Greater Integration of NOS Activities to Benefit Management of Vieques Island Habitats
Scientists the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, along with others from NOS, met in Silver Spring on Nov. 28 to discuss the status of the NOAA Vieques Program. Significant attention was given to developing a strategy to complete an ecological assessment of Vieques, Puerto Rico to support local resource management. Meeting participants provided status reports for the suite of projects which constitute the Program. Attendees discussed data integration requirements and outlined future collaboration opportunities. The focus of this strategy was on benthic habitat mapping and characterization, fish and invertebrate community structure, an assessment of chemical and nutrient contamination in water, sediments and coral tissues, and novel techniques for characterizing military ordnance abundance, distribution, and composition. Vieques Island was used for nearly 60 years as a military training ground.