Surf Hazards Awareness and Research: Development of the Coordination
Publications: Success Stories - Extension (2022)


Kathleen Fallon, NYSG Coastal Processes & Hazards Specialist, P: 631-632-8730, E:

New York Sea Grant and MARACOOS have developed a network of professionals who collaborate to improve the forecasting, understanding, and prevention of surf-related hazards.

Stony Brook, NY, August 10, 2022 - Surf hazards, such as dangerous waves and currents, pose a significant, and sometimes fatal, threat to beachgoers. Rip currents alone kill more than 100 people each year nationally. Improving prediction models and raising awareness can help reduce ocean rescues and fatalities.

In 2021, a partnership of New York Sea Grant (NYSG) and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Association Coastal Ocean Observing System (MARACOOS) created a Surf Hazards Awareness and Research Coordination (SHARC). SHARC’s local, regional, and national partners include the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Weather Service, local emergency management, academic researchers, lifeguards, and community leaders.

The goals of this specialized network are to:

1) create a space for expert, professional, and stakeholder collaboration within surf hazard reporting, information sharing, outreach, and education;
2) improve surf hazard forecasting through coordinated data collection;
3) promote surf hazard awareness and education; and
4) prevent surf-related incidents and fatalities.

SHARC’s effort is increasing collaboration and communication between local surf hazard experts and on-the-ground professionals. The network will lead to enhanced and more localized data collection that will inform prediction and forecasts of risk and hazard predictions, and, in so doing, increase beach safety. This network will also improve communication with and education of beachgoers about how to avoid hazards specific to impacted beach areas.

Project Partner:

• Mid-Atlantic Regional Association Coastal Ocean Observing System

NYSG has co-created a network of professionals who are working together to research and develop educational outreach targeted at reducing the number of injuries and fatalities due to surf hazards.

More Info: New York Sea Grant

New York Sea Grant (NYSG), a cooperative program of Cornell University and the State University of New York (SUNY), is one of 34 university-based programs under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Sea Grant College Program.

Since 1971, NYSG has represented a statewide network of integrated research, education and extension services promoting coastal community economic vitality, environmental sustainability and citizen awareness and understanding about the State’s marine and Great Lakes resources.

Through NYSG’s efforts, the combined talents of university scientists and extension specialists help develop and transfer science-based information to many coastal user groups—businesses and industries, federal, state and local government decision-makers and agency managers, educators, the media and the interested public.

The program maintains Great Lakes offices at Cornell University, SUNY Buffalo, SUNY Oswego and the Wayne County Cooperative Extension office in Newark. In the State's marine waters, NYSG has offices at Stony Brook University in Long Island, Brooklyn College and Cornell Cooperative Extension in NYC and Kingston in the Hudson Valley.

For updates on Sea Grant activities: has RSS, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube links. NYSG offers a free e-list sign up via for its flagship publication, NY Coastlines/Currents, which is published quarterly.

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