The North Atlantic Coast Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit (CESU) engages federal agency scientists and managers, in collaboration with academic and other non-federal scientists and students, to understand how fundamental ecosystem functions and processes are affected by increasing urban development, climate change, and other stressors, and then to devise management strategies for preserving and restoring coastal ecosystems, cultural resources, and maritime heritage.
The North Atlantic Coast CESU is part of a National Network of 17 regional CESUs encompassing the Nation. Over 200 academic institutions and more than 50 other non-federal partners, along with 13 federal agencies are associated with the National CESU Network. This Network is among the largest of collaborative research partnerships addressing natural and cultural resource stewardship in the United States. The CESU Network provides high quality science, usable knowledge for resource managers, responsive technical assistance, education opportunities, and cost-effective research.
The geographic scope of the North Atlantic Coast CESU includes the coastal zone from Maine to Virginia, with activities including all ecosystem types of coastal watersheds and the ocean, including barrier islands, estuaries, salt and freshwater wetlands, terrestrial and ocean/marine environments, among others.