Littoral Operations Resources

Although the word "littoral" may seem rather new, its definition is anything but modern.  The history of man is entwined with this transitional zone. It is from here where man made the first steps towards exploring the seas and everything beyond, and it is where he/she, in reverse, claimed new lands and untold wealth. Many of history's conflicts were fought in this place, and still, competing nations' economic interests continue to overlap and collide. Many economic resources and interests, from oil to fisheries, lie within this zone and explains why many of the earliest treaties between nations were for the littoral. Please use the websites below in furthering your research or enriching your interests.

All Resources

Selected Websites

The Naval Postgraduate School's Dudley Knox Library is a repository of scholarly content in all formats on a range of subjects including the Littoral.

The Library of Congress along with its Congressional Research Services is the nation's oldest federal cultural institution and serves as the research arm of Congress. It is also the largest library in the world, with millions of books, recordings, photographs, maps and manuscripts in its collections. Governmental studies, congressional review panels and maps are just some of the many items that touch on the littoral zone.

The United States Navy has been the Nation's coastal protector in times of war, but with the introduction of the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) and recent encroachments in the South China Sea by many nations, there is renewed interest.

The United States Marine Corps is the amphibious wing of the Department of Defense that is best positioned for warfare in the littorals.

The United States Coast Guard safeguards the Nation's coasts and ports in addition to enforcing fishery and environmental laws at sea, making it a vital stakeholder in the Littorals.

The Maritime Administration ( is a government agency tasked with promoting a healthy merchant marine and insuring that waterborne shipping moves freely into and out of the Nation's ports. However, with respect to the littoral, MARAD operates and maintains a large and varied fleet of cargo ships that can be easily activated for delivery of necessary cargo to any type of port in the world, including ones with primitive or severely damaged infrastructure.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is the Nation's steward in conserving and managing coastal ecosystems and resources.

The United States Army Corps of Engineers is tasked with maintaining and managing the Nation's channels and waterways, as well as manages coastal wetlands and recreational areas in the littorals.

Littoral Resources

Conference: Littoral OPTECH South 2017 video (lo-res | hi-res)

Littoral Combat Ships – Fleet Introduction and Sustainment

Conference presentations from Optech East 2015 and Optech West 2014

Navy Littoral Combat Ship (LCS)/Frigate

Littoral Combat Ship: An Examination of its Possible Concepts of Operation - CSBA (pdf)

Area Denial & Falklands War Lessons Learned - Implications for Land Warfare 2030-2040: After the Army's Theater Arrival - The Coming Complex Fight

A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower

Complexity in the Littorals (student paper)


Use these links to access lists of publications from the Dudley Knox Library that refer to the following keywords:

In addition, the following authors have several publications that reference or address littoral operations:

Other keyword searches of geographical areas that can assist you in searching BOSUN to find materials relating to littoral operations include: