The Center for Coastal Resources Management focuses on applied research (a methodology used to solve a specific, practical problem) in support of government agencies and nongovernmental organizations involved in resource management. Continuing work is conducted in tidal and non-tidal wetlands, estuarine and coastal shorelines, geographic and living resource inventories, and watershed management.

The Center operates a continuing inventory of conditions along all 10,000 miles of Virginia's coastal zone shoreline. Data is collected using Global Positioning System (GPS) and remote sensing technologies. It is managed in a Geographic Information System (GIS) and supports a variety of applications by local, state, and federal agencies, as well as researchers, the business community, and private citizens.