While the need for good data forms the foundation of the website, the basic premise behind the effort is the understanding that data alone are not enough. Most people need help turning these data into information that can be used when making important decisions about coastal management. The Digital Coast does just that with
The NOAA Coastal Services Center built the prototype in 2008 and then reached out to potential users to provide feedback and guide the development of the site. These project partners, whose organizations eventually formed the Digital Coast Partnership, let the Center know what was most needed from the website.