tab on the Navigation bar, you will find information on the following coastal resources:

  • Beach Fx
  • Coastal Value to the Nation
  • Eroding U.S. Shorelines – A Call for Resiliency
  • Mass Managment System (MMS)
  • Regional Sediment Management (RSM)
  • Shore Protection Assessment
  • Useful fact sheets and resources