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Water: Monitoring & Assessment

National Coastal Condition Assessment (NCCA)

During the summer of 2010, state and EPA crews conducted field sampling for the fifth National Coastal Condition Assessment (NCCA). The assessment is in the data analysis and report development phase. A summary of the results of the assessment, National Coastal Condition Assessment 2010, is planned by late 2014. The NCCR IV, which summarizes the findings of the coastal assessment conducted between 2003 and 2006, is now available.


EPA and its state partners conducted the fifth survey of the nation’s coastal waters in 2010. This National Coastal Condition Assessment (NCCA), formerly part of the Office of Research and Development National Coastal Assessment (NCA) research program, is designed to provide statistically valid regional and national estimates of the condition of U.S. coastal waters and the Great Lakes. The survey used a probability-based sampling design to represent the condition of coastal waters in similar regions sharing similar ecological conditions. Like previous coastal surveys, the NCCA evaluates five indices of condition—water quality, sediment quality, benthic community condition, and fish tissue contaminants. Consistent sampling and analytical procedures ensure that the results can be compared across the country and over time.

  • Data used to develop the National Coastal Condition Reports I-IV are available from the Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program website.
  • National Coastal Assessment Data for the NARS Challenge (datasets for 1999-2001 and 2005-2006)
    • Benthics Data (5.9M)
    • Sediment Chemistry Data (16.6M)
    • Site Information Data (53.4M)
    • Water Chemistry Data (84.9M)
  • Data used to develop the NCCA 2010 Report will be accessible from this webpage by late 2014.

The National Coastal Condition Reports (NCCR) describe the ecological and environmental conditions in U.S. coastal waters. They summarize the condition of ecological resources in the coastal waters of the United States and highlight several exemplary federal, state, tribal, and local programs that assess coastal ecological and water quality conditions.
The NCCR series rate the overall condition of the U.S. coastal waters as fair, varying from region to region. Preparation of these reports represent a coordinated effort among EPA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Geological Survey, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, coastal states, and the National Estuary Programs. Links to reports and factsheets are below:

National Coastal Condition Assessment 2010 Report - reports on data collected in 2010, expected release in late 2014.

National Coastal Condition Report IV (2012) (PDF) (334 pp, 27.7K, About PDF) - reports on data collected from 2003 to 2006
Factsheet: National Coastal Condition Report IV (2012) (PDF) (2 pp, 290K, About PDF)

National Coastal Condition Report III (2008) (PDF) (329 pp, 40.7MB, About PDF) - reports on progress since the 2005 report
Factsheet: National Coastal Condition Report III (2008) (PDF) (2 pp, 182K, About PDF)

National Coastal Condition Report II (2005) - reports on progress since the 2001 report
Factsheet: National Coastal Condition Report II (2005) (PDF) (2 pp, 420K, About PDF)

National Coastal Condition Report I (2001)
Factsheet: National Coastal Condition Report I (2001) (PDF) (2 pp, 129K, About PDF)

Planning, including, manual revision and indicator development, has begun for the NCCA 2015 sampling season.

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