CCP Course Information

The Certified Coastal Practitioner™ (CCP) program provides participants with multidisciplinary instruction on comprehensive coastal management, defines the body of knowledge which reflects best practices for coastal professionals, and complements existing coastal licenses and educational programs. Earning the CCP designation distinguishes the coastal practitioner as having a broad knowledge base and understanding of the interrelationships among the different elements of modern coastal practice.

Below you will find information on each course currently offered in the Certified Coastal Practitioner program and Frequently Asked Questions.

Coastal Engineering

An introductory course covering the fundamental principles of coastal engineering. Topics include basic wave theory (wave generation, analysis, refraction, diffraction shoaling and breaking), wave prediction techniques, tides, coastal circulations and sediment transport. The latter portion of the course is devoted to the application of these basic principles to coastal structure and shore protection design.

Coastal Geology

An introductory course presenting a geological framework, distinguishing among types of coasts, the forces sculpting the land, and the sediments accumulating in distinct forms. This module will touch on special disciplines of coastal geomorphology, sedimentology and coastal processes.

Coastal Resiliency

An introductory course will present the concepts of coastal resiliency and how to increase the resiliency of your shoreline. Participants will be given an understanding of coastal resilience concepts, methods to increase resiliency, and tools available to estimate and measure coastal resilience. The basis for the module is the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ research on improving coastal resiliency.

Coastal Ecology/Biology

An introductory course that will present the basic concepts of coastal ecology/biology. The course will provide up-to-date science-based and skill-building opportunities to professionals whose work is affected by coastal resources. The spatial zone of interest is a relatively narrow portion of the continental shelf/coastal plain where land and sea meet. Basic concepts will encompass major biological constituents that make up the dynamic and diverse set of ecosystems and species including the open ocean, barrier islands, coastal marsh, estuarine resources and threatened and endangered species.

Planning and Land Use

An introductory course will present the basic concepts of planning and land use. The course will highlight how activities in adjacent upland can affect the coastal zone, via land use, planning, jurisdictions, regulations, habitat impacts, property rights and more. This section also looks at the upland aspects of coastal resilience and disaster planning and recovery, as well as resolving conflicts between political boundaries and littoral zones and addressing the impacts and issues surrounding seal level change.


An introductory course will present the basic concepts of effective communications. This course provides participants an understanding of communication goals, stakeholders and audiences, delivery and tools. It also provides hands-on examples of how to effectively communicate with a variety of media, peers, and government agencies. A highly interactive session, this will feature problem-solving drawing on participants’ own experiences.

Government Operations

An introductory course will present basic concepts in government operations. The course will review the structure of federal and state government and how they work, including how authorities are granted, the federal budget process, and basic regulatory programs. The local and federal government structure and the budgeting process will be discussed. Additionally, the module will present the best way to effectively communicate your message to elected officials so you can advance your project through the bureaucratic maze.

Project Management

An introductory course will present basic concepts of project management. The course will discuss the tools that a project manager needs to effectively perform his/her job. This module will gain a greater appreciation for the diverse expertise in a wide variety of areas required to make up an effective project team, and to enable the manger to more efficiently coordinate activities among the various specialists to facilitate a well-integrated effort that will expedite completion of what are often large and complicated projects.

Government Affairs

This introductory course will focus on the operational side of governments: Getting bills (both authorizations and appropriations) through Congress, understanding and working with the federal agencies most engaged in the coast (as well as an explanation of their various roles in coastal management), and the integral involvement of state and local governments in coastal management and engaging with the federal government.

Coastal Zone Management and Coastal Regulations

An introductory course will present the concepts of coastal zone management and coastal regulation. Understanding the reason for coastal zone management and how to ensure that your project meets the guidelines. The module also discusses the interaction between the coastal zone management regulations and the coastal state and federal regulations. These concepts are present though a review of a sample project that takes the participant through coastal zone management and regulatory process.

Water Quality

An introductory course where a review of the Clean Water Act of 1972 will be provided, along with discussions of surface water quality standards and compliance applicable to the Atlantic, Gulf and Pacific coastal zones. Case studies will review basin management tools, primary contributors to water quality degradation, Best Management Practices (BMPs) for treatment, monitoring strategies, bioindicators, and state-level efforts at becoming compliant with the Coastal Zone Act. These topics will be discussed in three regional case studies: 1) Southern California Marina del Ray Toxic Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL); 2) Southeast Florida Indian River Lagoon Basin Management Nutrient Criteria; and 3) Mississippi Gulf Coast Monitoring and Management of Non-Point Sources.

Engineering with Nature

Engineering With Nature® (EWN®), in partnership with Coastal Zone Foundation, is leading a four-hour course on designing natural-based infrastructure for increased coastal resilience. The course will include a series of technical presentations that cover a broad range of topics related to natural infrastructure (NI), including an overview of the EWN program, an introduction to NI applications in coastal wetlands and beaches, an overview of EWN Beneficial Use best practices, a description of available EWN design and modeling tools and materials, a review of the NNBF guidelines, and an overview of strategic quantification of NI benefits. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can take the CCP courses?

The CCP program courses are designed for coastal professionals, government, the private sector, coastal consulting, academia, and even coastal citizens. The assessments are a top view understanding of the coursework and are multiple choice or true false.

Who teaches the CCP courses?

Each course was developed and is taught by one or more relevant subject matter experts.

What do I need to take a course?

All you need is a good internet connection. Each course comes with instructions, estimated length to complete, course videos, and quiz links. Teachers also have the option of providing additional information as handouts.

How much does a course cost?

Each recorded course is $100.

How long do I have to complete the course?

You will have 30 days from purchase to access and complete the course. After 30 days you will loose access to the course materials and will need to contact for assistance.

What do I get for completing a course?

Those who successfully complete a course will be awarded a certificate and 4 professional development hours.

How do I receive and maintain the credential?

Once 10 short courses are completed, you will have earned the Certified Coastal Practitioner TM credential. Candidates for CCP must also agree to the Code of Ethics.

To maintain the credential you must successfully complete an additional course, attend two coastal-related conferences, and maintain membership in one or more coastal-related organizations. Additionally, you will need to submit evidence of meaningful activity in 4 coastal areas. For more information read the Recertification Process and Requirements.