As part of the United States government’s efforts to make its data more accessible to the public, entrepreneurs, researchers and others as fuel for innovation and economic growth, today, NOAA Administrator Dr. Kathryn Sullivan will help announce the launch of the President’s Climate Data Initiative climate.data.gov . A new climate-focused section of Data.gov, climate.data.gov  will make federal data about our climate more open, accessible, and useful to citizens, decision-makers, researchers, entrepreneurs, and innovators. It will initially focus on coastal flooding and sea level rise and aims to strengthen preparedness and resilience to the effects of climate change through new products and services.
NOAA, part of the Department of Commerce, which has also made supporting a data-enabled economy a priority, is the quintessential big data agency. Each day, NOAA gathers billions of observations about the health of our planet and then analyzes this data to predict changes in climate, weather, oceans, and our coasts.
NOAA’s National Ocean Service is one prime example. Whether it is the nation's nautical charts, environmental monitoring and assessment, or socioeconomic tools, NOAA’s Ocean Service turns data into actionable information. NOAA’s goal is to increase environmental intelligence that many times relates to our coasts. This term refers to the information that is used by governments, businesses, and citizens to make decisions that support healthy ecosystems, strong economies, and resilient communities along our coasts. NOAA’s Ocean Service goes beyond collecting observations, analyzing data, and conducting research to translating that science into information to support good decisions.
From March 17-21, the agency is running a social media and web campaign to make more people aware of the data, tools, and information available to support strong coastal decisions.
You can follow Data for our Coasts on the NOAA Ocean Service Facebook  or Twitter  pages. Here are a few examples of the data and information making a difference in coastal communities around the country:
- The sea level rise planning tool  designed by NOAA and partners helps state and local officials, community planners, and infrastructure managers understand possible future flood risks from sea level rise for use in planning decisions.
- NOAA developed graphics to help educate the public on terms used to communicate storm surge  information during severe weather events.
- Integrated Ocean Observing System data is used by the U.S. Coast Guard to help reduce search areas and better track objects in the water during critical times of search and rescue operations  (video).
By making these data, tools, and services available, NOAA is getting the coastal data in the hands of local communities support decision making. This effort, in combination of today’s announcement of the Climate Data Initiative, are steps in the right direction toward building resilient communities and protecting Americans from harm today and potential damage over the horizon. Good data today can lead to good decisions that protect lives and properties tomorrow.