ICAN is a project of UNESCO IOC´s IODE Programme, and ICAN members seek to play a leadership role in forging international collaborations of value to the participating nations, thereby optimizing regional governance in coastal zone management and marine spatial planning.


We live on a blue planet, with oceans and seas covering more than 70 per cent of the Earth’s surface. Oceans feed us, regulate our climate, and generate most of the oxygen we breathe. Some 37 per cent of the world's population lives within 100 km of the coast. (UNEP)


CWAs are "...collections of digital maps and datasets with supplementary tables, illustrations, & information that systematically illustrate the coast, oftentimes with cartographic & decision support tools, all of which are accessible via the Internet."  O'Dea et al., 2007


Membership in ICAN is open to all interested parties who agree to the mission & objectives of ICAN, including those with an operational coastal web atlas, as well as those hoping to design and build a coastal web atlas in the future.
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EBM Tools Network releases Free Guide to Coastal Climate Planning Tools

Arlington, Virginia (March 14, 2013)—The potential impacts of climate change are already influencing the choices that coastal communities, resource managers, and conservation practitioners are making for ecosystems and infrastructure. To help planners and managers prepare for the far-reaching effects of these changes, the EBM Tools Network today released a free publication, Tools for Coastal Climate Adaptation Planning: A guide for selecting tools to assist with ecosystem-based climate planning.

The guide is designed to assist practitioners responsible for understanding and preparing for climate-related effects. By focusing on software and web-based applications that leverage geospatial information, Tools for Coastal Adaptation Planning will help these professionals account for the health and well-being of ecosystems and human communities in projects and plans.

The guide targets practitioners and decision makers involved in conservation, local planning, and the management of coastal zones, natural resources, protected areas, habitat, and watersheds in the coastal United States including the Great Lakes. In addition to detailed information about a key collection of visualization, modeling, and decision support tools, Tools for Coastal Climate Adaptation Planning offers instructive case studies about how other professionals have successfully applied the tools in a several coastal communities in the United States. Professionals from inland and international regions will also benefit from the guide’s tool information and lessons.
Funded with the support of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and the Keith Campbell Foundation for the Environment, Tools for Coastal Climate Adaptation Planning can be downloaded for free at

Florida Atlas Programs Bring Water to the Web

Florida Atlas Sponsored AreasThe goal of this innovative web-based tool is to help the public understand our natural waters and to be a one-stop data warehouse for water managers. Using Geographic Information Systems (GIS), active web pages and web-enabled database management systems, the Water Atlas websites are designed to provide citizens, scientists, resource managers, and educators with water quality, hydrologic and ecologic data. In addition, they provide information about local conservation efforts, volunteer and recreational opportunities, and a library of scientific and educational materials on water-resource issues.

What is the Water Atlas?

The Water Atlas program is a collection of websites created and administered by the Florida Center for Community Design and Research at the University of South Florida in Tampa. Originally created as an atlas of Hillsborough County lakes in 1997, it has expanded both geographically and functionally, now including  eight county Atlases the Tampa Bay Estuary Atlas, and the Charlotte Harbor Estuary Atlas. In addition to lakes, it also contains water quality and hydrologic data for other types of waterbodies, including ponds, rivers/streams, bays, estuaries and inshore marine waters, as well as the watersheds that bind them together.

The mission of the program is to “provide a comprehensive information resource that helps citizens, scientists and resource managers make informed decisions concerning our vital water resources.” It does this by providing a spatially-organized view of water resource data. It has information from over 225 different data sets that is available to the public in multiple formats. It attempts to give that data meaning by providing “Learn More” articles that tell users how samples are collected and how to interpret them. Atlas users can display data in tabular form, graphically in tables and graphs, or their geographic context via interactive mapping applications. Researchers can download data for further analysis. Agencies can use the data to demonstrate compliance with federal and state stormwater regulations. Water resource managers can create water quality reports and maps to respond to constituents’ questions.

Public engagement is vital, giving citizens easy access to data amassed by government agencies using taxpayer funds. Citizens need not be mere consumers of Atlas content; volunteer monitors serve an essential role by submitting water quality samples, reporting on wildlife sightings, organizing group activities, reporting polluters, and sharing photos and history. Sponsoring organizations (counties, cities and regional agencies) use the Atlas for outreach, making available informational materials and posting notices on the Atlas events calendar. Recreational users can find information on waterbody location, size, depth, water quality, amenities, weather, and even fishing reports. A searchable Digital Library makes available environmental assessments, management plans, technical reports, research, historic information and links to other websites. Teachers can utilize the Curriculum component for exercises and explore links to external sites with water-related lesson plans and classroom projects.

Each Water Atlas is customizable by its sponsoring organization(s), and most contain resource pages for volunteer initiatives or other special-interest topics. These include Adopt-A-Pond, Macroinvertebrate Monitoring, Stormwater Education, Watershed Excursion, Habitat Restoration Mapping, Lake Management, Spring Resources, Stream Waterwatch, Seagrass Monitoring, Oral History, and Neighborhood Stewardship programs.

Para nuestras Costas

Newsletter, Vol, 8, Nr 1 - Now Available!

We are now entering our 8th year publishing the ICAN newsletter. Many thanks to our Editor Andy Sherin!

Please consider preparing an article for the next newsletter that will likely be published in the fall of this year.
Happy New Year!

Photos from CoastGIS 2018

Our friends from CoastGIS 2018 have posted a wonderful gallery of photos, including the recent ICAN mini-workshop:

See how many ICAN members you can spot!