The Digital Coast, a NOAA-hosted platform containing data, tools, training, and more, is a valuable resource communities use to address coastal issues. Lynker team members support NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management to create and maintain these resources and provide technical support to the communities that rely on them. Up until this point, staff have depended on testimonies from users to measure the worth of everything the Digital Coast has to offer. While these accounts do a great job of showcasing the variety of issues the Digital Coast can help to mitigate, they can’t put a dollar value on what this website provides.
Resources for the Future, a nonprofit organization, recently developed a report—The Societal Value of NOAA’s Digital Coast—indicating just how valuable this platform is. Research techniques included case studies, literature reviews, and examinations of typical uses; one study alone estimates that a one-time use of the Sea Level Rise Viewer to move critical infrastructure yielded societal benefits of $1.1 million to $2.2 million. Another study estimates that trainings yield benefits of $1.8 to $9.7 million annually—concluding, collectively, that the Digital Coast offers “considerable demonstrated value to the public across its variety of programs.” We’re so proud of all of our Lynker team members working to support this platform every day!