CO-OPS Mission & Initiatives


NOAA's Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services (CO-OPS) is the authoritative source for accurate, reliable, and timely tides, water levels, currents and other oceanographic information. Our data, products and services support safe and efficient navigation, sound ecosystem stewardship, coastal hazards preparedness and response, and the understanding of climate change.


CO-OPS collects, analyzes, and communicates oceanographic information, a mission that is as relevant today as it was 200 years ago.
CO-OPS initiatives include:

Enhancing Navigation

Over 95 percent of U.S. international trade moves through U.S. ports and harbors. CO-OPS's products contribute to the nation's economic competitiveness, while reducing risks to life, property, and the coastal environment. For example, the Physical Oceanographic Real-Time System (PORTS®) helps mariners by integrating real-time environmental observations and forecasts. Similarly, CO-OPS Tide and Tidal Current Tables are used daily to plan voyages, while CO-OPS provides the reference for dredging and charting projects.

  • photo: container ship
Supporting Coastal Zone Management

Armed with CO-OPS tide data and analyses, coastal zone managers and engineers are well-equipped to plan and successfully accomplish beach re-nourishment and marsh restoration projects, as well as guide coastal development risk assessments and land-use planning.

  • Volunteers planting grass for a bay restoration project
Assisting Coastal Hazard Mitigation

From monitoring storm tide, to providing information for tsunami warning and detection, to distributing real-time data for search-and-rescue or oil-spill clean up operations, CO-OPS provides time-critical information that impacts the nation's ability to prepare for and confront coastal hazards.

  • Coastal flooding with a swamped highway overpass
Monitoring Climate Change

Two hundred years of carefully operating the tide and water level station network around the U.S. coast and Great Lakes has yielded historical data that helps us understand trends in sea level rise, the impact of coastal storms and El Nino-type events, and the impact of long-term falling water levels in the Great Lakes.

  • Icebergs


Everyone has ready access to tide, water level, current and other coastal oceanographic information needed for informed decision-making.

Collection of images of CO-OPS at work